I’ve been a guitar nut for over 35 years, and I’ve been married to one woman for 28 of those. That makes me an expert at one thing: negotiating the acquisition of new gear. I love my wife more than anything, but let’s face it: even the best marriages sometimes involve hostile negotiations and delicate manipulations.
In the spirit of keeping love alive, here are my top ten marriage-saving tips for introducing a new guitar into your home…without lying about it.
10. Claim that the new guitar laying around the house is your friend’s, and you’re just borrowing it. Admittedly, this is kind of bush league. (Oh wait…it’s also a lie. I’m off to a bad start.)
9. Secret off-shore bank accounts. (I guess this is also kind of lying. This is harder than I thought.)
8: Give her a coupon for unlimited free back-rubs the day before you bring home the new axe. Yes, I know: it’s a tired, old cliché. The difference here is the small print you include on the back: “By accepting this coupon, bearer agrees to surrender all rights of protest to the acquisition of new musical gear. Back-rubs subject to availability.” (No lying here…it was a legal contract, and she should have read it.)
7. Fill your house with so many guitars that she won’t even notice a new one. (You don’t have to lie about it if it never even comes up, right?)
6. Buy a new guitar. Promise to sell one of your old ones to pay for it, if the new one turns out to be “a keeper”. Take 10 years to evaluate it. (Not technically a lie. You’re just trying to make an informed decision, and that’s a good thing, right?)
5. Ask her to pick the color of your new guitar, so that it can remind you of her of you every time you play it. (Manipulation isn’t lying…right?) This tactic is risky. It’s akin to Tom Cruise accusing Jack Nicholson of ordering the Code Red at the end of A Few Good Men. However, with the right timing and a little bit of luck you may be able to get her on board and actively participating!
Beware: the risks of losing this gambit are about the same as they were for Tom Cruise. If you sense things starting to go wrong, back-pedal like a madman, and ask her to talk about her feelings and stuff. May the Force be with you.
4. Give your new guitar to her as a gift. This makes it impossible for her to say no without looking like an ungrateful jerk. Make sure you get one you like, because in six months it will be yours! On the off-chance that she actually learns to play it…well…you can still borrow it. Plus, you’ll have a guitar-playing wife, which is totally hot.
3. Make all the guitars you own exactly identical. All 72 of them! Or was it 73? Gosh, honey…it’s so hard to keep track.
2. Buy a new house. Tacking $1,000 on to the purchase of a $300,000 house barely hurts at all. In fact, it feels kind of great…like a reward for making such a bold life decision. While you’re at it, throw another $1k into the budget so she can get something nice for herself too. It’s a win/win/win, and it costs practically nothing!!
1. Replace the neck on a guitar you already own. Save the old one. Then replace the tuners. Save the old ones. Then replace the pickups. Save the old ones. Bridge. Save the old one. Pickguard. Save the old one. Continue in the fashion until you have enough spare parts lying around the build a whole new guitar….which is really your old guitar.
This is the guitar version of Theseus’s Paradox, which posits the question “how many parts of a wooden ship can be replaced before it is no longer the same ship?” So…how much of your guitar must be replaced before you actually own a new guitar? Fifty percent? Fifty-one percent?
However, this exercise bends the thought-experiment ever further, because at the end of the process, the original guitar still exists. So…did it ever stop existing? Or did it always exist, just in an altered state of being? And if the old guitar always existed, where did the new one come from, when you never actually bought a new guitar?
That should keep her busy for a while.
Got any other ideas? Please…share. True love depends on it!