I replied, “I’m just going to stroll around.”
He smiled at me at said, “Why don’t you go find something in there, buy it, go home and start making some music.”
I smiled back and said, “Yea sure.”
You see, I do play an instrument. The one I am most comfortable with is the guitar, I used to play the flute, and I sometimes dabble on my Peruvian cajón. But this man doesn’t know that. All he knows, is that a disheveled Peruvian lady just walked into his store and looked eternally lost. And I was feeling eternally lost, Blog Land. Mostly because I had an hour to kill before picking up my boyfriend from work, and I had just spent $50 on magazines at a corporate bookstore. I was feeling guilty and also curious. Walking into a Guitar Center might have been a moment of weakness for me; a place where I can tickle the strings of a guitar and get lost in memory of back when I wanted to be a rockstar in 2004. Well actually, I wanted to be the first Peruvian folk star, but that’s a long time ago and I can’t get into that right now.
Anyways, I enter the store and find myself surrounded by the most amazing view. A father and daughter sitting side by side and playing an electric guitar together. On the television monitor in the center of the store, a young tween girl with a nose ring sings into a mic and she looks like she’s loving it. In the back of the store a woman employee — the first woman employee I have ever seen in real life at a Guitar Center. And maybe seeing the daughter and father made me more aware of who was working there, and maybe seeing a young girl artist portrayed positively in the store also made me aware of it, but seeing that beautiful brown lady in the back with bright pink hair cut like Jack O — well reader, it just brought a smile to my face.
Why? You might ask. I’m sure some of you come from places where this is not news. Where seeing a confident woman musician is as common as apple pie. But for me, reader, it was like witnessing a unicorn.
Maybe this is because when I entered a music store in 2003 to buy my first guitar, I was approached with raised and crooked eyebrows, and followed up with questions like — Is this for your father’s day? Did you want a gift receipt? etc. etc. etc. I did not see a lot of women represented on the sales floor. And I definitely wasn’t made to feel like I was “one of the guys” — so yeah…seeing these three women representations today on the Guitar Center floor made me ecstatic.
From the little girl with her dad, who had since my arrival moved to the keyboard section. To the sales lady who was pushing on her cashier box and answering a customers questions. To the representation of the young girl in the television who was on song number three on her concert set list. Me? Overjoyed.
Go girls! Go womyn!