|Mini Layer Cakes|
At one time, he was a formidable drummer. He'd been begging me for a drum set for years and years and I managed to put him off. After all, the man has an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar, bongo drums, a flute, and a harmonica--all of which he plays pretty well--but a drum set? It seemed to me that to give in meant giving away the last of my peace and quiet.
But every smart married woman knows she's only living on borrowed time. One Saturday not too long ago, Mr. B had just left for his walk when I was pulling out of the driveway and noticed that the neighbor--who just happens to be a drummer--was having a yard sale, and lo and behold, right in the middle of his yard was a shiny used drum set. I hesitated at the top of the driveway, the engine idling, and as I looked across the yard, I knew that drum set would be in my garage by the time I got home. So I did what any self-respecting 40-something year old woman would do when she realized she was getting in bed with a drummer that night--I hit the gas and let the gravel fly.
Sure enough, when I returned home, Mr. B had his drums set up and the sticks were flying and I'm not going to lie, he was a bit rusty at first. But surprisingly, by the 3rd day, he sounded so good that a few of the neighbors stopped by to stare on in awe. The next week he picked up a set of brushes and by the following week, he'd perfected his New Orleans funk; if I closed my eyes, I was transported to a smoky lounge on the edge of the Quarter.
Last week, Mr. B rolled into another birthday and as usual, he wanted his favorite cake--homemade yellow cake with chocolate butter cream icing. But I had no clue what he wanted for his birthday so I tracked him down; he was drumming away. "What do you want for your birthday," I shouted. Slowly, he brought the tempo down and gently tapped away; he was thinking, but I could see by the twinkle in his eyes that he'd already made up his mind. He eyed me defiantly, as if he really were a teenager and he was getting ready to test me. "You know," he said, "what I really, really, really want is...a bass guitar." And he slammed the cymbals for good measure.
I stared back at him, my face expressionless; if I was going to be married to a musician, I'd have to practice my nonchalance; my coolness. I let the silence hang just long enough, then I gave him a smile and said, "Sure," before I turned to go. I was going to make him a birthday cake, but first, I was going to dig out my leather motorcycle jacket.