An Oriented Playlist

, , , , , , , | Friendly | March 22, 2019

(My job involves running a lot of errands, and while I can usually handle it myself, I know that this trip I have a lot to pick up and will need help. I’m allowed to pull another employee, so we go get in my car, which is hooked up to my phone. When I start the car, the last song I was listening to starts playing: “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston.)

Coworker: “Oh, so, you’re a lesbian!”

(I burst out laughing and he was briefly concerned he’d offended me, until I explained that I was, in fact, a lesbian. I’ve just never been outed by a song before!)

Time For Them To Face The Music And Pay Up

, , , , , | Learning | February 26, 2019

(I work at a private music school. I had two students who were both quite young that came for lessons for a few weeks. One week they stop showing up for their lesson time and, after more time goes by, we put another student in their slot so that my time isn’t wasted. After nearly a month and a half of not seeing these children, they show up in our waiting room with their mother, who I have never seen before, as their other parent always dropped them off prior to this event.)

Me: “Hi, it’s been a while. I’m [My Name].”

Mother: “I’ll try and remember that.”

(At this point, I knew this wasn’t going to go very well.)

Mother: “Just so you know, my kids don’t practice. I just want them to be exposed to music, you know?”

Me: *pained* “Sure thing. I totally get you.”

(I bring the first kid into my classroom and start teaching them. A few minutes later, my boss knocks on my door.)

Boss: “Who do you have right now?”

Me: “[Student #1 and Student #2] are here.”

Boss: *shocked expression* “Oh?”

(She goes to speak to the mother, which I am not present for, but based on what my boss told me, I imagine it went something like this:)

Boss: “You were away for so long that we filled the spot with another student. I’m terribly sorry. I’ll teach them for today, since [My Name] has to teach the other student right now. Could we reschedule their lessons and find a day that works for both of us?”

Mother: “That’d be really difficult.”

Boss: *checking records* “Also, it looks like payment didn’t go through for the last month of lessons. Do you have a way to pay for that today? We can take credit card.”

Mother: *shocked* “It didn’t go through? I’ll have to ask my partner what happened.”

Boss: “So… would you like to schedule a different lesson time for them?”

Mother: *icily* “We’ll be in touch.”

(My boss taught the daughter while I finished up the son’s short lesson. The mother left without paying for the month of lessons from before OR the time she had taken up today. We haven’t heard from them since and my boss took great pleasure in removing them from our student roster.)

God Gave Rock And Roll To You

, , , , , , , | Friendly Hopeless | February 11, 2019

(My best friend and I are sitting in a coffee shop minding our own business when we see a middle-aged lady dressed like she just got out of church looking at us. I notice her looking at my attire, which consists mostly of black and a t-shirt for a metal band. She gets up to walk over to us.)

Lady: “Here. The Lord wanted me to give you this. He says you might find it useful.”

(She sets an envelope on the table in front of me and then shuffles out the door before I can say anything. Thinking it’s probably just a religious pamphlet, we peek inside and are surprised to see two tickets to see a death metal band playing locally that we wanted to go see but couldn’t afford.)

Friend: “What kind of lord was she praying to?”

Me: “Clearly the awesome kind!”

(We later found out one of our friends knew of her through church. Apparently, her son was a promoter for the venue and he would always send his mother free tickets. Whenever she got tickets for something she wasn’t interested in, she would find strangers she thought might enjoy them more and give them away free. We thank you, strange church lady, for the tickets! My friend and I had a great time!)

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Music To My Fears

, , , , , | Related | February 4, 2019

(Ever since I joined my middle school music program in sixth grade, I’ve fallen in love with music. Not only was it basically the only thing keeping me from spiraling down even further into my social anxiety and depression, but it was also something I really cared about, so much that I wanted to become a musician. My parents, on the other hand, are less than enthusiastic about my dedication and love for music, stating that:)

Parents: “Music is just a hobby and you’ll never be able to feed yourself or have children properly.”

