Monday, July 14, 2008

Sorry, I Just Have to Vent

Every Sunday my family gets together at my parent’s house for Sunday dinner. It’s kind of a big todo, and we all look forward to it, ‘cause it’s kind of fun. I love hanging with my folks, they’re some of the best people I know.
Anyway, I’ve been teaching myself to play the Tin Whistle, and I’ve gotten to a point, after only a month, that I was feeling comfortable enough with it, that I wanted to show my parents what I’d accomplished. So I took it and my sheet music along with us to dinner. Now, I had been kind-of mentally preparing myself for… Stacie. Ya see, I’m the oldest of 6 children, and Stacie is about a year and a half my junior. Ever since we were kids, Stacie has been my judge, jury and in some cases, my executioner. I rarely, if ever, meet her standards. After all, she’s one of the beautiful people with her rotating cadre of friends, while I was (still am) a D&D geek with all that comes with that. I never dressed right for her, I never listened to the right music, or went to the right movies, on and on, ad nauseam…
My current fascination with my Celtic heritage, I’m quite sure, has her just reeling from the geek vibes emanating from my part of the Salt Lake Valley. So, I figured that she’d poke a crack at my playing, or the tunes, or the geekyness of such an instrument… I didn’t know, something like that, so I steeled myself, and waited for her and her family to leave, before playing for my folks.
They didn’t leave.
It was 8:30pm and was a half hour past the time when we usually leave to go home, and they were still there.
So at the prompting of my wife, I broke out my whistle and sheet music to play for my folks, and the first thing out of Stacie’s mouth… “Hey look, Mike has a Recorder,” in a tone of voice that was so condescending and so judgmental, that I automatically went on the defensive. I don’t even know why. The recorder is a wonderful instrument with a great resonating sound, but it isn’t a Tin Whistle. The fingering isn’t even close between the two. Comparing a Tin Whistle to a Recorder is like saying that harp is the same as a guitar, because they both have strings. So, I played a couple of tunes, which my Folks listened to and seemed to like, and Stacie... she, talked right through my playing. So I finished, and then we left.
It didn’t hit me until I went to bed how ticked off I am at her, I’m kind of glad that I didn’t get up last night at half past mid-night to write this blog, because it would have been unreadable and strewn with 4-letter words.

How Dare She!

I understand that SHE plays the piano AND the violin. And I do understand (I am college edu-macated, after all) that SHE plays REAL instruments. And those of us who play the Tin Whistle and the Recorder don’t (apparently.) That will be news to the guy who did all of the music for the movie Titanic, I guess that he can go find a day job now, because “Oops” the Tin Whistle isn’t a real instrument according to my sister!
You know what, I don’t care. Her knowledge and her pride in her heritage doesn’t amount to a fart in a hurricane and she couldn’t be happier in her arrogant ignorance. So be it.
Next Sunday at dinner, I’ll just smile and pretend that everything’s just hunky-dory, because nothing that I say or do is going to change her.


Melissa said...

Way to go, Mike! Just get it all's better than holding it in. I understand a little about sibling rivalry myself, so hang in there. And by the way, I learned to play the recorder in college and wasn't even very good at it, but I liked it. In my opinion, it IS a real instrument. And I think the tin whistle sounds cool. (Maybe she's just jealous because she can't play it). :) Just take it one day at a time.....
P.S. I loved your comment on my blog about boys and girls camps. Hilarious (and so true)!

Terri said...

I am Mike's very proud wife. I have enjoyed listening to you play the Tin Whistle. You are my hero and I am proud of your courage inspite of knowing how it would turn out. I love you and please keep playing. It is very beautiful and very calming to hear the Irish music in our home.

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