Thursday, June 17, 2010

That's The Best Excuse Yet

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Growing up, my mom wanted my sister and I to play an instrument. She had played the piano to the point of also playing the organ in her local church (that's really good; an organ requires something like six hands and four feet to play).

Fortunately, she didn't start on this kick until I was in elementary school and could sort of show an opinion. Sort of.

So when fourth grade rolled around, which was our first opportunity to play in the band, I decided I was ready to go for it. My mom encouraged me to sign up for the band and to choose an instrument. I debated the trumpet and other instruments. Finally, I decided on the drums.

After all - with the drums, you don't actually have to read music, just bang on them. All was well with the world. Until I actually got my drum set. I think it weighed more than I did. And remember, I was in the fourth grade at the time. I also realized shortly thereafter that while I didn't have to read the notes, I still had to hit the drum in a certain fashion at the exact right time. And that certain fashion got more and more complex.

Fine motor skills? Apparently not always my strong suit. You don't want to see me dance, either.

Fortunately, the band was only a six month commitment, and my mom happily let me return the drums at that point.

But she still wasn't satisfied. She wanted me to learn to play music, just like she did. And having given up on my choice of instrument, I now started taking piano lessons.

Go fig. Reading music isn't actually all that hard. I enjoyed it and breezed through the first couple piano books. Then it got harder, and I had to buckle down and practice. After two plus years, I played ok but I was never going to be great at it. In my mind, I'd sort of learned all I wanted to.

Fortunately, my piano teacher was multi-talented. While my sister continued her piano lessons, I got to start taking flute lessons. Ahh the beautiful flute.

Ummm ewwww. The spit filled flute. Have I mentioned that I don't exactly do puke? Well, spit is also kind of right up there for me. It's giving me the shivers just thinking about cleaning out the inside of a used flute. With the same little rag over and over again.

Needless to say, I realized fairly early on that the flute was just not meant for me. But not liking the spit wasn't something my mom was willing to accept as a reason to quit.


Again, the more I played, the more complex the music got, and the more fingers I had to use on the keys - at the same time. And there, there came the problem.

Yep, freaky-deaky me is double jointed. In both hands. In all fingers. Especially my pinkies. In fact, after having just taken that picture, my pinky - having remembered now what it's like to be in that double jointed position - keeps wanting to go back there and get stuck.

Picture playing the flue. Picture holding your fingers out nearly straight but bent at the tip in anticipation of playing a note. Now picture being double jointed and being unable to complete the bend of a finger to play said note because said finger is locked into a double jointed position.

Yeah... I lasted at the flute for less than six months. My mom relented when she saw that I was unable to play some fairly important notes after the first few minutes of practice. Fortunately, I was a generally good kid, so my mom trusted me when I said I wasn't faking it (I truly wasn't).

Bet you never heard that excuse before, huh?


Melisa with one S June 17, 2010 at 8:47 PM  

That is hilarious. Although I am not double-jointed like you are, you won't be surprised to know that when I was a kid I TOTALLY wanted to play drums.

I never got to play, but now that I have read about your "success" with them, I feel confident knowing that, because we're twinsies, it was no big loss. ;)

(To me OR the world. haha)

Unknown Mami June 17, 2010 at 9:00 PM  

My fingers do that too! I used to tell my brother scary stories at night and use my hands to scare him.

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet June 18, 2010 at 11:34 AM  

Oh, no! LOL! I've never heard of someone having that issue. Does that mean you can play doubly well? :D

Have a great weekend, Michelle!

Alicia aka MyBusyMind June 18, 2010 at 12:17 PM  

OK I scrolled down the post before I started reading and saw your fingers and said SHE PLAYED THE FLUTE! I played the flute also and I can do that with my fingers also. I loved playing but that thing does fill with spit. And those kids that didn't clean them right after playing. GROSS! Coming over from Mama Kats

septembermom June 18, 2010 at 7:58 PM  

So another talent of yours...

Karen June 19, 2010 at 8:44 AM  

Not many have a valid excuse like that! So did you choose another instrument, or did your mom stop there?

Michelle June 20, 2010 at 11:01 PM  

Melisa - Yeah, hate to break it to you, but it was definitely not a loss. Congrats on being smarter than me (or having smarter parents) ;)

Unknown Mami - Oh I so should have done that. Sadly, it never dawned on me that I could scare people with them. Hmm, maybe the wee ones?

Sherry - Mmmm doubly well or maybe doubly horrifically. I'm not sure which!

Alicia - How did you ever figure out how to play for longer periods without your pinky getting locked into place? The rest of my fingers were fine, but that one... oh it was horrible!

Kelly - Ummm yeah. Another hidden talent :)

Karen - Nope, I think my mom realized it was hopeless to try to cultural-ify me at that point. Or it just got too expensive to get new instruments!

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