99 Cent Store

I mentioned in a couple posts back that I took piano lessons back in the day. That’s right: from 2nd grade through 5th grade I was one piano playing fool. Only I didn’t have a piano, I had a Casio keyboard. It was one of the a nice bigger ones, with all kinds of beats and sounds built in, including a Demo Mode that my mom banned after a full hour of hearing four kids press the dang thing on Christmas Eve (it took me YEARS to dare to press that button again, that’s how well I listened to authority). Unfortunately, it wasn’t a full 88-key keyboard (I think it was 30 or something, I dunno) and so as I progressed in my lessons and moved up and down the scale, I had to pretend I was playing the keys that weren’t there. That wasn’t why I quit though; I quit because while I caught on to the piano right away, after a few years it got hard and I actually had to practice and stuff and music theory was introduced and I don’t do well with theories so I stopped. My grampa was very disappointed and for years lamented the lack of a pianist in the family. (Never mind that my cousin took piano, too. I never heard her get any grief about quitting after a year.) (*arms crossed*huff*)

Fast forward years and years later to when I bought Matt a keyboard of his own for father’s day back in…2007 I think. It wasn’t a full 88-key keyboard but it was cool and he was happy to have something to play. And it had animal sounds, much to Jaden’s and later Jonas’ delight. We both talked about someday owning a piano and how nice it would be for the kids to take lessons and for Matt to have a real piano to play and for me to plunk out the first few strains of Fur Elise that I still remembered.

A couple months ago, for shits and giggles, I started looking up piano instructors in the area and saw some that offered lessons in the studio and in home. So, that took care of the instruction part because we could bring the kids into the studio for lessons. Then it dawned on me that the kids would need a piano to practice. Then I remembered my piano lesson days and playing phantom keys and thought about Matt’s keyboard (and this organ thing that his parents picked up at a garage sale…our house is a musical instrument menagerie) and decided before we sign up anyone for lessons, we would need a piano.

I don’t know if any of you know this but pianos are not cheap. Even used ones will go for hundreds of dollars. I didn’t know exactly how expensive so I hopped on ebay to see. “Yeah, that’s about what I figured,” scanning through dozens of pianos listed at $500+. Then I changed it to “local within so many miles of my zip code” and sorted by least expensive. That’s when I found an auction for fully functioning, slightly dinged/scratched, up-right piano ending in 4 hours and was still at its starting bid of 99 cents.

99 cents!!!

“Ok, what’s the catch,” I thought. I emailed the seller and asked what the deal was. Guy wrote back and said that they were relocating to Texas and all the people that played the piano had moved on either to the guitar or to college and they didn’t feel like hauling it across the country. He said it needed to be tuned but it sounds great.

“What do you think, Matt?” I asked, “Should I bid on it? It’s about an hour away and we’d need to pick it up.”

“Sure, go for it.”

“Hmmm,” I pondered what to put for my maximum bid, “I’ll go as high as 5 dahllas.” Then I laughed my ass off thinking about how awesome it would be to be able to say, “Dude, I just got a piano for less than a buck.”

Then some bastard came in and ruined my scenario by placing their own stupid bid.

So I got a piano for $2.25.

Matt got his buddies and my stepdad to go pick it up and then had a great time rearranging the living room to make room for the thing and honestly, I think it completes the room:

Not bad for $2.25

Not bad for $2.25

We haven’t signed up for lessons yet but Matt dug out some old music books from the basement and has already surpassed any piano playing ability I ever possessed. Because that’s what he does in life: shows me up in front of my children. Which is fine because there’s nothing cuter than seeing two sleepy kids rush out to see their daddy playing the piano after hearing the first few strains of music.

I think our instrument buying days are done for a while until Jaden starts violin lessons and Jonas starts whatever instrument he wants to play. Maybe THEN I’ll get my 99 cent instrument story.


3 Responses

  1. Dude!


    You are deal finding awesome sauce. There aren’t even words to fully describe the awesomeness of your find. Serendipity doesn’t come near it.

    Go go super mom shopper!

  2. I’m so jealous of you! I need a piano for amaya because she is currently in your situation from many moons ago. She has a GORGEOUS family heirloom baby grand at her grandparents house (dad’s parents) but only a sad pathetic keyboard at mine. I have a friend that is willing to sell me their’s for $500 and do payments …but it still needs to be moved and tuned…and who the heck wants to pay $500 when aparently you can get them for $2.25!!!

  3. We all know why I never got any guff for quitting piano and you did–you were MUCH better at it than me! I’m tone deaf and have no rhythm, everyone was probably secretly happy when I quit.

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