Bigger Britches

I got too big for my britches, I think that’s what happened. I learned a fiddle song and I was like, I am ready to take on the world!

I recently doubled my classical violin lessons, and added two more fiddle lessons per week, quadrupling my former lesson time.

And also quadrupling my practice time.

“How’s violin going?” the neighbor asked yesterday.

We had gone over to their house to sign as witnesses on some healthcare forms that I tried not to think too hard about. They are the ages of our parents, after all.

“I’m in over my head,” I said.

I told them about how I started fiddle lessons along with my other lessons and how I have SO MUCH to practice but I learned “Shortening Bread” and some other song about cabbages so far.

“Bile ’em Cabbages Down?” Jim asked and I couldn’t believe he knew it.

Jim plays guitar, “rock-a-billy”, he calls it and OF COURSE he knows the fiddle songs.

I’m about to put a bluegrass band together over here.

“Anyway I cannot sustain this pace but I’m going to learn all I can in the next couple of months and then change my schedule before summer.”

Famous last words. I spent three hours practicing today. Admittedly, some of that time was spent learning “I’ll Fly Away” because I love it, not because someone assigned it to me, but that was still a heap of required practicing.

Also, I’m cheating on my original instructor. I haven’t told her I am taking another set of lessons because I already know how she feels about veering from the lesson plan. I really like her and I learn so much every week but also I want to learn to fiddle, which I told her, in my very first lesson.

My fiddle instructor knows about the other set of lessons.

Fiddle Instructor put a new chin rest on my violin, she happened to have one, the kind Violin Instructor said I should have.

I’ve needed it for a while and have had some trouble with the music store in getting it, so Violin Instructor has given me the names of some better places to go for it.

She will surely ask me where I got it.

Fiddle Instructor and I agreed on a designated fake store.

Oh what a tangled web we weave and all that.

When I am with Fiddle Instructor I can say things like “Violin Instructor said…blah blah”. When I am with Violin Instructor I have to try NOT to slip up and mention Fiddle Instructor.

It all feels very Linda Ronstadt “Dark End of the Street”-ish.

“Why didn’t you ask Jim if he would sell you his violin?” J asked when we came back home from the neighbors.

“Because it’s a family heirloom.”

“I would have at least asked how much he wanted for it,” he said.

J has already bought one guitar from him and carried two guitar books home with him this time that Jim had set aside for him.

Instead I had said to Jim, “You never learned to play it?” when he told me about his dad’s fiddle, and how he had the silver and ivory restored.

“There’s no frets!” he said and we all laughed.

Jim and Diane wish their daughter had married my husband. I’m not even making that up, Diane told me so one time by the mailbox when she was telling me about her daughter and her daughter’s bad relationship.

“We used to say ‘ there’s always J’,” she said, “but ever since we’ve known J, there’s always been a you.”

I try not to take it personal, because who wouldn’t want their daughter to marry J, he’s a dreamboat.

And he might be my ticket to that fiddle.

If I survive the lessons, that is.

I need bigger britches.

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