Last week, I had a blind date. I was excited and nervous. And, for the first time in my life, armed. That’s right, I took my newly acquired Smith & Wesson 686 revolver with me on a first date.
It was an evening date at an upmarket restaurant in a decent part of Austin. I dressed up — but not too much. It was cold that night. Keeping in mind that I planned to carry, I opted for a pair of jeans.
I went through the typical pre-date beautification process. Near the end, I added a step. I looped the brown leather holster through my belt and secured it to my hip. I looked at myself in the mirror and felt my ensemble was complete.
I’ll be honest: I was nervous about carrying on a date.
I couldn’t help but wonder if my date spotted my gun, would it freak him out? The 686 is not a small gun by any stretch of the imagination [ED: 4″ barrel]. Strapped onto my petite frame, it looked huge. While my shirt and blazer easily concealed my weapon, a distinct bulge was still perceptible.
I worried about the greeting. If we both leaned in for a light hug, might my date inadvertently touch the gun and know I’m packing heat?
I seriously considered taking off the 686 and going without. The idea of being in a situation in which I would need to defend myself was unsettling. But I decided for the first time, and once and for all, that I should have the best tool for the job of personal self-defense.
The date went well; he never knew I was conceal carrying. I felt safe.
I can’t honestly attribute that feeling entirely to the fact that I was speaking softly and carrying a big stick. Although it was a blind date, I knew the fella well enough beforehand (texting and phone calls). I also choose to meet in a public place in a safe neighborhood.
Before leaving for the date, I told someone where I was going, how long I planned to be gone, and whom I was meeting. I covered my bases well.
There’s something to be said for having that extra measure of protection. Wearing my gun, I felt like I stood taller. I felt capable of protecting myself all by myself. As an independent woman, I find that invaluable.
From now on, I will always venture into uncharted territory with my gun by my side. Just in case.