My friends, even those already out of college one way or another, tend to complain about the stress begat by the complexity of and varying degrees of warmth in interpersonal relationships. They call it drama.
I heard someone complain about drama at that dinner I wrote about a few days ago. Another youngster, this one a recent high school graduate, plays the second french horn part in our veteran’s band, but when he starts playing for his college marching band, he’s decided that he wants to switch instruments from french horn equivalent, the mellophone.
This isn’t a big issue, prima facie. French horn seems to be the kind of instrument that band players switch to in the first place because there are never enough players to cover all the parts, especially at the lower echelons of wind ensembles. Instead, what bothered me was his motive.
He doesn’t want to switch instruments, but not because he doesn’t like playing the mellophone, though I would understand if he didn’t. He wants to switch instruments because of the legendary drama of the Fresno State Marching Band’s mellophone section. I thought that this was misguided.
Those bothered by interpersonal stress are usually those who consistently concern themselves with the petty gossip of the day. As this petty gossip makes its rounds from one person — she’s pregnant with whose kid? — to another — he said I was pregnant with whose kid? — gossiping itself creates an infinite feedback loop of headache-tacular proportions.
It’s pretty easy to cure drama sickness. All it takes is to ignore what that piccolo is doing with the first trumpet, and how drunk the sousaphone players get before picture day. Once you stop caring about everyone else’s details, your life will be a lot easier.
I feel the need to bore our freshman mellophone player with all that explanation, when I could say the same thing in nine words: There is only as much drama as you acknowledge.
I hope he takes that to heart. Maybe he’ll switch from mellophone for the right reasons.