by Julie S. Dobbins
As a musician, my husband is not normal. At least, he's not what people normally expect. People expect an unkempt appearance. My husband is very clean cut, even to the point of often being mistaken for a preacher.
People expect a musician to be irresponsible. My husband is very responsible. He is so responsible that he has been known to take responsibility for things that he's not even responsible for.
People expect a musician to play in bars all night and sleep all day. My husband is in bed by 10 pm, up by 7 am, and has never played in a bar (unless you count the salad bar at our brother-in-law's restaurant, and boy was he angry!).
People expect a musician to be temperamental or, rather, to have an "artistic temperament". Well, there they may have something.
Whenever we travel, it is expected that I will drive. My husband is a good driver, so far as I can remember. It's just that he has more. . . interesting things to do: proof read music, read an instruction manual, or point out pot holes.
Also, inspiration can come at unusual times. For instance, I was awakened by my husband (once) at 2 am. He had just recorded a new song and he wanted me to hear it - right then. Fortunately (for me) we went through the kitchen to get to the studio, so I grabbed the rolling pin - I like to be prepared. Fortunately (for him), I didn't need it because it was truly a great song.
The only other "temperamentality" he has is about his hands or, more specifically, his fingernails. Since he's a fingerstyle guitarist, his nails are his tools. Special vitamins, 600 grit sandpaper, and avoiding any activity that could break a fingernail are all just part of the everyday routine at our house. If there's a chance he could damage a fingernail, I get the job: opening Coke cans, washing dishes by hand, taking out the garbage. . . you know, I've never really figured out the risk in taking out the garbage.
Even with all its peculiarities, I wouldn't want my husband to change professions. There is a certain charm to every room being decorated with a piece of musical equipment, or regularly finding thumb picks in the dryer. Whenever I am missing a piece of my hosiery, I know just where to look: it's being used as a microphone screen in his studio. Also, I like the fact that my family never has figured out just what it is that my husband does for a living. Besides, if he ever makes me angry (which he rarely ever does), I have one very effective plan of action: I can threaten to break one of his fingernails.
Copyright © 2005 by Julie S. Dobbins