Today, near the end of rehearsal, my director casually turned to me and told me she'd given me sheet music for a piece she would like me to play on either flute or piccolo for the show. This was an entirely fair request, given that my resume lists both flute and piccolo as instruments I play. Neither, however, is an instrument I actually own, or ever have.
From seventh grade through high school, I played a flute my dad borrowed without telling me. I found out a few weeks before graduation that I had to return it and it was a long time before I got over the heartbreak. The piccolo was an instrument that I always borrowed from the school, depending on whether I was actually playing that semester.
So I did what any sane, reasonable person would do. I let her know that I don't own a flute and we put out some feelers to see who I could borrow one from.
Oh, please, when have you ever known me to be sane and reasonable?
I had poor Mr. 5ft call music stores asking if they sold flutes. That led to them asking him technical questions he wasn't prepared to answer. Then I came home and checked Craigslist and responded to a bunch of ads from people whose kids had played for a year and then given up, so now here it is, May, and they'd like to get rid of the instrument and get a little cash back. No responses from those, so I looked for local stores where I could just breeze in and pick one up today for hopefully not a huge sum of money. I ended up calling AZ Music, where the nice man on the phone, after chuckling at my predicament, offered to rent me a flute for $50 until the end of June.
Which would have been fine, except that Mr. 5ft had reservations about dealing with my emotional trauma if I had to give back a flute after a month and started having flashbacks of senior year. So on the drive up we decided if the price was right, I'd better just buy one and have done with the whole mess. And also that I might want to take piccolo and harp off my resume (yes, I had one semester of lessons, but seeing "harp" on my resume probably makes people think I'm proficient, not that I have completely mastered Twinkle Twinkle Little Star).
The guy at the store (not the one I talked to on the phone) agreed with us that I might as well buy one and if I changed my mind, I could just sell it back there, or pretty much anywhere else. He brought out a used flute and offered us a private practice room so I wouldn't have to embarass myself by trying it out in the open. And what do you know, I still can play after a decade and a half. I did a Bb scale and then that piece I learned for senior year for City/District/Region tryouts whose name I don't remember. And realized that Mr. 5ft has never actually heard me PLAY the flute in all the years he's known me and was just taking my word for it that I know how. He claims to have been impressed at about a 7.5 on a 1-10 scale (which I think he's downplaying so I don't get a swelled ego).
We got a very decent 25% off the ticketed price, which was already marked down after the post-end-of-semester run on used flutes--it was the last one they had left in stock except for the brand-new $900 models and the ones available for rental.
And now I have some practicing to do.