The Problem of the Two Pianos
As many of you who have been reading my blogs regularly know, we flooded, and we are still sorting through things, all these months later. We have too much stuff, and so we have to go through stuff to see what stuff is worth keeping, what to give away, and what to discard. By the way, before you judge me for that preceding sentence, I can write decently if so inclined, and I know I am not supposed to use the same word (Stuff) over and over like that but I am trying to make a point that I am overrun with stuff.
(I have already admitted on the Huffington Post no less to an international audience, that I am in fact, a hoarder.)
If anything has ever come close to curing me of my passion for stuff, for collecting, for being a retailer’s dream and a bit of a shop-a-holic, it is having to sort through 30 years of it. It is having to look at a thing and decide, “Is this anything?” (An old Letterman skit that my husband and I loved once upon a time, so we use that riff a lot!)
It is having to pack it up, carefully, if fragile. It is having to justify every single thing that will remain. Sometimes as I go room through room, box through box, I fatigue and put too much stuff in the keep pile because the brain work required to figure out if it will be needed, useful, or too sentimental to toss, is far gone.
There is nothing that tells me I had too much stuff, with the exception of the collector’s toys that took up three large trunks, and with the exception of the four large cardboard boxes of shoes I gave away, than the current dilemma I am facing with having two pianos.
I now have to figure out what to do with them.
Is there another person on Earth who has not one, but two pianos, though they don’t play piano?
I have a baby grand, that is elegant, and beautiful and displays brilliantly with my living room furniture and art. (My former furniture that is, let’s see how the rebuilt items come out.) It is an old piano, bought used for a bargain, and played long enough until the soundboard cracked (probably during our last move many years ago.) It looks spiffy and not old or old-fashioned. We never repaired it because it was such a pretty piece of furniture and because, get this, we had ANOTHER piano on which to play.
The working piano, an upright black laminate, is a rich beautiful sounding piano. My husband can peck out tunes and I can play one-fingered, but the two piano players in the household, my two kids, are long gone.
The upright was tucked away and most people didn’t notice it. When we needed to play, that was the go-to instrument though. It’s nice having a working piano around for occasions.
So now, we are post flood and for some reason, old Nelly, the baby grand, skated through the water damage with nary a trace. It still doesn’t work, but looks great.
The upright, isn’t doing so well. We didn’t remove it during or after remediation and felt the dehumidifiers, fans and the like for weeks on end would save things from being ruined.
Water is a most destructive force. I could show photos of some of the havoc it has reeked with our home and our stuff, but that’s not what this is about.
My sturdy, pretty, black laminate Upright is peeling. Major peeling. The laminate has popped up and come off on several spots.
So, in other words, it is basically worthless to sell now that it would need major chunks of laminate sealed back on, and not so pretty to look at either. However, should I hire a piano tuner, I have no doubt that this machine will produce a high quality piano sound once again.
The baby grand is of course worthless, despite it’s elegant exterior, due to the broken soundboard. You can play it, but it sounds like those kiddy pianos we used to buy at Toys R Us before electronic keyboards came into vogue.
Last year during Chanukah, my son played Ma 0 Tzur, a traditional song to play after candles are lit on the baby grand, becuase we lit candles in the living room right near it. He does this as a matter of tradition – he was always called upon to do this during our many years of big Chanukah parties with friends and all their kids, and so now, he keeps this tradition going. And you know what? It was definitely identifiable on that piano, if not a pretty sound. Again, kind of like those kiddy keyboard toys, but with the correct tune.
So now we are downsizing and I am at a total loss on what to do. We can probably fit one of the two in our new home, but definitely not both.
Do I give up the pretty one for a peeled off laminate one that plays better? Or do I keep the pretty one and forget about having any kind of quality piano sound, which doesn’t matter much now that the kids are grown and gone? But will I regret that when the grandkids come along?
What to do?
As difficult as many of the decisions on “stuff” have been, this one is keeping me awake at night. Should I keep a playing piano that I will never invest in cosmetically fixing? Or keep the pretty one that looks so elegant in our home?
Weigh in, will ya? Thanks!