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   April 21, 2018

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Making My Mark (literally)

By Gypsy

     January 2011-  After dating for more than four years, he had finally asked, and I, of course, had accepted.  The big event had finally arrived.  I prepared for my big day, fussing over the details; what do I wear?  Virginal white was out of the question…. What about my hair?   I walked down the mulched aisle lined with Palmetto in the cool evening, thankful for the perfect south Florida weather on this greatly anticipated night….to my first paintball experience.

 I’d always wanted to try it, but was banned from games played by all my guy friends back in college because I am a girl. Grrrr.  After looking over Maverick’s shoulder at his paintball site, pictures, video, equipment, etc   I found myself in a pair of cammo pants (so baggy-did they make my butt look huge?) in the local paintball park.  I was finally going to play!! I got my gear, A tippmann 98 rental edition something, I just know it was a gun, a skanky-looking chest protector and Mav’s mask from home, and signed the waiver. Looking around I realized I was at the elderly end of the age spectrum here at the ripe old age of 36. I said a quick prayer-please God, don’t let me embarrass my boyfriend. Don’t let me make a jackass of myself.  And don’t let me do anything stupid.

  I was impressed.  I watched the players for a few minutes, then we got the go ahead for my first game, um, a “woods-ball course”.  I realized I would mostly be shooting at adolescents-AWESOME!!!! (I work in a public school with this age group).  I wondered if I could get my Principal to agree to a staff vs student game sometime.  Liabilities-BAH.  Ref set us up, and it began. The rest of the team gave a bunch of commands that made no sense (a mess of teenaged Generals but no  infantry) I had no clue what to do strategy-wise, so  I just ran for shelter.  Instinct, or years of watching movies took over.  I kept low and kept moving up. I could barely see anything, my mask was so fogged up.  I found a fantastic spot to set up a sniper nest and started raining Paint Hell on a structure where some of the kids were hiding .  I had no idea, but Mav used the opportunity to flank the kids in the two story shelter and got six of them.  I had survived my first game without being shot!

It was getting late, but we had the chance to play some Speedball-five of us against the field pro and a tweener with a Godzilla-sized ego. Game was explained and we were off.  Unbeknownst to me, Mav was out, but not until after he took out our Justin Beiber lookalike.  I had no idea where the rest of the guys on my team were-I just kept moving up the field-I tracked the "pro" by the arcs of paint highlighted against the field lights in the night sky. oooo pretty ….I ended up tagged in the arm by the "pro," but not until I had moved up about 80% of the field-taking him by surprise. My firing was what gave away my position, I had no idea I was so close to him.  The rest of the team was out or filing for Homestead Exemption and picking out curtains back at the first inflatables.  Old Lady did pretty good apparently!

We played the Beiber two on one (at his demand) for our last speedball.  I moved up the field, took aim, and accidentally shot Mav in the ankle as he charged the kid.  Damn. Mav got the kid first though…does that make me the winner? OUCH!

So I didn’t embarrass Maverick or myself.  Paintball made its mark on me that January night (and um…I made my mark on Maverick). 

Mav gave me my own mask and pretty blue gun for Valentine’s Day so….

to be continued…..


- Gypsy

(editors note: This was a low profile outing, we used full rental packages and just went to have fun. It was suggested that Gypsy join a local tournament team because she quite literally kicked some serious butt against the best the locals had to offer, on her very first time out!  I am very proud of my gal! -Maverick )


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