December 23rd, 2011


For the love of a concertina

Today was a day of overcoming weakness. Mom called this morning and asked if there was any Christmas shopping we had left to do, and I said no, the only person we haven't gotten a present for is her, and we can't have her bringing us Christmas shopping for herself. ...Okay, that's not true, because we've bought Christmas presents for her under her nose in the past, but this year we had no ideas, and she keeps saying oh don't worry about me. We're not too happy about the situation, but at least we got her some Mickey & Minnie salt and pepper shakers, so it's not a total bust.

Anyway, after I hung up, I realized there was still one person we needed(?) to shop for: me. Technically, Athena has me twice this year. We usually don't think about it when it's our turn to give gifts to each other, because we buy ourselves stuff enough as it is, and besides, we made a bunch of purchases at the beginning of the month...none of which have arrived yet. But since we bought a Blind Box item from RightStuf!, we figured we'd be set with at least one surprise gift. (We tracked it earlier today, and finally saw progress. It was estimated to arrive on Wednesday, and now it's in the state, so we have hope that it will arrive tomorrow. More of concern is the gift we ordered for somebody else.)

Also relevant to this story is the fact that last time we saw the BootStrappers at Disneyland, I realized just how much I love the tin whistle. They just add such a nice touch to all the pirate songs. And Prince Eric plays...something that looks a lot like one! So we determined to get one...eventually. Okay, so we actually determined to get one the very first time we saw the Russian pirate playing one, but now our determination was renewed.

Of course, since I play the piano, we decided Athena would play the tin whistle (plus Athena had history with them--Mom and Aurora bought her one when Aurora went to Washington DC waaaaaay back when we were in fourth grade), but since my dream is to play music in an ensemble, a tin whistle for Athena is still a gift for me. Besides, if we went to the music shop, I could browse through the sheet music.

So we got a few things done, and then I called Mom and said actually, there's somewhere we think we'd like to go after all, but we're not sure. We weren't sure because the music shop makes us a little nervous, since we have social anxiety, and it usually doesn't have a lot of people, so the employees are Watching you. This is actually a good thing, because they're ready! to answer any questions (and they're very good at it), but like I said, it makes us nervous. I was hoping to explain this to Mom, but I had the bad timing of calling when Celeste and Sarah were visiting, so she had other things to think about, and it didn't take very long for them to decide that no, we didn't want to go to the music store after all.

And despite the fact that I wasn't convinced I wanted to go to the music store, I was very unhappy about being shot down so quickly. So we decided to go to the music store ourselves! Through the internet! Da da-da-daaaah!

Of course we could have done this to begin with, but we like the idea of supporting local businesses, and we like shopping in actual stores (something we don't get to do very often), and when we go to the online music store, we don't browse through sheet music.

What we do instead is look at concertinas.

This is super dangerous, because they're so cute! They're almost within our price range! And how are you supposed to sing sea chanties without a concertina!? How!? And it would go so well with our tin whistle!

In the end, our bank account was saved by indecision. There were two concertinas for sale, and they were both super adorable, but one was less expensive by $70 and red, and the other was higher quality and came with a gig bag and available to ship RIGHT NOW!! was $70 more expensive. But it was all cute and wood-looking and available right now and higher quality and right now! But still, $70 is $70, and the red color is really cute...

Eventually we realized that we should probably see if the tin whistle thing works out before organizing our pirate band. If the tin whistle ends up on a shelf collecting dust, maybe it won't be such a good idea to get a concertina.

...But on the other hand, maybe a concertina is just the thing to prevent a tin whistle from lying on a shelf collecting dust.

Never mind. The purchase has been made, and the concertina will wait. In the meantime, we're getting a neat little tin whistle with a Scottish instruction manual (in six different languages! we can learn to play the Scottish tin whistle in Japanese!), and a comprehensive book on the Irish tin whistle (all the tin whistles looked the same, so we're pretty sure the only difference is playing style). And! the whistle has already shipped! Woohoo! (It won't get here in time for Christmas, of course, but that's okay.)

And so we're super excited about that, and after buying stuff, we worked on Christmas present stuff again, and as we all know, doing things to make other people happy makes you happy, so we were feeling much better...until we started dwelling on the negative again. Stop it, stop it, stop it!

Today I'm thankful for tin whistles, the fact that tin whistles are inexpensive (Athena's past experience tells us they bend very easily *sad face* (she didn't bend it herself; she just found it bent one time)), our package from RightStuf! being back on track, daydreams of one day having a concertina, and our order already having shipped! (well, half of it anyway; the other half (we didn't notice until we made the purchase) is on backorder, but that's okay, because mostly we want the whistle, and that's what's coming).