So because I study music industry I often need to carry my guitar around, either for uni or just for whenever I need it. Because I don't have a car, I've got to use public transport most of the time. Which can get annoying at times, but that's not where my problem is here.
The case that my guitar has isn't just the average black hard or soft case, its a tweed vintage-y looking thing that's supposed to look like it came out of the late '50s. This often catches people's eye and I've had plenty of conversations started by this, which I'm completely fine with. My problem, and where I just get plain annoyed, is when I'm apparently supposed to prove to someone that I'm the "real deal," because, you know, maybe I actually just carry this heavy and extremely inconvenient case around with me for kicks.
About a week or so ago, I boarded a virtually empty bus, after already having to navigate my way from Melbourne Central to Southern Cross station (an unnecessary long feat after 1pm), and then having spent another hour on a train with my guitar cramped up against my legs and bag, so my patience was low already. I sat down on my bus seat, just glad to have some room, when I noticed the person sitting near the front of the bus had been staring at me for an unnecessary amount of time.
"What where you doing with that at the bus stop, did you just come back from a camp or something?"
In writing it sounds like a reasonable question to ask someone, but in their tone, not so much. I didn't have enough caffeine in my system for this, and usually I don't enjoy being rude to people, but I already could guess where this was heading.
"I don't know." I said.
"You don't know?"
"I don't know." I was tired, and I wanted to go home.
"Why do you have a guitar?"
"Really, why would you need it for uni?"
Either this person had trouble putting two and two together or my caffeine-less brain figured they just wanted to test my merit. It was also none of their business, really.
"Well, its a music degree so its kind of part of that."
"Oh. Makes sense. I was trying to figure out if you were a proper musician or not. I mean, it would make sense if you were a busker, but I couldn't see why else you'd have one."
Again no, the blisters on my hands are for fun, I like to accessorise.
But they weren't satisfied just yet. They continued to quiz me on what sort of music I played, and not in the genuinely curious way (again I get asked this a lot, and am happy to talk for ages with someone about it), but more like I had to fill a certain selective criteria before I was allowed to actually claim that I played the thing inside the case. I got off the bus pretty quickly when my stop came.
My point is, and maybe it doesn't come across in that example as much as I'd like, but I've been playing guitar for more than a decade, and I've had plenty of experience, and I'm just frankly sick of people assuming because they had a friend how played guitar for two weeks and pretended to be cool (or maybe there's some stupid equivalent of a "fake geek girl" stereotype in the music world, I don't know), that I am the same, and owe it to them to prove it otherwise. I've really got nothing to prove to anyone but myself or, you know, anyone who'd actually listen to me play before deciding I'm trying too hard to be cool.