Here’s the thing.

This past summer, I was waffling weekly about whether I wanted to march drum corps in 2006. I would be getting ready to drive the hour and a half up to a “camp” (aka six-hour-long rehearsal), or to a parade, or to a carpool site before a weekend trip, and I’d be absolutely positive that, no, I’m not doing this next year.

Then I’d arrive at said rehearsal or performance and wonder how I could possibly think to give this up. Not once would I contemplate what was going on at home, or the opportunity cost of marching drum corps. I was berating myself for not practicing more at home, and concentrating on my own personal performance at the moment. That’s what corps is all about: focusing on a common goal, working toward a vision, doing my best not to be the weakest link.

Now that I’ve had some time away from it, though, I’ve been thinking about my reasons for wanting to march next year, and I’m finding them weaker than I’d previously thought.

First, I wanted to be a part of the very first competitive Lakeshoremen season. Since our debut at DCA was unexpectedly upgraded from mini-corps to Class A corps, though, I *was* a part of the LSM competitive debut. And we did well. We didn’t come in last — in fact, we were quite near the middle of the pack. I even had my very own little mellophone solo (not actually a solo, per se, but a good measure or so where you can hear my very own countermelody line over the rest of the corps).

Second, I was under the impression that I’d be very interested in playing whatever music we ended up playing in 2006. Several ideas were bandied about at the end of the 2005 season, but I was particularly underwhelmed with the near-final song selection that was played at the banquet earlier this month. I could really care less about playing that music. No disrespect to the show design team, of course. It just was a total turnaround from the ideas that had been shared late in the 2005 season. So, the musical selection isn’t such a pull factor anymore.

Third, and most importantly, I had wanted to march one more season of drum corps before Aaron and I decide to start a family. One more summer of selfish indulgence in what *I* want to do. Because, after we decide to pop out our progeny, the selfish days are over. Now that I think about it, though… wouldn’t I rather spend my possibly-final childless summer with my husband? Not in a car driving to Michigan every other weekend? Or more? I think I’d rather go to anime conventions and on vacation and hit garage sales and go thrifting and do all the things that my drum corps activity curtailed last summer.

I might turn in my mellophone at the Open House next month.

I’m still an at-large member of the Board of Directors, and I’m still webmaster. I’d also like to take some photos for the corps, for PR and for the website. I want to stay involved. But not at the expense of my family, or my relationship with my husband.

I think I’ve convinced myself. But what do you think?

4 thoughts on Conundrum

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  1. i think you’re right. if next summer is going to be your last child-less summer, then i wouldnt do the every-weekend-away-from-teh-schnuthy-time. heck, i couldnt do it now and i dont plan on having kids for at LEAST a few years. 😛

    ask anyone, once you have kids, that alone time is over. the spending entire saturdays naked on the couch gettin’ snuggly and eating oreos is gone. fer seriously. 😛

  2. i told aaron i was thinking about turning in the horn, and he was really surprised. i keep vascillating one way and the other, and the roughest part is knowing that this really is the last summer i might be able to march for a long time.

    still though, i think i’m really going to do it. i’ll go to the open house, and i’ll play along, but i’ll turn in my horn at the end of the day. i’ll also make a concerted effort to recruit someone in my place… although i don’t really know anyone with any more time on their hands than i have.

  3. Well, as I constantly remind the marching band phreaks here at UT, once you grow up and move on, it’s nice to actually MOVE ON. If you have something positive in your life to devote your attention to, why spend your time and energy on a chapter that is admittedly closed? The glory days of youthful summers are gone, but the heady days of mature summer can kick just as much ass, though in a different way.

    I say you can give back to drum corps any way you want, but explore the next chapter of life with the same enthusiasm with which you explored your youth.

    Those are just my thoughts.

  4. I like that thought, Dan. It sort of encapsulates what I’ve been thinking, that senior corps is much more of a hassle than junior corps ever was, especially now that I have someone I could be spending my time with and other things I could be doing.

    I’m still interested in being involved and serving on the board of directors, which is one reason that I wanted to get on the board this year in particular: I knew that I’d either be marching one final year, or that 2005 would be it for me (at least, for a good several years to come).

    I feel better about things now. Now I just need to decide how soon before the open house to tell the relevant people that I’m turning in my horn.

    (Damn… now I’ll be brassless. Anybody got a cheap flugel for sale?)