My Husband: The Prepper

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Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, author, and comedian who teaches you how to harness the power of your story to connect, engage, and get results. In this blog, Kelly focuses on the business of professional speaking. Kelly’s post day is Friday. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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My Husband: The Prepper -- Funny motivational speaker shares another view into the window of her world.

Funny motivational speaker shares another view into the window of her world.

Are you dreaming of becoming a well-sought after funny motivational speaker and wonder where to find material?

Well, I find my material from real life.

Today I want to share with you my newest piece–straight out of real life–the best place to find funny material. When people ask me where to go to find the humor, I often say that you need to look no further than your own husband. Today is no exception.

Today I introduce you to my husband: The Prepper.

My Husband: The Prepper: The Prepper Definition by Google

My Husband, the Prepper by Kelly Swanson, Funny Motivational Speaker

Some women marry men who are very analytical. Some marry men who live for golf. Some marry the Green Peace guy who’s saving whales and riding bicycles to work. Me? I married a prepper.

What’s a prepper?

A prepper is a person who believes a catastrophic disaster or emergency is likely to occur in the future and makes active preparations for it – typically by stockpiling food, ammunition, and a complete line of all season thermo-nuclear body suits. In short. this man takes boy scout preparedness to a whole other level.

I had never heard of a prepper until my husband became one.

Now he’s not full blown prepper like the guys on reality TV. He doesn’t spend all day dressed in camouflage, lurking in the bushes with a matted beard, painted face, and night vision Goggles, surveying the church parking lot. He just likes to be prepared. And self-sufficient. And know twenty-eight ways to kill a man with a shoestring and a paper clip just in case those terrorists come up over the border from South Carolina.

He’s a man who likes to live off the land. You will never see him without a notepad – always keeping track of what’s going on in every situation. I found it highly annoying at my yearly pap.

He takes the nosy neighbor concept to a whole new level for we take neighborhood watch seriously. We don’t just put the sticker in the window. We stand guard. This is his calling. Some are called to preach. He’s called to be a prepper.

He wasn’t that way when I married him. But somewhere between I do and What have I done? He went from Check out this article I found on living off the grid, to Honey, I think I’ll tear down the deck and put in a farm so is it okay if I buy some goats?

Which might not sound so outlandish to you, except that we live in a residential neighborhood where our yard backs up to the student housing for a university. Somehow his vision of backyard goat breeding doesn’t fit into the university theme – unless the goats are wearing frat sweaters and singing beer songs.

And putting young drunk college men near goats – well – is probably not the best idea. Dude! That chick over there is smiling at you – yeah that one – the one with hair on her chinny, chin, chin. She is checking you out! Look at her, she’s got beautiful hair and big blue eyes…

Boy,won’t he be sorry the next day.

So my husband, the prepper, marries a woman who thinks gel nails are a necessity, and that roughing it is not being able to get your roots done once a week. For me being prepared for a power outage means having three battery operated curling irons. I think preparedness is having a pair of wedges to match every outfit. And if I ever found myself in a house fire, I’m going to be the one grabbing the fireman and yelling, “Save my hair extensions! They’re still inside! You have to go back in there!”

My husband was upset because instead of a sticker that tells the fireman there’s a kid inside – or a cat – I wanted to have one made that said, “Hair Extensions Inside.”

You have to admire the irony of this marital union.

So in my house, things are quite different than they might be at your house.

Let me tell you what it’s like being married to a prepper.

• Your family, for example, may have a fire escape drill. We have a terrorist defense plan. You teach little Johnny to keep his head down – to stop, drop and roll. We teach our kid to stop, drop, and aim for the head son! Aim for the head! Now that’s homeland security.

• Preppers stockpile ammunition. Your family is probably worried about termites. We’re worried about an explosion that could obliterate the neighborhood.

• Your husband knows 10 ways to grill a steak, mine knows 10 ways to kill it. We never know what kind of meat we’re having. Dad? Have you seen my class gerbil? It was my turn to take care of him! I can’t find him!

• Your family gathers together to play Monopoly. Our idea of game night is who can get on their hazmat suit on the fastest. My husband is still upset that I bedazzled mine and bought a cute pair of camouflage wedges to match. Hey, there is no excuse for poor fashion. I may be going down in a nuclear bomb explosion, but I am going down looking cute!

• Your kid gets a treat for cleaning his room, my kid gets a treat for being able to hit a target at 400 yards. Good job Junior! Now you get another treat if you eat all your vegetables, take out the trash, and plant the rest of those booby traps. Remember a happy home is a secure home.

• Your son is counting the days until he gets his learners permit, my son is counting the days until he gets his concealed carry permit.

• We home-school, which is a prepper’s dream. Your son is reading Cat in the Hat, and Goodnight Moon–and mine is reading Dick and Jane Go To Sniper School.

• Could you imagine if Dr. Seuss had been a prepper?

The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house All that cold, cold, wet day.
I sat there with Sally.We sat there, we two.
And I said, “How I wish We had something to do!”

Too wet to go out And too cold to play ball.
So we sat in the house. We did nothing at all.
So all we could do was to Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit!
And we did not like it. Not one little bit.

And then Something went BUMP!
How that bump made us jump!
We looked! Then we saw him step in on the mat!
We looked! And we saw him!
The Cat in Hazmat

With night vision goggles a grenade in each hand
He carried purified water, and a goat he had canned
A hat made of ripcord, in an all weather slicker
Each button a bullet and here’s the real kicker
He was crouching and slouching – this way and that
He’d come to wipe out our enemies – this Cat in Hazmat

(We can’t wait to read his next book: Do you like green eggs and spam?)

• Your son memorized the pledge of allegiance, mine memorized Atlas Shrugged. My son is really excited because he just found out that the next book he has to read is To Kill a Mockingbird. I think he might disagree with the premise.

