Guitars and Panties

November 28, 2011 § 15 Comments

My husband and I were talking one night while folding clothes on the floor of our bedroom. SEXY stuff us married folk do. With Christmas approaching, we always want to make sure our kids don’t get too much. We have way too many toys already.The conversation eventually turned to what we wanted and needed.

“An electric guitar,” I heard myself say and eyed my panty pile. It was rather pathetic looking. “And panties. I need panties. I have exactly four pairs.”

Don’t look at me like that from the other side of the computer, judging me. We wash often. Like…every other day.

“Guitars and panties?” he said. “This sounds like a blog post you should write.” (and so you see I am)

We already own an acoustic guitar and I have a mediocre ability playing it. I’ve always wanted an electric one, but couldn’t justify paying for it when I hardly play the one we do have. Since we moved, I’ve played it more. Maybe if I had a sexy electric one in front of me, I’d want to play even more.

A few days later, I called my brother Kevin* up (for he is an excellent guitar player, owning an electric guitar, a bass, two acoustic ones, and a stand up bass he’s affectionately named “Ms. Otis”), and asked to borrow one of his for a while, just to feel things out. Then he and I could go shopping (because he is so knowledgable – a walking 6’4″ Google for guitars) after Christmas for mine.

He agreed and showed up Thanksgiving Day with this.

I’d never seen it before.”Where’d you get this?” I asked.

“It belongs to Amelia* (his wife). She never plays it and its been in our attic forever.”

I turned to Amelia. “I didn’t even know you had an electric guitar.”

She nodded. “I don’t think I’ve ever played it. Ollie Green* gave it to me in the 10th grade and my father didn’t like it. He thought the stickers Ollie put on there were too suggestive or provocative. So I told him I’d take the stickers off and would keep it.”

She pointed to an area of the guitar where she tried to remove the stickers a little too hard.

“A few things,” Kevin went on. “The bridge was totally knocked out of place, sticking up, and the back piece is missing. I secured it with this wire, so it should be okay.”

He turned the guitar around and showed me what he’d done.

“Will I need to ground it before plugging it in?” I asked.


Kevin continued. “After you’re comfortable playing this one, I’d be happy to go shopping with you.”

I shook my head. “I want this one. How much do you want for it?”

Kevin and Amelia stared at me, but I was ready to buy it from them. I’m not saying I won’t want another guitar SOME DAY at some point and time, but for the purpose of “learning” and owning one, I wanted this Charvel.

See, Ollie Green graduated high school with me. We didn’t know each other that well, but we ended up attending the same University, and hung out more then. He joined a fraternity and asked me to an informal social – as a friend (I was dating my husband at the time and even then, people would refer to me as “married”) – and I got to know him better.

As Kevin and Amelia told me the story of the guitar, Ollie appeared in my mind’s eye wearing baggy jeans, smoking a cigarette on the quad. I wanted to find him on facebook, to tell him that I had his guitar, but couldn’t find him. 

I wanted the guitar because it was used, because of the scratches, and because of the story behind it. Ollie Green has dropped off the face of the earth. I’ve barely thought about him in ten years, but I’m thankful to have a piece of him, a memory of a friend. Here. Now.

And good grief, I have played this guitar. My fingers feel like they should be bleeding. Oh, the hand cramps. Of all the body parts I’ve cursed, I never thought I’d shout, “CURSE YOU PINKY FINGERS. WHY ARE YOU SO WEAK?” But I have. I am addicted to playing it. After 10+ years, it is brought to life, and I am in love with the life it is giving to me.

Is there something you’ve bought or kept, simply because of the story behind the object?

And I plan on buying my panties new, free of sentimental history. Thanks.

*Names changed for their protection on the internets. You freaks.

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§ 15 Responses to Guitars and Panties

  • HARLEY! I want to meet you in real life even more so we can play guitar together!!!!!

  • Wonderful electronic guiter. Have great sound.

  • Penelope says:

    Love this story!! Glad you will get panties that do not have a history.

  • Anne Riley says:

    I love it! I can’t wait for your first concert. If you want, we can hold a recital in my living room and invite everyone we know and make everybody dress up. Wait, this sounds like a nightmare. Nevermind.

  • Jen Stayrook says:

    The pinkies are the WORST. You have to drill sergeant them into submission. I do that when I play the piano. “GET IT TOGETHER, PINKY! RING FINGER IS PICKING UP ALL YOUR SLACK! DON’T MAKE ME GIVE YOU THE MIDDLE FINGER!”

    You’re adorable. Also, I do this with books. I love, love used books.

  • I always knew you were a rockstar.

    I keep my mom’s jeans from the 60s. I can’t squeeze my ass into them one bit but I love the frayed bellbottoms and the flare. It puts me back there.

  • I have yet to curse my pinky fingers, but I’ve never picked up a guitar.

    This post made me smile. Continue to enjoy your guitar and your, err, new panties.

  • Harley May says:

    Ah. All my faves, leaving me sweet comments. You girls bless me with your time.

    Jen, LOVE old books.

    Jules, that rocks about your mom’s bell bottom jeans. A special thing, indeed.

  • Karen Hooper says:

    Dude, I can totally picture you rockin’ out on that guitar.
    Also, I really want to know what Ollie Green’s real name is. Mainly because i want to know if it’s half as cool as Ollie Green.

    Miss you!
    Get some new panties!

  • masonian says:

    This. Rocks. My. Face. Off.

    If I was nearby I’d totally fix your guitar up for you.
    I think you ought to give her a name… “Ollie”?

    As for the back plate, you can easily buy a replacement one cheap. generally once-size fits all. Not sure how that wire-job will affect the stability of the tremolo though…

    Now get practicing, and yes your pinky is weak! Toughen up!

    Then you can open up for my band.


    p.s. I will refrain from making any panty references or jokes.

  • Wendy says:

    Delightful post! I have a banjo that I don’t play. 🙂

  • These are the very best of objects that share our space for no other reason than to glimmer with soul. I sold my guitar on a whim last year at a garage sale. Hadn’t played it in years. Now a little part of me is forever lost. My only hope: the new one will fill the gap.

    Panties? Too everyday for the memory. Some are too much for the soul. Trust me.

  • b chord says:

    Don’t worry about bleeding fingers, just play and play and play!!! You will be very satisfied when you learn to play songs you love. And it will be soon, trust me, just play!

  • Jason says:

    I really enjoyed reading this, Harley. Nice intimacy and writing all the way through.

  • Hope you are getting lots of enjoyment out of your new (old) toy.

    May your pantie pile climb high too!


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