I'll admit it, I'm a closet singer. Well, a car singer anyway. Sometimes a shower singer. I have one of those voices that sounds heinous if I sing softly, but sounds only mildly dreadful if I really belt it out. There are very few people who are privy to my vocal stylings because I'm pretty shy. It takes a lot of energy to get past my deep introvert roots to unleash that voice in front of anyone.
I spent the last week of the year at my sister Jillian's house in Alabama and we played a lot of Guitar Hero World Tour - I bought the game and guitar for Jillian as a gift (she already had one guitar for the older versions of the game). We were having so much fun playing guitar and bass together that after a few days, she picked up a microphone so we could use the sing-along function of the game. Neither of us being too proud of our singing capabilities, we wondered who we could get to come over and sing and she suggested her friend Courtney.
As it turned out, Courtney, having her own life, was not immediately available to come over sing. couldn't wait, and so my brother-in-law Gary and I picked up the guitars and let Jillian take the mic for the first song. She tried to get me to sing, but I was having none of it. (Really, I was trying to be kind.) Jillian has a better singing voice than I do, but she has the same shyness problem I have, so her first song was fine, but not exactly band-fronting material. This was just not going to do.
"Let me show you how it's done," I said, taking the mic. As I type this, I'm realizing that I walked right into her plan. She's clever like that. Realizing this was A Moment - one where I could do an okay job and we could have an okay time, or one where I could let it all hang out and we could maybe have a great time. I figured, what the hell? I'll go with door number two. And in keeping with that decision, I chose The Beastie Boys' "No Sleep Til Brooklyn" for my debut. No half-assing allowed.
And then, my friends, I rocked the house.
I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard. Jillian and I were both crying from laughing so hard. For my next performance, I sang "One Way or Another" by Blondie. (I never realized how much of a stalker anthem this is.) Again, more laughing until it hurts. (which makes it sound less fun, no?) We took a break and I said to Jillian that hopefully Courtney could come over soon and Jillian said through her tears, "Oh, no! I don't want anyone to ever sing but you. You are the BEST LEAD SINGER EVER!"
Rest assured that she really meant "No one could possibly be as ridiculous as you."
If you are keeping score, that's ridiculous fun - 1, quiet maintenance of dignity - 0. Sounds about right to me.