Kristen Berube lives a crazy, laugh-filled life with her outdoorsman husband Remi and their three camo-clad children in Missoula, Montana. A graduate of Montana State University and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, she loves being a mom and enjoys hiking, fishing, and camping. “Confessions of a Camo Queen: Living with an Outdoorsman” is her first book.
I am clearly married, yet I sleep alone for half of the year. My husband sleeps with someone every night, however. He’s been like this for years. He has “dated” others who didn't quite pan out, I guess. They hike too slow, whine too much, drink too much or have different seasonal goals. Who knew "outdoorsman hunting partner dating" was so difficult?
My commitment is to my husband and our children; his commitment is to me, our children, and his other wife. Say what!? Yep, he comes home weekly, after rolling around in fields, tents and mountain sides covered in filth and his other wife's perfume. She must be a nasty ho to want to get down and dirty in all of the places that they rendezvous. And why does she smell so damn musky... gross. I know I am second in line for the outdoorsman’s attentions for about half of the year; his other wife is his undying priority. Ugh, it is heartbreaking, but I have come to accept it.
I know you are beginning to wonder the following...Why don't you leave him for cheating on you? Can you say alimony? Why aren't you in the man cave shop snapping his fly rods in half and spray painting his camouflage boat hot pink? Well, that's because my outdoorsman is not technically cheating. No, I'm not one of those people who make excuses for their cheating significant other. No, my outdoorsman does not bat for the other team but his other wife is a man...
Wife #2 generally hides in the background of our lives until about mid-August. You know, they keep their fires burning with little rendezvous of "going fishing,” "practicing shooting,” and "planning trips"... They think that I do not notice all of the hushed conversations, all of the midnight texting, all the whispering into the phone and giggling. Oh, the giggling, it is positively sickening. Their creepy sweet talking consists of words like “new camo,” “antlers,” and “secret spots.” Those turds don't think that I know what they are up to, but I do. I am very aware that September is near and that means it is soon time to take the spot at the back of the line and let the hairy, stinky, foul-mouthed Wife #2 just have my outdoorsman. I cannot compete. I do not want to compete. Trying to compete with my husband’s other wife is futile September through December. During this time of year all of my good qualities and skills are moot. His other wife can gut and bone out a deer in 6 minutes flat without breaking a sweat. His other wife thoroughly enjoys farting in the sunset together. His other wife enjoys romantic Mountain House dinners. His other wife thinks it's simply wonderful to hike for days, “sniff test” deer shit for freshness, to take a poop behind a sage brush, and drink warm, purified mud puddle water... no thank you! His other wife doesn't mind not showering for a week at a time or that he doesn’t either. Oh, and before I forget, his other wife has a beard. Definitely can't, and won't compete there.
Who is this gorilla? This is the outdoorsman’s hunting partner. His partner in hikin’, glassin’ (also known as using the spotting scope to look at animals on the hill), shootin’, fartin’, chasin’ down animals, beer drinkin’, and card playin’. This partner is his true mirror-self for several months. Once the hunting season has begun, these two are as inseparable as a couple of high school love birds. For God’s sakes, they even notice if one of them gets a haircut. They have matching camouflage. They have matching bows and guns. And they both sweet talk their simply wonderful FIRST wives into cooking them smorgasbord of food every weekend for their camo-infused little weekend getaways. You know those campouts where they supposedly snuggle “butt to butt” for safety and warmth. They sleep under the stars and talk about life. They snore in unison after they have exhausted themselves hiking to check out every fricking wild animal within a 20 mile radius. There is no whining, just more hiking, more searching, and more hunting.
Before the sun comes up they wake up, look into each other’s eyes and take turns building the fire to warm each other up, then make each other coffee. Wow... Sounds awfully romantic, boys… Ooooalala! Instead of a good morning kiss, they give each other an aggressive chest bump, pour their plain black boiling coffee down their throats, engulf a few granola bars and set their sights on the mountain side. One could never say that they do not have the same life goals. They are united. They are one. They are there to hunt.
In all honestly, I am so, so grateful for my outdoorsman’s other wife. I want him to be as tough as nails, smarter than a whip and able to handle shit. I want him to be able to drag out my outdoorsman if he breaks his leg, I want him to shoot straight if a bear decides to attack, and I want him to be a downright badass. I can guarantee my outdoorsman will look out for his other wife in the same protective caveman-like fashion, and I am grateful he's looking out for him in return.