Notes From The Mothership: The Wisdom of a Guitar

I’ve always had an obsessive compulsion with listening to music and I have an extraordinary ability to readily recall song lyrics despite having not heard a specific song for 10 years. However, all my life I’ve longed to be able to play a musical instrument and it was time to take that desire to the next level. I was in my 30’s, finally exploring my possible talents and it was now the right time to master the instrument! Song recollection serves me well as a raw talent, but only during the music round at Tuesday night Pub Quiz. Alas, I could now be the douche-beeotch who picks up the random guitar at everyone’s house party and plays Bubble Toes by Jack Johnson.  Yessssssssss! In any event, I was no longer going to ‘wish’ I could play the guitar….I was going to ‘become’ a guitar player!

With great excitement, I emailed to my parents to share the thrilling news!

Rachel Email to Parentals: Hey guys, who’s got two thumbs and just bought a guitar!  This girrrrrrl!!!! Mom, I’m referring to me incase you don’t understand what that first sentence means.  Your personalized autographed photo of your future guitar legend daughter is in the mail.

Dad Reply:
Wonderful, have fun, but we have plenty of photos of you – Dad

Well played father…..well played.

Mom Reply 1: Hi Rachel – Could we please suggest you reconsider learning to play the guitar? We don’t think your neighbours would be happy at the noise, and…if you’re not very good, you will get evicted. Couldn’t you start up a different hobby, such as stamp collecting instead?! Does this mean you are going to join a band? Please don’t quit your job to join a band. I’m also bothered about your hearing. Concerts are bad enough, but adding a loud guitar to that would really damage your ears further. Anyway, we just wanted you to really think over the wisdom of a guitar.
Love Mom

DAMN! Amazing on so many levels. She truly believed that I might consider quitting my long term job to join a band.  Sigh… impulsive does she think I am?  Hmmmm well, I suppose it could be a reality if I picked it up only discover that I’m a guitar prodigy. That.could.actually.happen!  Mom: 1 – Rachel’s Impulsive Past: 0.

Mom Reply 2: Hi Rachel – Wait, Dad says I’m getting mixed up. I thought you were thinking of getting an electric guitar with amplifiers and twangy things. The sort of guitar that goes with white faces with zig zags on them and costs an arm and a leg. Do you mean the quieter ones? The sort that hippies used to play?
Love Mom

Yes mom, I was planning on becoming Gene Simmons.  I suppose I’ll settle for guitar playing hippie.

Rachel Reply: Yeah, I bought a classical guitar… the hippies used to play.  Haven’t put it down in a few days! I bet you can’t wait for when I bring it over at Christmas, I’ll obviously be a pro by that point! Taking requests in advance!

Mom Reply 3: Oh God. You’re not going to have us all singing Puff the Magic Dragon, are you? Or even worse, Cumbaya my Lord, cumbayaaaaaa. No, I bet it’s House of the Rising Sun! Are you teaching yourself? I’m glad you’re happy with it, but please don’t isolate yourself from your friends just so you can play your guitar, or stop going to the gym! Love Mom

Ha! I wasn’t even going to the gym in the first place, soooooooo joke’s on you!

Now as a means to prove that I was going to be immensely successful with this, I really played it up with the parentals by assuring them that I was picking up the guitar every day and practicing like a Rock Goddess! My father encouraged me by giving me unsolicited information on some world famous guitar player with disproportionately small sized hands. Now, I do have cocktail sausage fingers, but disproportionately small sized hands….How dare? Father – what are you suggesting!   

At Christmas, they did ask me to play a song for them for when I came home to visit.  All I could reasonably pull together in time was to attempt to play Doll Parts by Hole….or my slowly strummed version of it.  It was the epitome of Christmas joy.  I had the benefit of hearing the tune in my head while I slowly strummed it to death – vocals included.  I’m fairly certain the tune in my head mislead me to believe that it actually sounded like Doll Parts…..or even a song for that matter.  I have provided the quick link to Doll Parts on youtube… assist with imagining what my parents were likely experiencing at that very moment.

We have not spoken of my guitar abilities since; however, I will never regret the wisdom of purchasing my first guitar.

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