Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Aging of Humor

We're a musical kind of family. Not like the Partridge's or anything, but we each have our instruments and music that we love. Although I would love to put my husband and kids in double-knit polyester leisure suits and take them on tour, it would have more to do with my morbid sense of humor than love of musical performance.

At any rate, because of our dabbling, we have acquired a rather interesting stock of instruments. We have the standard piano and guitars - acoustic and electric, the requisite clarinet for the discriminating high school girl, a haphazard drum kit, trumpet, not just one but two trombones and baritone. We also have an assortment of percussion instruments from terribly exotic places such as Africa and pre-school. We also have a lonely fiddle. Violin. Whatever.

The sad fiddle is mine. It was a Christmas gift from my poor, misguided husband. It's not his fault. I really wanted a fiddle. I really wanted to be able to play the fiddle. However, I have fallen into the unenviable position of not being able to "have one's fiddle and play it too". Like the cake thing.

So this morning, I am driving my musical daughter to catch a bus that will take her to her final practice, and then concert, for county band. We're tooling along listening to public radio (because of my burning hatred for all things commercial), enjoying the temporary sun in a cloudless sky, the mellow voice of whoever - whomever? - stroking our frazzled brains with tales of cultural events. And then, "Now we'll hear Johann Sebastian Bach's Air on the G String."

My daughter and I both chuckle. I turn to her with the intention of saying "That's what they would call it if I played it - Err on the G String" but, before I can put our shared joke into words, she gives me the Groucho eyebrows and says "Air on the G-string. That's gross."

And that's the difference 20 years makes.

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