For Christmas 2011 I decided to give my wife, Cindy, something totally different & unexpected. Guitar lessons. It started when she was in her teens and expressed a desire how to learn so her parents gave her a guitar as a present. 20+ years later she still had the guitar from all those years ago but the self-taught lessons had not succeeded as well. This year I aim to fix that. Several months before Christmas I started doing some research. Scouring the internet I read all of the reviews I could find on local guitar instructors and compiled a list. From there I followed-up by placing a few phone calls to those that caught my attention and finally paid a personal visit to a couple. In the end I got extremely lucky by finding an instructor that was close to our house, had a good reputation, was involved in the community, and had a good personality. Knowing that Cindy might not be comfortable with one-to-one sessions I spoke with the instructor and made arrangements for both of us to take lessons. Yep, one instructor for a husband & wife students both taking lessons with nearly the same skill set. Not an arrangement you normally come across. I mention nearly the same skill set because I have not read sheet music nor even attempted to since my days of taking clarinet lessons back in the early 80's. Cindy on the other hand had flute lessons as a kid and is a member of her church's choir & bell choir so she is more fluent with sheet music than I. When it comes to the guitar, though, we are on par. With an instructor found I then started preparations for Christmas day. I started by asking Cindy to not get me anything because I was planning on something for both of us and there would be additional expenses in the new year. No matter how much she tried pressing me for information I wouldn't explain but she said she'll go along. I prepaid for several weeks of lessons and got a gift certificate that I could give to her on Christmas but it would have been boring to just put the certificate in a card so I had something better planned. I found a fake gift box, roughly the size of a shoe box, for "speaker slippers" that looked totally real. It has pictures on the front of fuzzy slippers with speakers in the middle of the top of them along with descriptions on how to use them. It even promoted that you could use them as headphones by putting a slipper up to each of your years. Inside of that box I put the certificate, wrapped it up nice & neat, and tried not to laugh. The look on her face unwrapping the box was totally worth it. This past weekend was our first lesson. Oooooh, that could have gone better. Turns out there was a slight communications failure between the instructor, myself, and the local Guitar Center shop. When talking about "acoustic" guitars there are a few different types. At its simplest "Classical" or "Spanish" refers to a nylon string guitar while "Acoustic" refers to a steel string. So, yes, it would be an acoustic Acoustic guitar. Something else I did not realize: typically classical guitars are finger-plucked without using a pick while steel strings use a pick. The instructor had assumed we would be showing up with steel string guitars. We showed up with nylon string guitars. Whoops! :o While back at the shop for an exchange it turns out that it is a mistake which happens frequently. We've got a long way to go with the lessons but we will have some fun along the way. PS: For anybody who is curious about the joke gift box I used you can see pics of it at PrankPack.com (no, I did not pay those prices... got them much cheaper at the local Bed, Bath, & Beyond).