I was sitting in the living room, reading my book and minding my own business when the telephone rang. It was 9:10 and the girls are still asleep, so I scooted across the room rather quickly to answer it: I love these mornings when Meelyn and Aisling sleep so late and I have some quality time to regain my consciousness.
"Hello!" I answered in my bright and cheerful voice, which I was totally faking. I hate the telephone and absolutely despise answering it, much less talking on it. I would prefer to communicate with people either by email or by puffs of smoke sent up from a fire on the front lawn.
"Shelley," said the person on the other end. "This is Joy. I have Aisling down for a nine o'clock lesson this morning."
Ohhhh, crap. Oh, crap crap crappitty bleeping crap.
I thought that lesson was tomorrow.
Joy is a gifted pianist. A musical genius. She has a waiting list of students who are anxious to learn from her, both kids and adults. It was a miracle that she was able to take Aisling and Meelyn on - she had room in her daily schedule and welcomed them because they are homeschoolers and could come in the mornings when her other students are at work or school. I was hoping so much that we could be blessed enough to get her as a teacher for the girls.
Meelyn quit piano lessons in June - she's been at it for five years and has learned a lot, but she's more of an athlete and a writer. Aisling is our musician, a child who never has to be told to practice the piano. Ever. More often than not, she has to be told to quit praciticing because she's been working on the same song for the last forty-five minutes and the rest of us are about to go insane. When Meelyn decided she wanted to quit, Aisling begged to be able to pick up her time slot and have an hour of lessons per week, rather than a half hour.
The one-hour-per-week lesson is Joy's preference; she can get so much more done with her students. My husband and I really wanted to give the girls this privilege, but couldn't afford it. But here was the chance, with Meelyn quitting, to give Aisling what she wanted so much. It wouldn't cost any more than what we were already paying, we reasoned. Which is a lot, by the way. But the piano is Aisling's passion and she is very serious about it. For a child who is rarely serious about anything, often singing and dancing and jumping out from behind doors to scare us until the three of us are saying with one voice, "AISLING. SHUT. UP," this is a bit of a big deal.
Sooo, I wrote the date down wrong for the lesson. Eejit!
Thankfully, Joy had a time slot open - probably her only break of the whole afternoon, when she'd ordinarily be grabbing a bite to eat and maybe allowing herself to put her feet up before the arrival of her next student - for tomorrow.
I believe I'll scout around in my stores of handmade soap and see if I can find three pretty bars (most of the soap I still have left from my business is the tag ends and weird-looking pieces no one would ever want to buy) and make her a little gift box to send along with the check. I feel it's the least I can do.
It's awful when people are so nice and polite and friendly, even when you know they must be totally and completely ticked off at you. Joy was pleasant, but there was something in her voice that has never been there when we've showed up on time. Ugh.
If you'll please excuse me, I think I'll go soak my head. In the toilet.
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