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A gift to my girlfriend does nothing but cause me pain


Grant500

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My girlfriend and I have been arguing over something. Let me know if you think I'm right or wrong.

So about 2 years ago, my girlfriend mentioned that she would like to learn how to play bass guitar. I had already built 2 or 3 musical instruments so I thought it might be a good idea to build one for her. 

We went to a music store and she tried out several bass guitars. We found the size, shape, sound, look, etc. on several bass guitars and I made a design that combined features from several different ones. I bought the wood, electronics, tuning pegs, paint, etc and started working on it. I cut out the wood, glued it together, wired the electronics, drilled holes for the bridge and tuning pegs, pick-ups, etc. A few weeks later, we had a big birthday party with all of our friends that I presented it to her. She seemed ecstatic and everybody at the party was happy. I was very happy and in good spirits. She seemed really happy that I would go to the trouble to build her something. 

Since that day, about one year and nine months ago, I would say that she has sat down and played the bass less than 5 times. Never more than 15 minutes at a time. I've tried sitting down with her and showing her techniques, I've made charts for her of the notes at different positions, I've shown her scales. I've bought her books that just sit on the shelf collecting dust. I don't get it. She refuses to play it. The craziest thing to me is that even over this whole quarantine thing where we're all stuck inside, she refuses to play it. I spent 20-30 minutes when the quarantine began showing her scales, techniques, etc. assuming that she would practice them on her own. In my opinion, if I take time out of my day to show you something and then you don't practice it, that's extremely disrespectful. She'll complain about being bored so I'll say "why don't you play your bass?" and she won't do it.

The bass has brought us nothing but unhappiness. 2 or 3 pretty big fights were caused by the bass. Everytime I look at it, I get sad. I've told her numerous times it would make me happy if she even spent ten minutes per day playing it and she won't even do that. It's gotten to the point where just looking at it, makes me sad. It just reminds me of what a failure I am. It's a symbol of unrealized potential, wasted effort, failed dreams.

Since my girlfriend is getting nothing out of it, and it makes me sad, I suggested that we destroy it. My suggestion was to just take it out into the woods somewhere and have a big campfire. Take all the metal parts off and throw it in the flame. My girlfriend got really mad. My argument was, if I owned something that made her sad and I wasn't using it, I would get rid of it. 

I don't know. What do you think? Maybe I am the one being a jerk. Let me know what you think I should do.

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6 hours ago, Grant500 said:

My girlfriend and I have been arguing over something. Let me know if you think I'm right or wrong.

So about 2 years ago, my girlfriend mentioned that she would like to learn how to play bass guitar. I had already built 2 or 3 musical instruments so I thought it might be a good idea to build one for her. 

We went to a music store and she tried out several bass guitars. We found the size, shape, sound, look, etc. on several bass guitars and I made a design that combined features from several different ones. I bought the wood, electronics, tuning pegs, paint, etc and started working on it. I cut out the wood, glued it together, wired the electronics, drilled holes for the bridge and tuning pegs, pick-ups, etc. A few weeks later, we had a big birthday party with all of our friends that I presented it to her. She seemed ecstatic and everybody at the party was happy. I was very happy and in good spirits. She seemed really happy that I would go to the trouble to build her something. 

Since that day, about one year and nine months ago, I would say that she has sat down and played the bass less than 5 times. Never more than 15 minutes at a time. I've tried sitting down with her and showing her techniques, I've made charts for her of the notes at different positions, I've shown her scales. I've bought her books that just sit on the shelf collecting dust. I don't get it. She refuses to play it. The craziest thing to me is that even over this whole quarantine thing where we're all stuck inside, she refuses to play it. I spent 20-30 minutes when the quarantine began showing her scales, techniques, etc. assuming that she would practice them on her own. In my opinion, if I take time out of my day to show you something and then you don't practice it, that's extremely disrespectful. She'll complain about being bored so I'll say "why don't you play your bass?" and she won't do it.