(Of course, as a depressed and moody teenage sophomore, it is pretty hard to hear. Things come to a head when my parents decide to go behind my back and ask my counselor to remove me from my school’s music program. Mind you, I’ve been doing band for nearly a full five years at this point, and considering how much I’ve done for it, paying for private lessons out of my own pocket — which is DEFINITELY not cheap — staying up every night until 4:00 am to finish my schoolwork — my family are first-generation Chinese immigrants, so understandably, their expectations of their youngest are a little bit high, to say the least — trying my hardest to be first chair — band-speak for “being the best in your instrument group” — in the best band at my school, and fending off my social anxiety and depression all the while, hearing about how my parents went behind my back to purposefully prevent me from doing music as a career was quite the experience. And not one I’m willing to go through again. Long story short, my counselor realizes the situation, switches my schedule back to what it was before, and my music teacher, private tutor, and the three people I call my friends are happy to have me back in the music program and not seeing me mope around school with a dead look in my eyes anymore. My parents, on the other hand, are less than pleasant towards me afterward. After realizing they can’t force me to quit music as a career, they become cold, and sterner than ever before. They refuse to drive me to concerts, and when I ask my friends for a ride or if I can stay at their house until the concert, my parents call their parents and explain about how I “need” to get home. When I finally get my driver’s license, they lay down rules that are nearly impossible to follow, such as “being home by 10:00, even though the drive to your school is 30 minutes round-trip and the concert starts at 9:30.” They basically do everything in their power to restrict me from doing anything related to music. A few days after I turn 18, I receive a letter from a very prestigious music school. Obviously, I am ecstatic, and my siblings, who are all older than me, are excited at the fact that I managed to get into such a prestigious academy. My parents, on the other hand, are surprisingly happy about my acceptance, as well, at least I tell them what kind of school it is. Fast forward a couple months or so: on graduation day, my friends and I decide to “hang out” afterward. I come back home — no alcohol was involved, just a lot of fast food and video games — I see that save for my bed, my desk, my bookcase, and my nightstand, my room is completely barren. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but when you realize that my room is usually full of expensive instruments hanging on the walls and instrument cases pressed into the corners of the room, then it becomes a problem. After calling my friends and teachers, I finally manage to corner my parents. My brother, along with one of my friends who decided to stay the night, is with us.)

Me: *barreling down the stairs* “Where did all my instruments go?”

Friend: *slightly confused* “Are you talking about the, like, fourteen flutes and trumpets in your room?”

Me: *slowly getting more and more agitated at the fact that all that “junk metal” in my room could be worth well over $50,000* “Yes!”

Brother: *rolls his eyes and shuts off the game he and my friend were playing* “Son of a b****.”

(My brother, my friend, and I manage to find my dad smoking out in the backyard. My brother taps on the glass sliding door and my dad opens it.)

Brother: “Dad, I saw Mom leave the house an hour ago with a bag. Where is she going?”

Dad: *takes another long drag on his cigar* “A friend.”

Brother: “What friend?”

Dad: “[His Friend]’s home.”

Me: “What for?”

Dad: *standing up and looking down at me in the eye* “Your mother and I talked about this, and we decided that that college you got accepted to isn’t a good fit for you.”

Me: *sputtering* “W-what? Of course it was! It was a music school!”

Dad: “Your mother and I already told you: music isn’t a real job. It’s just a hobby, and if you do choose to do it for a living, you’ll never be able to raise a house and family.”

Brother: *finally catching on* “No f****** way. Did… did you sell [My Name]’s instruments?”

Dad: “Yes. We decided all the money you could gain from selling those instruments could be used to pay for [College].”

Me: “But I’m not going to [College]! I’m going to [Music School]! And besides, I didn’t even apply for that college! The application deadline has been over since last January, so what’re you trying to do here?”

Dad: “You are not going to that college, [My Name]. That school is filled with fools who’ll end up homeless and pregnant on the streets, with no husbands or family to care for them. You will go to a college besides [Music School], and you will not be getting your instruments back!”

(My friend decided to call the police, and since my parents did technically steal from me, since I bought or rented all of those instruments with my own money, we took it to court. Fast forward quite a few years. I’ve decided to change my last name to match that of [Friend]’s, who is now my husband. I cut off all contact with my parents, though my brother still tells me that they’ve also erased me from their own memories. Truth be told, I’m glad for it.)


Couldn’t Dial Up The Right Song

, , , | Working | January 16, 2019

(A former coworker of mine was quite the office flirt. One day, the two of us and a new girl are sitting together at lunch and I decide to be a bit of a smart aleck.)

Coworker: *to new girl* “Hey, do you like dubstep?”

Me: “I don’t know why you like that stuff. If I wanted to listen to a dial-up modem, I’d go back to the 90s.”

Coworker: “You know what, [My Name]?! Dubstep does not sound like a dial-up modem!” *to the new girl* “Let me show you.”

(He opens up a music app on his phone and selects a dubstep station. In a beautiful coincidence, it randomly selects a song that starts with the actual sound of a dial-up modem. The new girl and I can’t contain our laughter while our coworker turns red.)

Coworker: “G**D*** IT!”

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