Friday, February 28, 2014

Wisconsin 101: We are polite even to bad singers

SH prevailed upon me to go out. Actually, it was because my friend Lenore was visiting and SH was so appalled that I had not planned something to entertain her on Friday night, even though Lenore and I have been friends for 25 years and we are cool. She knows I don't like to stay up late and she does like to stay up late so when we are together, she always has a book.

But Lenore was visiting and SH thought I should be a Good Host and that Lenore and I should join him at karaoke. Lenore had never heard SH sing and SH promised we would not stay out too late, so away we went.

There was almost nobody in the bar, which is the kind of bar I like, if there is a kind of bar I like. I don't like crowds. I don't like a lot of noise. I like peace and quiet and solitude.

SH is always torn when the crowd is small - it means he can sing more frequently, but it also means the audience is smaller.

I looked at the handful of people there and thought, Well heck, I could sing. There are only a few people to hear me sound bad.

I like to sing. Who doesn't like to sing? It's fun. One of the things about SH's sometime church that I like is that occasionally, they will have a hymn sing for 15 minutes before church starts and people just call out favorites and we all sing them. Lutherans have better music than Catholics and they sing more of it.

Anyhow. The first singer sang. He was fabulous. Then the woman running the show sang. Also fabulous. Then SH sang. Fab, as usual.

Then I sang.

Guess what?

I was not fabulous.

I was horrible.

I had not sung in a long time, not that that's the reason I wasn't fabulous. It's because I am not a very good singer. And I started with something that is hard to sing. I am not Linda Ronstadt.

What I should have done after the first 40 seconds was just draw my finger across my throat. Tell the KJ to kill it. Not inflict pain on the others.

But I didn't. Instead, I panicked. I tried to stick with it. I felt my face getting redder and redder as my humiliation deepened and my singing worsened. There was no convenient earthquake. No fire alarm. Nothing to rescue me.

The song finished.

People clapped. It was the Clap of Blessherheart. It was the Clap of Thankgoodnessthatsover. It was the Clap of Death, the Clap of Polite People Who Have Been Drinking. I smiled weakly and returned to my seat. Next time, I will stay at home and go to bed.


beyondbeige said...

Anyone who has the ovaries to get up and sing to a bunch of strangers deserves a standing ovation. Just sayin'

Gaylin said...

I love that "Clap of Bless Her Heart".

I used to have an okay-ish singing voice, no one told me that aging and menopause would turn it into a completely not okay singing voice.

I think is is amazing that you got up and sang and KEPT singing. I wouldn't have gotten on the stage.

Kyle said...

Good for you for getting up to sing. I wouldn't have had the nerve. I've never had a good singing voice but do occasionally channel Linda Ronstadt in the shower.

Koala Blue said...

You are so brave, no way could I do that. I got up once with two others and vowed never again.

On a side note - I was really sad to learn that Linda Ronstadt has Parkinson's disease and says that she can no longer sing a note.