10 Steps to Gear Bliss
It has taken me many, many years, but I have
finally achieved my goal: the perfect solution
to the married man’s quest to get the gear
he needs while maintaining a happy marriage. Just follow these ten steps to expand
your guitar collection without spousal struggle or strife:
Step 1. Out of the blue, make an observation
that the house, garage, or whatever, is cluttered with stuff you never use. Continue making this observation for several weeks.
Step 2. Suddenly exclaim, “Honey, I’ve got
an idea! I’m going to sell items I’m no longer
using or need from around the house!” In
reality, you are cleaning out junk to make
room for the gear you’ve dreamed about
forever (she doesn’t know this yet, but may
suspect something is in the air). Gather items
for a week or two, randomly removing items
with sentimental value, holding them while
you sip beer in the garage. Mumble to yourself and re-insert them back into the pile. Try
to muster a tear or two occasionally. Appear
to be in deep thought. Invite friends over
to look at the pile with you. It helps to sell a
guitar or two—not ones that work, of course,
(in fact, you should actually acquire some
at a garage sale just for this purpose… but
whenever you’re asked, they’re the treasured
family heirlooms from Uncle Ned).
Step 3. Only put your stuff in the pile. Make
certain you find enough to sell to exceed
your target financial goal by at least 20–30
percent. These funds will be used for manipu-lation… er, persuasion… later in the process.
Step 4. Say something in the middle of the
process about how this is much bigger and
more profitable than you thought it would
ever be. At this point, feel free to accept her
items too, but only at her suggestion. Make
certain to exactly account for each item she
sells. Craftier men take a 20–30 percent commission on the sale of her items, though children may need to be bribed for this to work.
This is the “holdback money” you may need
later for just this purpose.
Gather items for a week
or two, randomly remov-
ing items with sentimen-
tal value, holding them
while you sip beer in the
garage. Mumble to your-
self and re-insert them
back into the pile. Try
to muster a tear or two
occasionally. Appear to
be in deep thought.
Step 5. Let her make a few suggestions
about what to do with the money, then
volunteer, “Wow, with all the money I’m
making, I could get you a new patio set, a
pile of rocks for the garden, a yard gnome
for the front yard, a health club membership, a ruby turtle necklace, etc., that you’ve
always dreamed of.” Be careful to keep any
chuckling under your breath as you lure her
into your web of deception. “We’ll save the
rest for the kid’s education.” Throw in some
pearls (faux of course), a new set of fingernails, and some lingerie, and you’re a true
hero. Now she knows you truly are the knight
in shining armor that you pretend to be.
Step 6. She now realizes you are doing the
work for her—what a labor of love. This
impression may last for anywhere from several hours to several days. Be aware of this
and be prepared to move through the next
few steps in an expedited fashion. Time is
of the essence, and a man who doesn’t act
quickly will risk losing it all to Mickey Mouse
or Chuck E. Cheese.
Step 7. Casually drop a comment: “Honey,
I had a dream last night about a guitar and I
realized it is the one that I... oh, never mind…
it’s a guy thing... ” This is the time to improvise and to be sincere. Dry eyes will get you
nowhere. She will be putty in your hands.
Step 8. Problem solved. Get out the charge
card, bring home the gear, ice down the
beer, enjoy! For advanced guys: it’s often
best to immediately damage whatever you
bought. Render it “non-returnable” before
you arrive home. Zipper rash, headstock
dent, Carpenter’s putty, and bullet hole
decals can all be brought into play here to
make a more realistic wound.
Step 9. There is no “out of pocket” expense.
This is your mantra. Repeat it over and over.
Step 10. Play your new axe often! Always
treat this one as special.
Brian Cravens has owned, or is in the process of arranging a
second mortgage to own, virtually one of every Fender amp
made in the 1960s. Many ‘60s and ‘70s Marshalls have also
found a home under his roof. He helps people in the quest for
perfect tone at his Sales Engineer position at Sweetwater.
You can each him at firstname.lastname@example.org.