And the Band Played On by Deb Mia

Fourth grade. Houston, Texas. E.O. Lovett Elementary School. There were two boys – Jonathan B. and Keith G. who were competing for my affections.

Okay, maybe they weren’t competing exactly, seeing how they pretty much acted as if I didn’t exist (Boys! They’re so coy!), but I certainly thought about them enough to work myself into a frenzy. I could barely walk to the back of the room to sharpen my pencil, I was so nervous.

I finally figured out that they weren’t going to approach me first. I mean, they knew who I was and we made classroom small talk (”Do you have an extra eraser? Are you going to do the spelling bee? Did you bring your lunch?”), but at this rate I’d be 30 before I got married (31, as it turned out). So one afternoon, I heard Keith say that he had band practice. Apparently he played the trumpet. Knowing that I had to choose, I abandoned my efforts to get Jonathan’s attentions and decided to concentrate my efforts on Keith. First on the list? Join the band.

Turns out you need to play an instrument to join the band. So I made a five-second decision and chose what I thought would be an easy instrument to play. The flute. Yes, I was going to play the flute. I loved the flute! And I couldn’t wait to play flute in the band! With Keith!

Long story short: I hated band. And I hated the flute, which we ended up buying because my parents were so excited that I wanted to play an instrument (I played the piano, too, but I constantly complained about it so they were thrilled I had “chosen” to play the flute – ugh!). They made me take lessons. I was terrible. And did you know you have to clean the flute after you play it? Sure, it makes sense when you think about it, but it hadn’t crossed my fourth-grade mind. Not only that, but it turned out that the flute and the trumpet don’t sit next to each other. Nope. There’s a flute section and a trumpet section. And — are you ready for this? — Keith’s family moved a month later, and I was stuck in band for the rest of the year. Doh!

Tell me I’m not alone. What crazy things have you done in the name of love?

12 Replies to “And the Band Played On by Deb Mia”

  1. I almost tranferred colleges…but there was a waitlist and I didn’t make the cut (or did, because they cut me off). And as Katie said, “that worked out for the best!”

  2. I have engaged in sporty activities like volleyball where I am constantly the one who is pelted in the face with the ball as I have zero athletic coordination. I like to be active- but it is best done with people giving me a lot of space.

  3. Doh is right! Poor Mia!

    Ah, for love, I’ve pretended to have an accent, pretended my name was Claudia, sat around in freezing cold barns, kept my usually filthy car spotless, and pretended I didn’t know how to do a pitch-perfect imitation of crying monkey. And once, when my friend and I liked the same guy, I told him she was really a man.

    Even more interesting might be what we’ve done to scare away love.

  4. Oh Mia, I hated the flute, too! And I really sucked at it! I spent two dreadful years struggling with it before I was allowed to give up (then they put me in chorus which I was equally horrible at, but at least I didn’t have clean the stupid flute!).

    As far as crazy things I’ve done for love… the list seems endless — cross country moves, stupid haircuts, writing pathetic love poems then reading them in public. Ah, love…

  5. Oh, Eileen! We’re Volleyball-Face Twins! I don’t do well with things requiring nets for some reason.

    Let’s see, the worst thing I’ve ever done for love was to act much dumber than I actually was (um, am). Nearly forgot I knew how to read. I was so determined that I’d never dumb myself down again that I was all prepared to be single for a very long time…and then I met my husband. Who likes me smart. 🙂 Ahhh, love!

  6. Oh man, did this post bring back long-buried recorder memories (isn’t the flute kind of the grad school version of the recorder? I wouldn’t know because I gave it up long before I could have found out something like that). As for what I did for love (a great Chorus Line song, by the way), well, I quit my job and moved to LA for a guy I’d met twice. Ten years later, it’s very much my hometown. The guy? Um, let’s just say that twice wasn’t enough to make an informed decision…

  7. OK, I am going to say that women probably do more dumb things for men (and at their own expense) then men do for women. Of course I can’t prove this stastically other than looking at my own life. but I feel fairly confident that I’m not too far off the mark. Maybe it’s an estrogen thing? …

    And yes, with Keith gone I could now turn my attentions back to Jonathan. Sigh. I worked that boy for a year – nada. I even found a poem by Wililam Wise (“After the Party”) that had his ENTIRE name in it, first AND last, and he wasn’t impressed. Or he didn’t get it. But, as Katie said, it worked out for the best (it usually does, doesn’t it?)
    And, lest we forget, I scored my first kiss from Jason Harris, and also came in second place at the school spelling be (I spelled “through” as “threw” – I thought I knew it all and rattled it off before hearing the explanation – story of my life), so fourth grade wasn’t a total loss!

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