The bass has brought us nothing but unhappiness. 2 or 3 pretty big fights were caused by the bass. Everytime I look at it, I get sad. I've told her numerous times it would make me happy if she even spent ten minutes per day playing it and she won't even do that. It's gotten to the point where just looking at it, makes me sad. It just reminds me of what a failure I am. It's a symbol of unrealized potential, wasted effort, failed dreams.

Since my girlfriend is getting nothing out of it, and it makes me sad, I suggested that we destroy it. My suggestion was to just take it out into the woods somewhere and have a big campfire. Take all the metal parts off and throw it in the flame. My girlfriend got really mad. My argument was, if I owned something that made her sad and I wasn't using it, I would get rid of it. 

I don't know. What do you think? Maybe I am the one being a jerk. Let me know what you think I should do.

I think you're probably overanalyzing this entire thing. Your girlfriend is probably like me,  the type who gets lazy easily and often does things based on "moods". I doubt your girlfriend hates the bass, but she wasn't playing it because she haven't been able to get into the right mood. I feel like I can understand where your girlfriend is coming from. I love piano a lot, but there are days when I just don't feel motivated to touch the piano at all.

And this doesn't have anything to do with how much I love piano, but it has more to do with my moods. When I'm in a bad mood, I just want to laze around and not do anything at all.

Edited by raiindrop
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I'm so sorry you are in this situation, Grant500.  I am the last person on earth to give advice about issues in relationships but I do hope you find a way to work through this issue in a manner that is best for you and your girl friend!

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People try hobbies, decide it's not for them, that's all. It doesn't mean she doesn't appreciate the gift, just that playing guitar isn't for her. Even if I did enjoy a hobby, for someone to pressure me about practicing would put me off greatly. For it to be the catalyst for huge arguments would put me off even more. To suggest destroying something she cherishes (even if just to look at) is unnecessarily cruel. Let her be.

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This is just my two pence worth. Maybe she decided she doesn’t enjoy bass, there are things I got and they just sit in a draw but it doesn’t mean I don’t like them. Bass isn’t as fun as playing a guitar but that’s my opinion.

she probably loves the fact that you made it for her but doesn’t enjoy playing. Once I had a keyboard and I think I played it two or three times and it never saw the light of day again, it doesn’t mean it’s disrespectful. This pandemic is putting a strain on everyone and it’s boring being at home, a lot of people have turned to gaming to pass the time, other people make videos, it’s about finding what you enjoy. My dads a musician but like with everything else he couldn’t be bothered to teach me anything in life other than a bit of wood work because he needed help making a chicken run, I wish someone would have taught me how to play something musical. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

What a wonderful, thoughtful gift! Don't let it be a source of angst; I have suggestions.

 

Playing a stringed instrument is difficult the first time. It's quite possible she respects and appreciates the gift, but she may be intimidated by the fact that you are skilled and practiced. That's a hard thing to measure up to, knowing that you're going to have to "teach" her. That idea makes some people quietly uncomfortable....

 

It also hurts. Nobody likes pain, and practicing guitar involves some level of physical pain. She might not be ready to face that.

 

Finally, and this relates to my wife when I did something similar for her, she may just want for the time to be right when it feels like playing it is something that she's inspired to do on her own. Music is a special thing for you, and that's wonderful, but for it to be a special thing for her, she will need to come to it on her own terms. All it takes is one song, but that song has to be one she feels inspired to want to play. Does that make sense?

 

The gift is in providing her with a beautiful avenue by which to explore something that means so much to you - and accepting that it might not mean as much to her. That's not something I would destroy. 🙂

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  • 3 weeks later...

I dont think you should destroy it, you spent time, effort, love, and attention getting this gift prepared for and given to her. Its like me, i bought a "special" friend a monkey teddy to remind her of me. Although Me and this girl no longer speak, i havent asked for it back. I think that your girlfriend should keep the guitar, moreover, i think you should encourage her to play it or ask why she doesnt feel like playing it if she used to, or just leave it with her, so she can play it when shes more motivated. I dont think you should throw it away, you put alot of effort into it. Dont let it be a waste. 

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