July 14, 2011

The Piano

So... yeah.

I've been busy sewing, crafting, organizing, and baking, but you'd never know it from my posts this week.  "Pics or it didn't happen," and all.  I promise to take some over the weekend and share what I've been working on. 

You'll enjoy this, Readers.  After yesterday's scavenger hunt, I had a scare.  It went something like this:
"So, hunny, did you happen to see today's post?"
"Umm... no.  Sorry.  Haven't been on your blog in a while, actually.  Why?"
"No particular reason."
{his eyes narrow}  "Why?"  (He knows me so well.)
"Well, uhh, I kindof had a contest."
"What kind of contest?"
"A scavenger hunt, of sorts."
"For what?"
"Well.... see, the thing of it is... so, remember how you said... you thought you may possible be ok with me... sortof... putting your name on my blog?"
{pause}.... "No...  I thought I told you I'd prefer to be anonymous."
{another pause}... "Wait... you specifically told me you were ok with me putting your name!"
"No... No, I didn't..."
"You didn't?"  {picture Sarah with very wide eyes and a racing pulse}
"No."  {he studies me}  "You put my name on your blog, didn't you?"
"It was already there... I just suggested that my readers find it." 
{awkward silence, where he didn't speak and I felt a knot in my stomach the size of a bowling ball, realizing that I had over 100 page views yesterday and any number of them found (or at least saw) his name}
"I'm just kidding.  I guess it's ok my name is on there.  Will I be getting fan mail now?"
*Sarah smacks Jayson*

Anyways.  Moving on now...

I don't have any crafts or projects to share, but I thought I'd share a funny story with you.  It's about my piano.  (I realize that the average piano doesn't invoke much humor.  Aside from Gary Larson, not many people have used pianos in jokes or cartoons.  They're kindof... well... I mean, they're ordinary.  Beautiful, elegant and classic, of course, but ordinary.  Half the homes in America have them.)

My piano isn't much different - ordinary.  In fact, the poor thing was kindof an outcast.  It's been passed around (for free!) from person to person for about 15-20 years.  My mother-in-law got it from someone who got it from someone else who only took it to salvage it from the scrap yard, etc, etc.  She decided she didn't have the space for it, and me, newly married and trying to (naively) fill a large house, was only too happy to suggest that Jayson and three of his strong friends cart the monstrous thing to my living room (which was completely gutted at the time, by the way.)   At least I gave them all iced tea.

Do I play?  No.  I think I played for about four weeks when I was ten or eleven.  Does Jayson?  Nope.  So... why do we need a piano?  Precisely.  It took me almost a year to finally come to terms with the rhetorical question, "A piano??  What was I thinking??" 

And how exactly does one get rid of an old, beaten up, outcast piano?  One offers it to friends and families, of course (perhaps, if you're lucky, a naive young bride will take it!)  The poor thing is in rough cosmetic shape.  Although it has ivory keys, a couple of them are broken, and one of the pedals is stuck.  The top of the piano was replaced at some point with a warped board.  It sounds very sickly, as it's been 20+ years since it was tuned.  So, the point is, one look at my miserable little thing, and friends and family politely declined.  I don't really blame them; it's not like I found it desirable at the time.

So one turns to Craigslist.  I advertised it as a beaten-up, antique piano for $100.  I had a couple of people ask for pictures, but they didn't even bother writing a 'no, thank you' after they had a look.  *sigh*

One evening, we were sitting in the partially-finished living room, talking about something (paint, furniture, whatever) and suddenly I blurted out, "I hate that thing!  I want it GONE!"  I didn't really hate it, I just decided I needed the space, and it was a useless piece of furniture since we never used it.  That, and I was impatient because I couldn't find a sucker to take it off my hands.

Jayson asked the most obvious question, "Well, what if our kids play the piano?"  I explained that it was in such rough shape that I'd rather get them a nicer piano, anyways, if we did happen to have a musical child.  Ever the level-headed, practical person, he asked me if I'd looked inside to see who the manufacturer was.  Ever his opposite, I had not.

So, we opened it up.  Wouldn't you know - 'The Regent Piano - Philadelphia', Built 1909.   Whoa.

So I did a little google research.  I found the Antique Piano Shop and scrolled down to the section about my piano.  Here is what they had to say about it: 

Upright Piano, Circa 1920
"By this time makers had streamlined operations and the piano had evolved into a perfect machine. The upright piano had evolved into a very simple basic design, becoming more utilitarian in appearance than ever before. With the exception of period furniture styles like Louis XV and French Provincial, Upright Piano, Circa 1920 most upright pianos were without ornamentation or frills. Instead, plain square pillars and streamlined moldings resulted in a very "modern" looking upright piano which was considered "uncluttered" and "beautifully simplistic". These simple looking upright pianos were generally of excellent quality, and were some of the finest pianos built in history."

Uhh, SHOCKER!!  This poor little piano that I was willing to GIVE away was one of 'the finest pianos built in history'!!  I went to the showroom on the website, out of curiosity.  At that time, they had a piano that looked identical to mine, fully restored, on sale for...

.... are you sitting?...

... $20,000!  Yes, that's a two-zero-zero-zero-zero.  Twenty thousand dollars.

I immediately messaged everyone I knew that the piano was no longer available. 

So, it's still sitting in our (now-finished) living room, waiting for us to get around to selling it to a restoration company.  But every time I look at it, I mentally apologize for my previously thinking that it was a useless waste of space.  As a penance, I regularly polish the wood so that it looks rich and lovely, even if it does still sound horrific. 

We also tell this story to everyone who sits in our living room.  :) 

~ Sarah

PS - Anyone want to buy an antique sewing maching??  ; )

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