your heart on the line

For several years I have been trying to talk Mike into taking up the Bass Guitar. I would love to play music with him. And it's something he could teach the kids that they would probably enjoy. His interest in this idea has always been luke warm at best. So I finally asked him what HIS instrument of choice would be if he could choose one. His reply? The clarinet.

Um, no.

I told him no. Squidward plays the clairinet. There will be no boys in my family playing the freaking clairinet. How's that for being a loving, supportive wife? Lucky Mike, ay?

Time went on and I kept trying to get other ideas from him on instruments. I kept trying to train my brain to accept his love for the clarinet, but it just wasn't happening. Then! He gave me another instrument! The Banjo. This was a major step up in manhood from the clarinet, but still not what I had in mind for him and this family band I hoped to have one day. But an improvement.


Christmas Eve I enter Guitar Center, one of my favorite places to be. It's like Disneyland for my heart. It's full of magic and wonder and so many tools that have so much potential! I create wish lists in my mind of all the things I would love to learn how to play and in which order I would like to learn them. One day, I tell myself, I will have a lot more free time.

But I am there on a mission. I am approached by a sales guy filled with tattoos and large gauges in his ears- exactly who you expect to assit you in Guitar Center. My eyes feasting on beautiful electric guitars came back to reality as I told him of the gift I was seeking. He led me to a room filled with acoustic guitars hanging from the walls. At the end of the room were two banjos standing on a shelf. We stood together in silence looking at them, all those amazing instrument behind us. I had a conversation in my head Can I really buy a banjo for my husband? It's sort of, well, I dunno not very cool. But he really wants to learn. And learning something you are interested in is so exhilerating. I should get it for him. But...... O I dunno.

I let out a long exhale. My shoulders slumped and my voice slow, I opened my mouth and these words tumbled out like they were flopping down a staircase:

"I wanted my husband to learn how to play the guitar...........But he wants a banjo."

A dude in the corner checking out acoustic guitars chuckled. I confirmed he was laughing at what I said. He told me it was the best thing he had heard all day.

I bought the banjo. And I actually began to feel excited. I kept telling myself a) he will be so suprised b) Mumford and Sons is a cool band and THEY have a banjo c) at least it's not a clarinet

I let my failed attept at convincing him to learn what I want him to learn float away. My husband would be learning to play the banjo. And that would be okay with me. I am even supporting and encouraging him! Hooray!

And you know what, when I watch him with his banjo learning from YouTube it makes me smile and so happy to hear him play the instrument. It's not one I would like to play, but it makes him happy and THAT is always cool.