Wednesday, April 16, 2014

guitar wife: I'll listen from the car

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As a rock and roll girlfriend, I used to follow my man into Guitar Center or Xtreme Music Mporium or Shady Grove Retirement Center for Vintage Claptons, whatever. We went to music stores and I'd find some drum throne or amplifier without too many dials to sit on, and I would perch in the LOUD ZONE and listen to excerpts from Metallica, Nirvana and sometimes Kent Henry. 

It's not comfortable sitting in a guitar store when you are not a guitar player. People have loud conversations about pearl inlays and humbucker pickups and I would mostly wonder if there is any food in the forecast and also how to sit on an amplifier in a skirt, because as a girlfriend, you still wear skirts on dates. No one talks to girlfriends at the guitar store, not even other girlfriends, because there would be no point in talking, since you are in the LOUD ZONE.

"THIS ONE," he would say over the neighboring 14 year old shredding to selected chords from Stairway to Heaven, "THIS ONE, THE ACTION IS TOO HIGH. I THINK MAYBE I SHOULD LOOK AT.." and then wander off. I'd try to shimmy down from the Marshall stack without flashing anybody, and eventually find him deep in conversation with a guy wearing shiny dress shoes, slacks and a tie while sporting a waist-length matted blonde ponytail. As a girlfriend, I would stand there while he, nodding like "yeah, I play too," and not worrying about how much a guitar cost, because we were 16 years old and we had minimum wage jobs so clearly we could buy guitars. 

I think I still did the rock and roll girlfriend thing for a while as a wife, but once there were kids, I was like, "I've got this kid, see?" and I would stay in the car. Hopefully we don't get a tally of our time usage on That Great Day, but if we do I hope the Lord will chastise the MOG for the approximately 10 years of my life spent in the parking lot of Guitar Center and Ye Elite Guitar Shoppes. 

Listen, his music pays the bills, and I acknowledge the necessity of the proper tools for his craft. It's just that somewhere in the 20 years of music and so.many.children, I think I might have reached saturation and can no longer discern the crunchy grittiness or twangy rattle that I used to. "Yeah," I say, "get that one. It's green." 

A few weeks ago, on a particularly arduous quest for the Perfect Guitar, the children and I accompanied the Maestro into a store. Chaos ensued, and after about 20 minutes of chasing them through various secret doors and under billion-dollar pianos, I decided to once again retreat to the car.  Salesmen with face tattoos and navy 3-piece suits breathed a sigh of relief. 

Seasons, seasons. I figure I've got 5 years before I have to be the Band Mom and re-enter the fray. At least I can wear pants this time. 

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