Yesterday my sister’s kid went on a field trip to the fire station. My son? For today’s field trip we’re going to Uncle Cleeter’s house and learn how to make our own liquor. Line up boys and girls, and be sure to wear your rain slickers! Today we’re going to fingerpaint our own stills.

• Your son is making a volcano for his science fair project. Mine drew up the volcano evacuation plan. I had him include an addendum on how to save my hair extensions.

• It’s weird being married to a prepper because he’s so focused on being prepared for a catastrophe that he sometimes forgets the little stuff. We have an entire closet shelf dedicated to MREs (freeze dried food) and yesterday we ran out of milk.

• He said we had no room for a second kid because he needs that second bedroom for his pantry. Yes, my husband actually has pantry envy.

• We’ve got all this food stored – weird stuff that we would never eat! Like canned protein! Hello? We don’t eat this now! Where’s the girl scout cookies I asked him? What is the future without thin mints and snicker doodles?

And what about my favorite eye liner? Did you even bother to stock me an emergency supply of emerald green waterproof that is already in danger of being discontinued? Which worries me more than anything. Doesn’t he understand how important it is that in the event of a catastrophe I might want my eyes to pop? I want to be ready for the cameras!

My husband says, “Fine. Pack your own emergency kit.” So I did. Right beside his emergency backpack and my son’s emergency backpack, is my emergency suitcase, and hang up bag, and makeup kit, and overnight bag of low humidity hair curlers, and this is where I put all my shoes. And this is the box that has my good candles in it. And if you had left me more space, I could have brought my silk pajamas. But no. You’ve got to take up all this space with water purifier.

• We have different ideas of wants versus needs. My husband once spent $700 to grow a tomato. Yep. He got the bright idea that was going to start growing all our vegetables. So he takes a class at the library. And buys a manual. And signs up for a monthly podcast. And spends several hundred dollars on containers and fertilizer and these indoor grow lights. It took him months and months. He would disappear for hours in that basement. And finally, one day, he comes up the stairs – his eyes lit up like he had just witnessed the birth of Jesus – and whispered, “It’s here.”

I had to get closer in to see it. It was smaller than his palm. One cherry red tomoto. One. Tiny little tomato. Seven hundred dollars and four months later and THIS is what we get? A tomato that we have to cut three ways?

So he can spend $700 on one tomato….But I spend one teensy weensy little $400 to join Lee Press On Nail of the month club and he goes ballistic!

• Being a prepper’s wife is hard. Your husband expects you to put dinner on the table, maybe buy the groceries – mine expects me to be able to squat behind a bunker and take out a herd of deer with one shot. Hello? He lost me at squat! Shooting is not a problem, but I have to do a squat? I’m out.

• Being married to a prepper is hard because you get diamonds for your anniversary. I get a necklace made of spent shell casings. Look honey it’s solid brass.

• I once came home early and surprised my husband. I could hear him in there whispering sweet nothings and calling her all these sweet names he never calls me. Turns out he was talking to Snooky, his battle rifle.

• My husband doesn’t trust anybody. This Sunday he thought there was a code buried in the minister’s sermon. John 3:16 – it means something else he whispered.

That deacon over there holding the collection plate? I think I saw him twitch. I’m pretty sure he’s casing the joint.

Sweetie, I whispered back.

He just turned 92. He can only hear out of one ear, and can’t see to tie his shoes. It takes him twenty minutes to get in from the parking lot. If he wanted to take us out, he should have started last week.

• My husband is all about strength and endurance, which as you might guess is not my strong suit. According to my husband and his family combat plan, I’m the weakest link. That whole grab our arms and run into the woods mission is ruined because I can’t run any further than the end of our driveway without collapsing.

I can’t keep going. You’ll just have to escape without me. It’s too much. I can’t run anymore.

Honey–you haven’t even left the porch!

Apparently I’m supposed to be the one to cover his back. Isn’t that rich! How am I supposed to cover your back when you’re a mile ahead of me!

• I must say, I make fun of my husband and bless his little prepper heart, but sometimes it does come in handy. Like the year we had that big snow storm and the power went out. We were ready. I can still remember him shaking with excitement when the weather guy said to hunker down it was going to be a doozy of a storm. I think my husband was actually praying that it would hit us directly because he was prepared.

First it’ll be snow, he said. Then the power will go out. Then they’ll run out of food and the gangs, they’ll come from all directions, but I’ll be ready. You rest, and I’ll just sit here by the door with my shotgun and pistol for back up. Junior you go take the back door. And don’t open the door for anybody. I don’t care who they are. Those aren’t Mormons coming up the walk – it’s a trap! Wait! Ask them how much goat meat they have canned and would they be willing to make a trade?

• Let me tell you. When you’re married to a prepper, you don’t want anybody ringing your doorbell in the middle of the night. That would institute a code red. The other day I forgot my keys and locked myself out and my husband asked for my ID and secret password before letting me in.

• It’s weird because he expects me to be on board with all this “end of the world” stuff. “It’s the new normal,” he keeps telling me. But the other day I told my son not to go too deep into the ocean because he might get bitten by a shark and my husband told me I was being unrealistic. Chances of that are slim, he says. I think you’re overreacting.

Me. Overreacting. From the man who has stored enough grain to feed a small country.

The man who wouldn’t attend my sister’s wedding until he checked all the exits! Okay. It’s safe. You can throw the bouquet now!

He took is role of head usher very seriously.

So of course I would become a motivational speaker, encouraging you to make the most of every moment–because my husband has convinced me it will all be over soon!

Why do you think I’m living in the moment? Because they are coming to get us!

And YOU’LL be next!

Kelly Swanson
You. Your Story. Make an Impact.

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