For the average Joe that makes an average living, drives an average car, stands average height, average weight and average hair color the superlative experiences in life are much more rare than might be desired. That rarity makes it much more vibrant as an experience but nobody really pays that any mind. They just muddle around with the dream of the rare being more common and that providing more satisfaction. Trust me, this isn’t how the universe works.
Still, buying something like the top of the line 5-25x58mm ER-25 from US Optics is a complete roller coaster of sensation and emotion no matter how many times you do it. Partly it’s just fabulously expensive and partly it’s also just plain fabulous.
First you realize you’ve saved enough money to actually make the purchase. Then you actually commit to it in your own mind and then things get right out of hand.
This brings about feelings of having arrived which are completely misplaced at this stage of the game; as evidenced by the picture above. They’re also impossible to avoid. People are always keen to get ahead of themselves if at all possible when emotions are involved. Even more so when vast amounts of money are involved as well.
So you’ve made up your mind which is easy enough. Now you make the call and a chap answers the phone that speaks English clearly and seems to care that your specific scope makes you just as happy as it can and he’s there to make sure that that comes to pass. He’s helpful but something nags at you and sometimes you wish you could just say:
However, that’s not how this is done and besides since this is a custom scope there’s a certain amount of jibber jabbering back and forth to be done so all the details can be settled on. Finally after about 15 minutes of chatting and advice taking it’s time for you commit to it with your bank account. He gives you the total price; which reads something like a serial number and can easily drive the air physically from your body, takes your credit card info and lets you know it’s going to be a few weeks before it ships because they have to actually make your scope… it’s not been built yet. You thank the gentleman kindly and ring off. Then it hits you, the exact definition of irrevocable.
This is one of the very few things in this world that induces in me sensations of caustic chemicals filling my stomach, makes my back get really tight and starts the ringing in my ears off trying to reach a pitch and intensity that would cause barkeepers to ask me to leave for the sake of their stemware. It’s similar to what I imagine it might be like to have a grenade go off very close to you while you’re in the supermarket racking your brain trying to decide between Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Velveeta Shells and Cheese.
Dropping 3 grand on a car or a boat or a new set of teeth or Lasik is one thing (ok, that’s many things. Don’t distract me.). Any of those things are not likely to make the purchaser sweat quite so nervously waiting for it to arrive. Dropping it on a rifle scope that will only very occasionally see the light of day from outside the confines of my gun safe. Well that’s subtly different. Realizing the wife will see that credit card bill no matter what also produces considerably more hand-wringing. It doesn’t matter if she knew beforehand. It’ll still come up.
Now you start the wait. If you’re like me you’ll browse the for sale sections of forums in an attempt to make it completely clear to yourself that you could have gotten something just as good used and saved a thousand bucks. You do this just to torment yourself because you were very clear with yourself at the outset that you wanted the custom US Optics scope built just for you and not sloppy seconds on a not-US Optics, not custom made just for you, not new scope. No dammit. That’s not what you’re going to do. You made this perfectly clear to yourself. NO USED SCOPES. NOT THIS TIME.
The next few weeks are filled with:
Finally after weeks of waiting you reach the point where you forget for about 30-40 seconds that the scope should be there within days. This respite does much to revive your spirits but is very short lived. Still, after a few more days and taking a day off work to wait for FedEx to arrive; because no way in hell are you leaving three grand worth of scope laying on your bloody doorstep for half the day, the day does finally arrive.
After dark; just to make it worse, the FedEx truck arrives. You normally get off work at 4:40 and arrive home by 5pm and so you nearly have a heart attack waiting for it but when the truck grumbles to a halt 5 houses up you walk outside anyway just in case. He runs a package up to your neighbors house and then soul crushingly returns to his truck. You dutifully return to your house to engage in more hand wringing. Just as you’ve given up hope entirely he jumps back out of the truck but you can’t see because you went back inside. While you’re inside sulking he walks your package casually back to your house sets it quietly on the porch and skulks away around the corner with the stealth of a ninja to get a signature from your wife who has; unbeknownst to you, just pulled into the driveway.
Your wife walks in, sets the package on the floor in the entryway and greets you. You in your turn completely ignore her and dive into that package on the floor like Scrooge McDuck in his money bin. If you could actually jump inside the box you would but physics gets in the way; again, and you sate yourself by pulling that bad boy out of the box and cuddling with it for a while.
I’m currently sitting at the having ordered phase and the tightness in the chest is pretty severe right now. It’ll pass like always. Eventually. Probably just after I mount my new scope to my old rifle. Hmmm…. old rifle. Might have to do something about that.