Dear Veronica, I don't know if you actually read my blog because we're those kind of friends who actually don't read each other's blogs, but in case you're reading this - this one's for you.
Once upon a time I was a senior in high school. If you'd like to get a mental picture of me being a senior in high school just remember: it was the era of ultra baggy jeans. And also my hair was really curly back then. And also I hardly ever got zits (which makes no sense because I get them all the time now).
Alright, moving on.
For Thanksgiving that year my family went to my aunt's cabin in California. We played a lot of Phase 10, which I hated, because I always lose when playing Phase 10. But I guess that's ok, because while I was there I received the coolest musical instrument EVER: an accordian.
My uncle lent me his old accordion (I say "lent" but really I've never returned it) because he knew that I was in an AP music class and also because I kind of kicked butt at playing the piano back then (even though you wouldn't be able to tell if you heard me play now) and he was excited at the prospect of his beloved accordion being played once again.
The accordion is really heavy and also it is ivory and gold, ie. MAJORLY POSH. (Sometimes I still pull it out to entertain the kids, or when my friends want me to serenade them on road trips.)
So, I learned how to play my new accordion. Except that I was sort of busy back then (I actually had a social life - I KNOW, you didn't even think it was possible because of the severe lack in social life I've had for the past 10 years), and also I've always been a big fan of "only learn what you HAVE to know" so I mostly could only play stuff like Jingle Bells and the Jurassic Park theme song.
But that didn't stop me from showing off.
For Christmas, I volunteered to accompany my friends while they sang religious carols. Away in a Manger has never sounded more spiritual than it did on my ivory and gold accordion. (I think I also wore my plaid pants that day - I have vivid memories of those plaid pants because they were tight, so basically they were my only pants that didn't fall off due to overly baggishness, and also my butt looked really good in them.)
Also, my accordion came in really handy in my AP music class. Because everyone else in the class was way smarter than me, and could play multiple instruments with precision and ease. So when we had assignments to create our own original compositions, I would always feel like a tremendous loser because I could only play the piano, and sometimes the kazoo.
BUT THEN I got the accordion.
So for the next assignment, while all of my musically talented friends were composing elaborate pieces on their violins and harps, I wrote a song for my accordion. And on the day that we performed, I played with vigor and passion - - on that day I gave life to that accordion.
Ok, not really. But I did actually compose the song, and I did actually perform it for my entire AP music genius class. And it even though it was pretty lame, it was immensely rewarding. Because on that day, I made my AP music teacher smile AND chuckle.
I'm pretty sure my AP music teacher hated all high school kids. He was the teacher that was rarely seen in the halls, and when he did venture out of his classroom everyone would flatten against the walls to clear a path for him and his "I hate all teenagers" scowl. And you never wanted to disrespect him or get in trouble in class, because he probably could shoot death rays from his eye sockets.
I guess he wasn't always like that though. Because my mom was in his elite choir group when she was in high school and he was all young and fresh, and she said that he was "a lot of fun". But then he got older and life had dealt him a whole lot of crap. And really, even in the midst of his scowling, he was a pretty amazing guy (there was an article about him and trials he had gone through with his family in the Ensign once, because he's that amazing). Plus if I had spent over 20 years teaching high school kids I'm pretty sure I'd get pretty scowly too.
BUT ON THAT DAY - the day I performed my non-award winning accordion piece - I MADE HIM SMILE. And then he chuckled. And then I passed the class and the big AP music test that gave me college credit.
So basically, my accordion is awesome.