When I bought my new guitar, the man at the music store said it had been owned by a small woman for a few decades and she never played it because it's too big. I scoffed a little at the time, understanding that it would be big for her but probably not for me; but, as it turns out, I'm starting to think it's huge.
The sizes and shapes described for steel-string guitars are those originally used by Martin, one of the earliest and best makers, and still a company you can expect to be compared to if you make guitars. The sizes that I understand that can count as standards are, largest first: D ("Dreadnought"), OM ("Orchestra Model"), OOO, OO. At least, I know the dreadnoughts are the biggest in the list. Martin lists the OOs as "Grand Concert"--would that be bigger or smaller than "Orchestra Model"? At any rate, I'm used to dreadnoughts, which have a loud, booming sound, though the better ones hold their own on treble notes. I've been wondering why a lot of players, like Eric Clapton and Steve Miller, play OOOs: the sound isn't as loud, the harmonics not as complex. But, sitting here will poor posture on my couch with the dreadnought digging into my ribs, I think the appeal of the OOO would be both the evenness of the sound across all six string (no booming bass)--and the manageable size. The depth of the dreadnought puts the strings another inch or two away from my body, makes the angle of my hand on the fretboard just a little different. I did find the OOO pretty comfortable to play in the stores...maybe I'll check some out again.
I bit the bullet and bought plane tickets for my high school reunion. I have this mental barrier about buying plane tickets, because it's a chunk of change all at once (I normally hemorrhage cash in smaller increments), and they're a commitment I've had turn out in various less-than-fun ways over the years. But, I'll see my family and some friends and teachers. By June maybe I will have given in and bought a Backpacker to bring with me. (Did I mention I've been thinking about picking up banjo or mandolin? It turns out that with music theory and guitar, banjo and mandolin feel sort of comfortable.)
I love when I think I can clearly see what's bugging me, and I have no idea what to do about it. Now, at least, I got my life unstuck, so I have the energy and movement and activity I was missing last year. Still, it's probably time to let myself go through that gateway and move on with everything, not just most things.
Just remember this is all extremely silly, and laugh accordingly.