No matter where or when you were in band, there are certain things that just stick with you. Especially if you spent time in a marching band of any sort. As someone who has been in band for eleven years and marching band for nine, I can attest that, though we don't like to admit it, we do share some similar traits.
You always have to walk to the beat.
Whether it's listening to music in your headphones, or just walking by a store front playing some groovy tunes, it's nearly impossible to walk out of step. It's even harder to walk with your left foot off the beat.
Band camp jokes are...annoying.
Band camp is seriously one of the worst yet best times of season. Thanks to a little movie called American Pie, there's no limit to the jokes associated with it. But, most band kids will tell you, band camp is not a joke. Yes, it's fun. Yes, some weird stuff can happen. But honestly, it's just a lot of long days and hard work.
You lose all sense of personal boundaries.
When you spend every evening with the same group of people, you learn a lot about each other. Not to mention, band uniforms are hot. So after a performance, no one cares who sees them undress. They just want to get out of their sweaty uniform.
You can tell a lot about a person based on their instrument.
For the most part, the stereotypes associated with specific instruments are somewhat accurate. Trombones are goofy, Trumpets are "stuck-up," Flutes are all valley girls. Of course, we know this isn't true for every person in each section, but it definitely defines some of them.
You can't understand how people mix up instruments.
It's one thing to confuse a baritone and a tuba. It's an entirely different thing to not even be able to distinguish between brass and woodwinds.
You know the truth about band directors.
They may act professional, but behind the scenes they are either telling you to shut up or waddling around pretending to be Glinda the Good Witch.
You know what it feels like to almost lose your appendages.
We march rain or shine, hot or cold. I can't even count the number of times I swore my fingers were going yo fall off.
Spit doesn't bother you anymore.
It should go without saying that any instrument you have to blow into will eventualy turn into a spit catcher. Of course, if you don't empty it out, you'll not only get old spit in the mouth, but also your instrument will sound like it's being played underwater.
Your calves have never looked better.
Leg day is everyday. Between backward marching and slides, those calf muscles have been worked daily for the entire season.
You sing the strange parts of popular songs.
Especially if you are an instrument that doesn't carry the melody, when that song comes on the radio, you are so tempted to sing your part rather than the melodic line.
You may think we are weird, but at least we are weird together. Band is a family we will never forget.