Christine has developed this habit of checking Amazon’s daily deals each night. I had no idea this was even a thing until the other night when she ordered a ukulele. This is great for me because I know I’ll get to play it. Also, I’ve secretly always wanted to reenact that beach scene from ‘The Jerk’.
So this inspired her to break out the electric practice cello. This was also ordered online and showed up with a fingerboard that doesn’t quite meet the neck and a bridge that immediately snapped. Despite my attempts at repairs, the thing is cheap and therefore doesn’t make an appearance very often. After much fussing and fretting (no pun intended), a plan was put in place. Come the next day, we were going to the music store and so began the best day ever.
We set out at the early hour of 1 p.m., overly caffeinated and on a mission to find a new bridge. The first store was nice enough but didn’t have what we were looking for. It was the second music store where we hit pay-dirt. The clerk, however, was less than enthused with our patronage when he realized we weren’t going to pay his prices to specially craft a handmade cello bridge that would ultimately cost about half what was paid for the instrument in the first place. You see, we’re cheap. No one is putting on a concert here. Nor is anyone that I know currently in possession of a Stradivarius. “You talking down to the two of us over what I assume is your perception as us having a lack of exacting standards is not only slightly amusing but will make me ask more of you long after we have settled on our desired purchase.” ..was what I wished I’d been able to say. In actuality, though, it was 20 minutes after we had left the store with a $20 pre-crafted and obviously used bridge in hand that I decided to mention it. It went something more like this:
Me: Is it me or was that guy kind of a dick?
C: Yeah. Screw him!
Our next stop was Kohl’s in search of an elusive piece of comfort I have been touting the merits of since I came into knowledge of it’s existence when I last visited my parent’s house. Ladies and gentlemen, I speak of the faux fur throw known as ‘The Big One’. In an apartment full of an excessive amount of pillows and blankets, this was still seen as an item that was practically necessary. Also, with the help of a sale and a rewards gift card, it was basically free to us. Again, we’re cheap!
Back home, the bridge was fitted to cello with the aid of a few well placed pieces of paper. This should henceforth be known as the duct tape and baling wire method. Christine’s finger had already blistered (from lack of playing) and been bandaged by the time she was thoroughly warmed up. I decided to take a chance.
Me: If I played some of my songs, do you think you could improvise over them on the cello?
C: Umm.. okay.
I have trouble explaining what this means to me. I think the cello is a sexy freaking instrument. It’s what drew me to her in the first place. The hope that maybe someday we could play together just casually and without judgement. It’s an odd pairing, though; the classically trained musician and the basically self taught guy who just likes to fiddle around on the guitar. So, I don’t push the issue. I have hinted in the past but at this point I have raised the expectation to such immeasurable heights that I can’t see how it could ever be achieved.
Suddenly, though, I saw a glimmer with that ukulele. A gentle suggestion that we check out a music store for a new bridge and we were on our way. Now this was the moment! With that “Umm… okay.”, we played. It wasn’t perfect. *To me, though, it sounded good and stuff.* I even recorded a couple snippets so I could show her how good it was in places and she agreed.
I must have gushed for like an hour afterwards. Even after a great dinner, relaxing on the couch under the new throw, I was still given to bouts of schoolgirl giddiness over what had actually happened and the thought that it may happen again. Hours later when the adrenaline had worn off but still left with a heady afterglow, I finally fell asleep thinking about the wise and relevant words of Ice Cube, “Today was a good day.”
*Edited because I sounded like an ass.