Archive for November, 2010


How the other half lives

November 11, 2010

My youngest piano student from last year, aka the pineapple girl, is no longer six, or my youngest student — I have a couple of new six-year-olds and a very solemn five-year-old who can’t read or dependably tell right from left, yet has twice the determination of anyone else I know under the age of nine. Nonetheless, Pineapple remains my most interesting student, or at least the most prone to thought-provoking non sequiturs.

Yesterday she said, “I have a question. What do people do when they don’t have children?”

“Well, most of them go to work. I’m working right now.”

“But what about wives who don’t have jobs?” I explained that I wasn’t anyone’s wife and I did have a job, so I didn’t really know about those people. (Previous experience suggests, though, that they sit in coffee shops drinking ridiculously expensive beverages and gossiping loudly about furniture.)

“Okay, but what do you do when you have a day off?”

“I go hiking, or I stay home and play with my cat, or I read.” True, if oversimplified — I do intend to hike today as soon as I’ve had some lunch. But I left out the part about sitting on the couch in my pajamas, drinking tea and wasting time on the Internet. Also video games. Also tastefully beer-infused game nights with my college friends.

Maybe I should have told her about the things non-married people have in common with parents. I still go grocery shopping (when I can afford it) and vacuum (when the dust bunnies get bigger than the cat) and make dinner. All of which I plan to do today, and I may even post a recipe for the green-chile enchiladas I intend to make. Though perhaps not a picture, as they’re not terribly pretty.

That explanation might have bored my student so much that she would actually have agreed to try playing the right-hand part of Indian Song once more, legato. But probably not.