A family matter

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Almost everyone needs to be brought down once in awhile, “humbled,” to keep them on an even keel. Some of us need it more than others and I am among those who in the past often got exactly what he deserved. One of the prime personal examples was a shrewd old gentleman who once said to me, “Mr. Ostrom, I can see you understand the concept of modesty ... but it certainly isn’t a burden to you.”

It is no secret my column in the Hungry Horse News year after year won dozens on Montana Press Association Awards, a majority were first places. Hate to admit it but I got to taking it for granted.

As top prizes were handed out for columns at the 1991 Convention, my name was not mentioned. Couldn’t believe it. When first place for “humor” was announced, the emcee said it went to the Whitefish Pilot for a column by Heidi Duncan. Her dad was proud...


I have yet to see the object of my husband’s desire, but from what I can gather she’s a tall, long-legged, dark-haired beauty who plays hard-to-get.

Like the wood nymph Diana, this home-wrecking female lures men into the woods, allowing them an occasional glimpse but remaining just out of reach, thereby making herself all the more mysterious and desirable.

She is quiet and understanding (two highly-prized qualities of a mistress), but she also taunts with her elusive wiles.

When he is home, my husband has a look of longing in his eyes, and I know it is she that he thinks of: where she is, how long she’ll avoid him, when he can be with her again.

I have put up with this shabby affair just about as long as I’m going to, however. When my husband informed me that we wouldn’t be leaving town for Thanksgiving as planned, I knew the reason: he was staying for her. He wants her. He wants her to be his and he’s not leaving until he has her.

I simply don’t understand it. The man has everything—a loving family, a warm hearth, cable TV—yet he spends what little free time he has making excuses to go see her, traveling in cold and rain, snow and wind, battling the wilderness, the elements and time, all in the hope of glimpsing that temptress of the wild.

Fine, I say. If that hairy, knobby-kneed, big-nosed hunchbacked cow wants my man ... she can have him. And if he ever gets a moose tag again, I’m donning cammies and sticking to him from opening day until he bags the moss-munching monster.

Frankly, I just don’t understand the attraction. Sure, she’s great to have for dinner, but can she dance? What has she got that I haven’t, except maybe a fur coat? I suppose if I abandoned my children a couple years after giving birth to them I’d have time to be more of a femme fatale, too, but at least I have a sense of moral obligation.

But why blame her? She is what she is. She, like myself, is a victim. I, the spurned, neglected wife; she, the object of a fatal attraction which can only end with her ultimate destruction. Unless, he doesn’t get her.

There’s always that chance. Though he fancies himself a real killer, there are those who haven’t fallen for him. His success rate is high, though, and like Cupid with an expert’s aim, he rarely misses his mark. She’s a goner if he gets her in his sights.

At least then the chase would be over and with it, the fun of the hunt. He would no longer admire her from afar, but would instead see her up close for what she really is. After the initial exhilaration of the catch, the thrill of getting her and showing her off, he would begin to tire of her. He’d start spending more time at home with his family and that look of unrequited lust would be gone from his eyes.

The one saving grace of this whole sordid affair is that it will soon be over.

Someone, in their infinite wisdom, limited hunters from getting a moose tag more than once every seven years. This helps save the moose population from dwindling too rapidly ... and the divorce rate from skyrocketing.

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