Reconciling Conflicting Philosophies

My parents were as opposite to each other as could be.  Dad was always interested in quality over quantity.  We always laughed that Dad had to have the biggest and best of everything.  “Texas-style”, we called it.  Laugh all you want, but his stuff lasted.

On the other hand, Mom was always seeking a bargain.  If you specified an item, she would come up with a generic – not necessarily the closest generic, mind you  Nikes would get translated to $3 Keds from Roses.  After all, tennis shoes all do the same job, right?  Need a frying pan?  Sure!  They sell them at the dollar store.  Or, even better, you can get a used one from the thrift shop.  Heck, I’ve probably got a spare here in this pile somewhere.  (Rummage, rummage, rummage…)

Now Dad’s stuff lasted, but that means we never got rid of it.  The storage unit is full of things like reel to reel tape decks and speakers from the 1960’s, roller skates with wooden wheels, and some of the world’s ugliest, and sadly, sturdiest furniture.  Mom’s stuff never lasted, but she never got rid of it, so we also have multiple cheapie cameras, broken appliances, and assorted “as sold on TV” garbage cluttering up the storage unit.

But the storage unit is a story and a job for another day.

I inherited Dad’s philosophy, which is causing me heartburn because I have a new obsession.  It turns out that mandolins have the same tuning as the violin, which would make it a simple thing to pick up a second instrument.  I’m not sure why I am so interested in picking up a second instrument, but there it is.  For some reason, I just really want to play one.

Purchasing an instrument one doesn’t know how to play can be challenging, particularly when you don’t have friends nearby to drag to shops for their opinions.  And being a violin player, I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to what constitutes a decent starter instrument.  Therefore, I did a lot of research on my good friend, the internet.  Dontcha just luuuurve the internets?

The internet tells me that the instruments in the guitar shop down the road with the attractive prices all sound bad, will have no resale value, and might actually self-destruct sometime in the future.  Instead – buy this “cheap” $1,000 name brand until you have time to save up for a “real” instrument.  Huh, sounds exactly like buying a violin.  Only I don’t want to put as much effort into a mandolin as I do the violin.  It’s really just something for me to dork around with.  But, but, but cheap is bad.  Ugh!

I’m so torn.  Either I’ll swoop something up at a stupid expensive price and regret it later, or Ill buy something cheap and regret it sooner or later.  Regret, angst, indecisiveness, oh my!  Better let this simmer for a while.  Of course I did that with the violin and the desire got more intense, not less.

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