I'm buying a piano. Really, I'm obsessively researching buying a piano. It's all about getting the thing that will not cause me to regret the purchase in a few months, and hanging onto the cash until I'm sure I'm sure about what I'm trading it for. It's about figuring out where the sweet spot of price and quality, and the needs of the musician, come into focus.
I get a little nuts what I do this. Last time I tried to buy myself a car, I spent so long researching that I didn't get the car at all, and I'm still - years later - driving the Stealth Van.
Last time I helped Meredith buy a musical instrument, we drove one dealer to exclaim that if we wouldn't commit to purchasing one of the very next lot of instruments she shipped for trial, she would ship no more to us. We ended up buying from someone else - someone more patient with my obsession to find the 'one'. Meredith now owns a rocking oboe without regrets.
We're driving to Chicago on Wednesday to a reputable piano dealer's warehouse. Locally, I have found only nice new pianos that I can't afford, new pianos I wouldn't own, and used pianos of dubious quality. One place here in town has a couple of dozen sad specimens that have been stored so poorly that I'm not taking a chance that even the new ones would shape up to being good instruments. It doesn't take many variations of too hot and wet followed by too cold and dry to permanently make a piano permanently unable to stay in tune. Another place stored their pianos in a garage that smelled of mildew. Wood mildews. Pianos are wood. Hannah is allergic. No dice there.
I'm sure my DH would be plenty happy if my purchasing process went more like this: I have $ XXXX.XX in my budget. Here is the first piano I see that fits that budget. Oh, Salesman, please deliver that piano. Look, we have a new piano.
That ain't happening. I'll let you know what does.