These, ladies and gentlemen, are a pair of very cute Malhalo ukeleles. One blue, one orange. (I'll let you figure out which is which.) Ukeleles may be my new favourite thing in the world.
"For Christmas, I would like an orange ukelele." I said to The Man, confident that making his Christmas shopping so much easier, he would respond with glee and joy.
Instead he said: "Because Vedder put out that ukelele album right?" In a tone that suggested that perhaps this was not a perfectly valid reason. (As an aside, The Man has been known to enjoy a bit of Vedder here and there. Jewels and I suspect that he's got a ManCrush but dare not admit it. I just want to say to him, Sweetie, The Boss won't mind if you see Pearl Jam on the side.)
Dashed and crushed, I decided to get him coal for Christmas and may have spent a long time huming "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch" within ear shot.
I did what all reasonable women do in this situation, I called Jewels, aka the best friend who gets it. She responded with the EXACT right answer: "Oh great idea. Eddie would approve. What colour?" She gets it. I love her.
Upon bringing the best present ever home, I quickly realized two things,
1. I have no clue how to tune it. (There's an app for that. Yes there is.)
2. I have exactly no clue how to play it (Requiring more help than YouTube and the Internet can provide.)
And I can't let Jewels down. So I signed up for group lesson and an intro with Manitoba Hal at the Ottawa Folklore Centre. Within an hour or two, I realized that:
1. I can actually make this sound music-like
2. Look at all the pretty pretty better sounding ukes in the room. (I have been known to fall down the oh, shiny syndrome.)
Then The Boy and I went to Mexico with my parents. I told The Boy that I was brining my orange uke (dubbed Wonder Woman), and he wanted one too. So we bought the blue one (that I've dubbed Superman). Soprano ukeleles will fit in your carry on. And your parents won't get why you need to bring them. And your inner 16 year will think this is full of win.
Then we came home and still every week, I'd go and pine over new ukeleles. I'd pick them up and think I need to save up for another one. I expect this how people end up with 35 cats. They're all snuggly and warm. And I started saving up for a ukelele. I saved for a whole two weeks and got to $12.50. (The Man donated the quarters.)
Then one day after guitar lessons, I was waiting for The Boy to be done with his piano lessons. But there were no seats at Starbucks. So I would just go back to OFC and look for ukeleles at my leisure. Look not buy...shapes and sizes, tones... Talked to the guy who said "Buy what speaks to you." And I'd hoped the ones on sale would. Because who doesn't love a sale.
Then I picked one of these up. And the angels sang. And I put it back, and walked around the room again. And we reconnected and I had to bring it home. Isn't he beautiful?
And it's love... There is a healing to the ukeleles. It's damn hard to take yourself too seriously while you're holding. It's just happy, unpretentious and happy escapism. (Unlike the guitar, which I like some of the time, but it's still frustrating in that, I will get this kind of way.) And seriously this sounds better than Superman and Wonder Woman. It's got a depth, a richness and a deep down joy.
But I'm looking to grow the flock some more. Look at this sopranissimo... it's super tiny.
And really no collection would be complete without at least one tenor uke (they come in sizes.) And well that banjolele is oh so fun. And really, watermelon and pineapples and all that. So yeah, one lesads to two, two leads to 20.
Wanna buy me a uke?