|This is how the cello was displayed in the store. It's a Maple Leaf make of cello. Get it? Cute, huh? As soon as I paid my money I disposed of the damn leaf.|
Don't worry that the kid is unnaturally thin. It's a cello.
Today I dealt with the recent demise of a relationship by undergoing a bit of therapy. To be more specific, it was therapy of the retail variety. I took money that had been removed from my bank account months ago for the purchase of a new violin and bought a cello with it. It was not needed for my new violin because my uncle decided a few months ago to buy for me the violin of my choice after my mom damaged my previous violin. I won't even address the sketchiest details of that fiasco.
I was actually doing myself a major favor by spending the money, as it had been sitting - nicely camouflaged -- at the bottom of a decorative jar, beneath a cluster of glass jelly beans. We all know that it's not terribly prudent to keep a large cache of money stored underneath a mattress or, for that matter, anywhere else in one's home. I've been too busy even to visit a branch of my bank during business hours, and I felt even more nervous about going out with such a large amount of cash after-hours to deposit it into an ATM. That's what I'm telling myself, anyway, about why it was such a great idea to drop the better part of six thousand dollars on a cello, a decent bow, and a sturdy case.
My brother casually mentioned what I was doing today to my mom in a text. My mother quite predictably went ballistic. Her stated reasons as to why my indulgence was such an abysmal practice centralized upon the premise that what I did was to sublimate my emotions, not actually dealing with them, but rather, engaging in the most unhealthy practice of compulsively dropping a large wad of cash on an impulse purchase. She said it wasn't really about the money.
I shall share my opinion here even if no one desires to hear it because this is my blog and I can say whatever I want as long as it's not libelous. Almost anytime someone gives you the line, "It's not about the money," it really is all about the money. My mother is upset that I spent nearly six grand on a cello and related paraphernalia. If I had gone out and wasted three hundred dollars on high-end cosmetics, she probably would have considered the practice not conducive to mental health, but she wouldn't have given a rat's rectum [shoutout to Knotty] that I had done it.
Before you find yourself too firmly entrenched on her side in this dispute, let me relate just a bit of my mother's retail history. When she was fourteen and a high school junior she purchased a new Trans Am with earnings from a gambling ring that she operated in her high school. She was still almost two years from being able to drive legally when she bought the Trans Am. (I'm not suggesting my mother let the car vegetate in the garage for almost two years. According to her siblings, she drove herself even to eighth grade in a second-hand Mustang she bought years earlier, also with gambling ring earnings. I'm just saying it wasn't legal for her to have driven the car.) One or the other of her parents must have signed for the car, but she would have been the one to fork over all the cash at the age of fourteen. I drive a freaking Honda Civic at the age of twenty. For the record, I consider myself quite fortunate to have the Honda Civic, as not everyone can have Judge Alex, who buys Lexuses for his offspring, as a father. I'm merely mentioning this to give you, the reader, much needed perspective in regard to my family's financial history.
Moving along to my mother's more recent history, she has not one, not two, but three grand pianos in her present home -- one for each floor of the house. The pianos are two Steinways and a Kawai, for the record -- which are not exactly Wurlitzers in the grand scheme of all things piano-related. That doesn't even count the baby grand that is in my room there and was purchased for me by my Godparents. My mother also purchased a 6'4" ebony Boston [a Steinway subsidiary] grand for the condo. My mother's net worth in pianos alone is equal to or greater than the combined wealth of the average two-income family in the U.S. Isn't that just really sweet as well as sensible? Is it normal to be too damned lazy to descend a flight of stairs to play a piano?
I'm not suggesting that my mother has spent money foolishly on a regular basis throughout her marriage. She herself has worked at decent-paying positions for all but a few years of her marriage, and what she spent on pianos probably didn't even touch my father's salary, the magnitude of which I don't know, though I'd have to guess that what he pulls in is substantial. What I am suggesting is that my mother is the proverbial pot calling the proverbial kettle proverbially black by complaining about my recent indulgence. My not-quite-six-thousand dollar purchase pales in comparison to the money she's spent in an arguably frivolous manner.
All sales of used merchandise at the store from which I purchased the cello are final. I've watched enough of courtroom TV shows to know that the only terms under which my purchase could be invalidated would be if the cello, bow, or case had been in some way falsely represented. I did my homework. My cello is the real deal. The cello is here to stay.
My mother needs to learn to look on the bright side. This figurative coin of sorts actually has two bright sides. Side A: I would have spent even more on the cello except that a high-end cello, while it sounds great when played by an experienced and talented cellist, is actually more difficult to play than is a bargain basement cello. I split the difference and went with a mid-level model. Side B: Even if I have a bona fide musical instrument addiction -- which I do not -- it's far cheaper than a drug or gambling habit even without the necessity of paying for related stints in rehab.