Guitars and other shoppingAll right, I realize it's been eons since I've posted anything to my blog...Fortunately it appears like there aren't any social services repercussions for neglecting one's journal to the world! My wonderful husband, Ethan, and I traveled from northeastern PA to my mother's house in New Jersey this past Friday (I love my mother very much but hate going back to Hackensack, too many people, too many cars, too much rudeness). We were thrilled to enjoy the return of air conditioning to our car after a multi-year hiatus (thank you, Rymer Heating and Cooling of Wilkes-Barre, PA) and since Ethan's birthday was coming up, we thought we'd go to Rondo (a music store) in Union, NJ to ask about exchanging his Les Paul knock-off guitar he bought from them over the internet for another guitar without the small flaw Ethan found on his model.
Anyone who has a partner interested in music (when they themselves know nothing other than an appreciation of their loved one's ability) realizes that a well of patience is often drawn upon for these music store visits. Rondo's selection was extensive (although Ethan was only looking at the Agile guitars) and I settled down to my usual spot perched on an amplifier with its handle making a permanent imprint in my bottom. (An aside: I think that music stores, particularly those who cater to a male clientele, would be served well by having a little seating area for the friends and family of interested shoppers as it would allow the shoppers to spend more time looking and probably making the f&f more comfortable allowing wallets to open wider.) He looked at several really beautiful guitars, but my favorite was a model that was one step up from the guitar he was exchanging. It had the same pretty gold top, but the abalone figuring in the frets was much more pronounced and the mahogany neck and back had a gorgeous color. Ethan seemed to really like it, but it was more than the one he was returning, so he got very concerned. (Ethan is incredibly cheap with himself, although generous with anything I want, god love him.) It took some doing, but I convinced him that with his birthday just two weeks away, I saw no problem with trading up and getting him such a lovely guitar that he will play all the time.
Of course, the love for his guitar and the happiness I take in him enjoying it, has always been tempered (guitars are getting to be a regular purchase for our family on big birthdays) by my having to hear about how great the guitar is for days and days afterward. Please keep in mind that I'm very happy that he's happy, but I begin to get a buzzing in my ears akin to a shorted out amplifier after a while! We took some pictures of the guitar to post on Harmony Central and Ethan did his post about how great the experience was with all kinds of details (the free gig bag and free hat was a highlight). I discovered that to post information without a pictures on the site was considered "cowbelling" since everyone obviously wants to see photos to judge for themselves how great your guitar really is. Fascinating.
We finally went to my Mom's house and met her high school best friend, Sharon, who was wonderful and then headed out to Nordstroms to see if there was anything left at the tail end of their semi-annual sale for us. Ethan did really well, with three beautiful pair of dress shoes and three pair of slacks in his new slim waistline size. I didn't have as much luck in the shoe department with my wide, duck feet, coming away with only a single pair of Franco Sarto shoes, but I got lots of tights for the fall, a ridiculously expensive but stunning cashmere sweater that my mother insisted on getting me (she's wonderful!), and a really neat skirt by Spanx which is this amazing apparel company that makes the most comfortable shaping fabric in the world that makes everyone seem way slimmer and tighter! It is so much more comfortable than control top pantyhose (which I hate) so I'm pretty psyched. The only thing I felt badly about was the fact that I had really wanted to get some dress boots for all my long skirts for the fall, but when I came home I hopped online and discovered the fabulous online shoe store, Zappos, with tons of wide sizes. Since I also have a thicker ankle and boots appeared to be made for women with emaciated calves, the customer feedback on the various types of boots (along with actual dimensions for the other areas of the boots) was incredibly helpful and hopefully I'll get them this week and will have made a good choice.