Today we bought our oldest a flute and I started having flashbacks.
About 800 years ago (plus or minus a few years), when I was starting junior high school in Hayden, Colorado (or maybe it was before that when my helicopter was taking rocket fire from the knights in the Third Crusade; it all runs together) I remember being taken to a large room where some guy tried to sell us musical instruments. Although I expressed a brief interest in the saxophone, I ended up with a trumpet.
All I remember about that was the trumpet was made by F. E. Olds, who pretty much closed up shop right after my parents brought the trumpet. I also have the number $250 stuck in my head ($815 now) and that may have been the price of the thing. I played all through junior high and high school and then finally gave up the trumpet.
After delaying almost two years, and with the promise that she’ll keep using it in high school (long story involving getting recommendations is involved there) we finally decided it was time to retire the old school flute and buy her a flute of her own.
First, She Who Must Be Obeyed and I had a consult on our acceptable price range and SWMBO surprised me with number much higher than I expected her to say. After treating me with an AED we went to a local shop and began choosing flutes. This involved our oldest practicing with different flutes (and actually impressing the sales lady).
Although our oldest knew what the approximate price range was–for the record, it was not my idea to tell her–or perhaps because she knew it, she managed to play the more expensive flutes better than the cheaper flutes. I was ready to do a blind test to see if she was just messing with us, but I know from experience a better made instrument sounds better than a cheap instrument.
In the end, she’d narrowed her choice down to the Damned Expensive One and the Freaking Expensive One (not actual brand names), and seemed to be favoring the Damned Expensive One. However, She Who Must Be Obeyed kept saying to get the Freaking Expensive One and I kept looking for an AED to use on her in lieu of professional shock therapy.
In the end, our oldest chose the Freaking Expensive One and has agreed, although she doesn’t know it yet, to wash dishes for 20 years (or until she’s 20, something like that). All we, the parents, got was a bottle of cheap Bordeaux.
Yes, that’s right, the store gave us a bottle of wine after the purchase to help us ease the pain.