Tammy adroitly supports all things guitar to avoid such unpleasant scenes. And I counter by taking modest purchases and practicing at optimal times so we can have plenty of uninterrupted, quality-time.
Flattery: Mother’s Milk
She says that she likes hearing me play during the day which I doubt, especially from 9:30-10:30, since she is exposed to scales, arpeggios and the incessant repetition of difficult passages from one of my creepy compositions. But why not take it prime facie? She even goes as far as complimenting these sinister, reaper-friendly elegies, but again, I must assume her sincerity. I must Assume Love.
File, Sand, Buff, Repeat.
What perhaps is a point of contention is my nails. You see, I am not just any guitarist. I am a classical guitarist, which means I play an acoustic, nylon-string guitar which I use my nails to pluck rather than a plectrum, or as it is more commonly known as a pick. But how declasse to say pick. Of course there are a multitude of other boring details that classify me as a classical guitarist of which I’ll spare the reader. Now, these nails need love and attention, greater love and attention than any socialite or soccer mom. Why, because shaped correctly and with great care they, along with excellent technique, can produce the warmest, roundest, dark, rich and delicious timbre. Really, without this, what’s the point of playing at all?
My finger nails have not been clipped since 1987. How am I not in the Guinness Book of World Records or on Ripley’s Believe It or Not? Nail files and fine-grade sand paper, that’s how. So occasional issues arise when I care for my nails at inopportune times such as at a restaurant (under the table, of course), on the way to work in the car (as the passenger, of course), or in the checkout line at the grocery store (while everyone else is ogling the swimsuit models on the various magazine covers, of course.)
Putting the Show on the Road
One of my favorite stories about us has to do with my precious nails. We were moving from NY to Houston the summer of 1998. I was driving a the Ryder truck with nearly all our belongings, including our second car, in tow. Tammy led the way in our other car. Well it happened that it was a lengthy drive and the radio stations were simply under-cultured for most of the trip. Naturally, I used the time to file and sand my neglected nails, likely somewhere on Interstate 78 or 59.
Soon, the walkie-talkie (another post altogether, readers) crackles with Tammy’s voice who inquires whether she can believe what she sees. Surely it cannot be the case that her husband is filing his nails atop the steering wheel while careening down the highway in a Ryder truck with all our belongings. Are you filing your nails?, came the admonishment. Away the file went, but not without a little pouting and justification.