In sweatpants on a recent weekend back in Michigan, I was perusing OKCupid in a lazy, haphazard way while waiting for one of my moms’ famous black bean omelettes. Mid-page, a thumbnail image of a long-haired blond man hunched over a drum-set clad in an 80’s costume complete with neon headband caught my eye.
I soon started laughing out loud as I read his profile, written as a faux article for the Detroit news about how he’d just met this incredible woman, but avoiding at all costs identifying where they’d met. “Errrr, this bar. In Ferndale. No, Royal Oak. Actually I think it was in Ann Arbor at a tailgate.” Interest was cemented when I clicked on his pictures to see one of him balancing on a precarious tree trunk with the caption “Look Ma, no hands!” “Great. Why can’t you get a girlfriend?”
I weighed the pros and cons of messaging this adorable stranger though he lived in Detroit, and thought “what the hell, I’m home for two weeks, might as well keep up my dating practice.” He was a charming writer and texter, and after several exchanges we planned to meet at One Eyed Betty’s, a gastropub in downtown Ferndale.
I walked into the pub, and he was every bit as cute as his photos, shaggy blond mop included. We got a booth with seriously unfortunate overhead lighting, and started the volley of semi-awkward first introductions. Soon into the conversation he started telling me about the bands he’s played in around the metro Detroit area, and some of the shows he’s performed in. “Honestly,” he said, “I don’t think there’s anything quite as incredible and exhilarating as playing the drums live. It’s the biggest, most fun rush there is.”
I laughed and agreed, disclosing my own experience with the drums. “My brother used to play the drums as a teenager. When I was 12 or so I got really into….wait for it…..’Hanson.’ I was obsessed with their music and loved the drum beats. I used to sneak into his room, plug in my Hanson CD to the stereo, and try to pick up the rhythm. I got pretty good! After a few months I could play nearly the whole CD!”
I had a great time with Matt that night, and we hung out again when I was home a couple of weeks after our first meeting. But it was our conversation about drumming I couldn’t get out of my head (or at least it took a slight backseat to his adorable grin and piercing blue eyes).
At work one day, this giant poster appeared on the wall near my desk (later I learned it was called the ‘Holstee Manifesto‘). One of the lines reads “If you’re looking for the love of your life stop. They will be waiting for you when you start doing the things you love.”
Sometimes I don’t know what I love. I get anxious around the question “what would you do if you woke up and money was no object? My internal landscape at this query is a clammy, cold sweat, stammering something about travel, writing, family. But to be honest I have no idea what I would do.
After I met Matt, I couldn’t stop thinking how much fun I used to have banging around on my brothers blue Yamaha drum kit. Rocking out to my favorite trio of long-haired brothers, sometimes even rigging up the karaoke microphone to the hi-hat cymbal so I could harmonize with Zac’s (the drummer) vocals.
So, this past Thursday, I had my first drum lesson. In a grimy warehouse in Hell’s Kitchen I joined the ‘Bang! The Drum School’ Absolute beginner course, with 4 other women and a grizzled, passionate, long-time drum vet instructor.
I’ve had a freakin’ blast this week practicing on the drum set at work, and even texted Matt to tell him that our conversation inspired me to get back in the proverbial drum saddle. He responded quickly, with a three consecutive texts and a barrage of smiley faces. While I hope I see him when I’m home in two weeks, there’s a good chance it won’t happen, and this fun flicker of romance will fade out.
Instead of looking for drummer’s to date, I’m pretty excited to become one myself. I’m not sure if this is bringing me closer to answering that all-encompassing, passion statement in response to the ‘if money were no object’ question, but it’s one step closer to (re)discovering the things I love.
Now please excuse me. I’m off to practice my long-lost rendition of Mmmbop.