Gritty in pink

Mom yields to the siren call of a pink guitar. Now the whole house knows she's happy.

The color pink, for me, screams gaudy and giddy. It's candy floss, bubble gum, and flashing neon lights.

A flaming, pink-hot arrow zapped my heart: I fell in love with a pink guitar.

I was lurking in a music store, tapping my foot, stressed, running late, as usual. My son dawdled over his choice of drumsticks. I fidgeted with my car keys. Rows of guitars lined the walls. Jet black, sonic blue, crimson red. A few tobacco bursts.

Wait, pink? Yes, one pink electric guitar, with shimmering silver chrome, hanging up high. I stood captive and stared, in awe. No fashionable Daisy Rock here, just a classic Stratocaster, with lean lines and smooth curves.

When had I last played a guitar? Eons before marriage and children and a mortgage.

"I see you found the shell-pink Strat," a too-hip sales guy grinned. "Would you like to try it out?"

Words thickened in my throat, stuck like a wad of strawberry frosting. "Oh, I'm just looking." A giggle shimmied out on the wings of my fib. The pink temptation whistled a tune and sailed into my arms.

Eyes frantic, my son darted up and stared at the pink guitar. "Mom! What are you doing?" Like, bury me right here. My mom, a crazy lady rock 'n' roller from the '70s, has gone insane.

"I'll just plug you in, ma'am." My cohort in crime slid a slinky cord into a miniature amp. I wobbled onto a stool.

My son slunked away. Yeah, he'd seen my vintage photo album with pictures of my girl garage band. Me, doing my best Janis Joplin imitation on an acoustic guitar direct from the Sears Christmas catalog.

The pink guitar settled on my lap. So polished, so cool. My fingers inched over the strings, up the frets.

Who knows what tunes screeched out into the music store? Whether I played "Piece of My Heart" or "Me and Bobby McGee," I really can't be sure.

My musical soul met its mate that fateful day. Was it destiny for my heart to thump so hard? Fly so high? I peeked at the price tag and gulped. Outrageous, unbelievable. My credit card fluttered to the cash register.

Music swept back into my life. Now, I plug in. I sing. I shout, even lip-sync. The low notes anchor my patience; the high notes lift my spirit, with a lot fewer calories than a molten volcano brownie.

My guitar glows with pinkness. Her polish, her style, purrs pink. She coaxes and pleads. I twist to Beach Boys riffs. I hop to Rolling Stones beats. I belt out Chain Gang licks.

Funny thing is, when my kids were small, I struggled to scratch out time for a peaceful space. Oh, how I yearned to be alone! Not forever – only for a stolen hour or two to treasure.

Now, I no longer dream of running away. When I play music, the whole house knows about it. No hiding spot for me. No need for a quiet place.

My pink guitar is bossy and loud, but she sings with joy. Peaceful thoughts fill my head. And harmony hums in my heart.

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