Recently, I decided it’s my dream to learn how to play the ukulele.
As we all know I don’t like to spend my moola but a honeymoon souvenir is an exception and I bought a beautiful pacific-themed uke in Fiji.
That was 18 months ago. Free YouTube videos are outrageously great and for up to an hour a day I have been practicing through online lessons. But I was having trouble tuning my ukulele so I decided to attend group ukulele classes – BYO ukelele.
When you attend a group ukulele class without any friendship support, you have to go through that awkward process of introducing yourself to people and trying to make quick friends so you have someone to make polite conversation with. It’s the first day, and I’m already out of my comfort zone.
Then the music teacher commenced the class by tuning everyone’s ukuleles. Mine was last. From this point, you may be able to guess what happened.
He picked it up and plucked a string which was followed by a ‘TWANG’ that can only resemble a cat screaming. It sent the entire class silent.
The teacher fiddled for a little longer. Neverending silence in the class continued.
“Where did you get this?” he asked.
“Fiji!” I said proudly.
You may be able to guess that direction this situation is going now.
“I’m going to say this to you in the last offensive way possible…” He responded trying to keep his voice down.
“This ukulele is a toy”.
Have you heard my laugh? It’s pretty loud.
And when I panic, I have no control of never-ending, hysterical laughter. At the time I thought this was a great cover to hide my embarrassment – letting everyone know I can laugh at how funny I am. Reflecting, I’m sure I just increased the awkwardness.
I WAS PLAYING A TOY UKULELE.
On the bright side, I now know why the ukulele would never tune. I also bought an actual ukulele (to add salt to the wound it was cheaper than my souvenir buy) and will return to online lessons in the comfort of bedroom where there is a lack of ultimate humiliation.