I remember once when The Husband and I were freshly married and newly parenting and I toted over to my Grandma’s house The First Child for a social gathering of sorts and my Grandma asked me where The Husband was. I told her he had a show that night and she nodded in understanding, telling me about how when she was pregnant with my dad, my grandpa had to play on New Years Eve and she was so worried she would go into labor being so close to her due date, “But thank heavens it was the day before so he didn’t have to miss it and he could still drive me to the hospital.”
It was in that moment I realized that between 1962 and 2006 things hadn’t changed much. Even though my Grandfather played the upright bass in barns across rural Mid-Michigan and The Husband plays electric bass (crazy, huh? That is a story for another time) in a rock band in the darkest of dive bars, city to city we can all relate when it comes to our commitments to musicians.
I see you all: the fresh meat in the front row all starry-eyed and the tired seasoned veterans lounging behind the merch table. We all play our part out of love of our significant other and the music, of course. Fourteen years ago I fell in love with a musician, that musician became my husband and then the father of our children. He is my partner, my best friend for life, but first and foremost, he is a musician and when you marry a musician there are things you need to be aware of.
Music will always come first. Musicians are fickle, creative beings that will get so focused that everything, including you, will become background noise. They don’t mean to and it doesn’t mean they love you any less, they just become so passionate they can’t pull themselves away. Even at eleven o’clock when you turn in and they are still working on a song. Yep, they have no intention of coming to bed. You will eventually hear them quietly trying not to wake you at three in the morning when they finally finish or they will be so excited they will wake you up to listen. You need to know that music is going to come before your marriage, and I mean it. Does this mean he is going to miss the birth of his child for a show? Or ditch the ol’ nine to five to travel cross-country chasing his dream and letting you and your family fend for themselves? No (at least I hope not, because that means you married a child). It means date nights might be at band practice or on the way to their show (I love when I can attend a show that’s farther away, that means a whole hour or two drive time with him to myself). It means late nights alone running the household and having him get home just in time to kiss the kid’s goodnight, turn on Netflix, and fall fast asleep. This passion is also a blessing, because they will also be that dedicated to his family, musicians love deeply, they love you deeply, they will love your children deeply and this is what will get you through those lonely nights, knowing that if he loves you half as much as he does his music you are one lucky woman.
Know that, I see you all, at the end of the night, all sitting exhausted in your booths as the light turns on as they’re tearing down for the night. Usually you are ready to go home but you will follow him where ever he needs to go (most likely to some sort of late night food joint), because we are a different breed, followers. Not a groupie, not a fan, but the wives. Painfully so, we follow to the end. To the end of the night, to the end of the show. Exhausted, too drunk from listening to too loud music too late in to the night. It’s not always glamorous, but we love the man playing. This is our anthem. Our part. Our love is the love that loves to entertain.