Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Public Display of Singing

Lydia and I have this friend Charlotte who is nauseatingly beautiful and tall and thin and naturally blonde.  If you can get past the gorgeousness, you'll find she's also kind, smart, funny and unfailingly gentle-voiced with her adorable kids.  And, because that's not enough... She can sing. Like sing sing. 

I won't sit in the pew either in front of her OR behind her at church. Because if I sit in front of her, I hear that perfect voice and then I have to suppress an urge to smack her for being perfect. Or weep from the beauty of her song.  Both are inappropriate.  But if I sit behind her, then she is forced to grimace through every song because of my cat-caught-in-a-broken-harp screeching that I call singing. So now we sit all the way across the sanctuary and wave happily at her like she's in the Macy's Day Parade. You go Charlotte, bust out those pipes and sing us some Hallelujahs.

But it's too late. I don't sing anymore. I mouthe. I look all emphatic and I take a big breath when everyone else takes a big breath, but there's no sound coming out. I'm half a bad Japanese movie. All lippy, no soundy. (Editor's Note: Just like the Cap'n! - Lydia)

So it was of HUGE relief to me when Charlotte confessed that she got caught singing in the Wegmans the other day. In the bread aisle. By herself. Just busted out some random song and strangers were like "Huh? What's that lovely sound? Am I in dream sequence?"  It was probably totally like the part in the Shawshank Redemption when Andy Dufresne played the song from Figaro and all the inmates just stopped and listened and cried and the guards were trying to bust down the door but he just put his arms behind his head and closed his eyes. And it was all perfect right up until they came in and kicked his ass...  But it was a grocery store and not a prison and there were no inmates - that we knew of - and no one kicked Charlotte's heinie afterwards.  So, it's really nothing like the movie. Except that it's still awesome.

She got all blushed and said it's usually no big deal when she forgets herself and finds herself singing in Wegman's because she has her Little Man with her. So, typically it would be like she's singing to him. But on that day, the Little Man wasn't there, so she was just this maybe-crazy lady singing in the grocery store. To herself.

(Editor's note: I do this, too. All the time.  Except that I can't sing.  I blame Glee.  Damn you, Mr. Schuster and your bizarre, curly hair.  This has to STOP happening.  Don't make me get all Sue Sylvester on you because I WILL KICK YOUR TACO. - Lydia)

And then I realized that our kids give us cover. We can do silly things, like play tag at the park and vroom Tonka Trucks around the living room of a neighbor's house (well, you have to be invited over for another reason...like a dinner party. Geez, you do that one time and the whole world never lets you forget. They were cool trucks, dammit.) and sing in the grocery store. Or, in my case, much much worse:
  • I've taught McGee to play seat belt guitar. You know, at stop lights you yank the shoulder part away from your body like its the neck of the guitar and the buckle part serves as the -- ummm - other part. And then you rock out. Like you're Slash. If it's a particularly good song, you get your hair involved. And if the guitar solo is more than thirty seconds, you roll down the windows and do a high kick out the window. When you're with your kid, you look like a fun mom being silly with your child playing '80s Hair Band. When you're by yourself, there's not a song on earth that can save you. Not even Stairway to Heaven. Geez, you do that one time...although, if I am alone and I get caught, I totally rock out harder. They already think I'm crazy. But if I keep going, I'm eccentric.
  • I've gone to a meeting with playdough in the pocket of my suit jacket. It was 4:30 in the afternoon and the kids had been in school all day. And I had been at work all day. Some questions just shouldn't be asked. Like, "How did you wind up with playdough in your pocket?" Let's just move along, shall we?
  • Skipping. With child? Perfectly fine. Without? Creeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy. (Editor's note: The Cap'n often makes reference to a serious ailment that certain men suffer from called AMS or Adult Male Skipping.  AMS is creepy and also hilarious. - Lydia)  
  • When you play MakeUp with the kids, it's probably best to remember to clean your face before you go to a church event. Particularly when you're not bringing the equally-Bratz-inspired-eyeshadowed-children with you. It gives you that Soon To Be Living With 900 Cats aura. However, the meetings end so much sooner.
  • The people at the Lego store tend to prefer that, if you're going to be in there for two and a half hours building the greatest castle in Legoland, maybe bring a kid with you. Or, buy something. And then they call you "Ma'am."
  • Ball pits are kinda scary. Happy usually demands hands-on supervision. To keep from drowning in a sea of plastic, germy orbs. Easy part: Practicing my Greg Louganis inspired dive in. Hard Part: Remembering to get out when he gets out.
  • Even if "I Don't Dance" from High School Musical is a cool song -- and  it is -- walking to work with your iPod on full volume and doing the choreography...? There also possibly may have been singing...
  • Same goes for "Before He Cheats" -- Carrie Underwood is famous for a reason.  Kate is not for that very same reason.
McGee is hitting that age where I embarrass her pretty much just by breathing. Well, with the exception of Seat Belt Guitar. But then there was this one time that we were doing Freebird [Editor's Note: Yes, of course the windows were open. C'mon. It's not like we were doing Barry Manilow...even though you can totally play Seat Belt Guitar to him. But you have to be alone. Really alone. Like, rural road at night alone. Trust me. - Kate] and we were possibly too close to school and maybe the radio was too loud and we didn't notice the car next to us. With Ron Burgundy, the boy she like likes, in it. Staring at her. The way you stare at a pig wearing a bonnet and a 2004 campaign bumper sticker as a tube top.

McGee screamed. And totally dropped her guitar mid solo.

It was the longest two minutes at a red light in the history of ever. And she refused to play anymore. Or let me play. And made me promise not to play when I'm alone.

Two days later, Ron called. About five minutes into the conversation I heard this: "Oh...yeah...my mom's crazy...it's called Freebird...I don't know, it's really old.......yeah [laughing]...you just pull the seatbelt out and pretend you're playing...but it has to have a good guitar part.....you play drums on the glove compartment? That's so cool..."

They're totally going to start a band! I think we know where to find the lead singer. She's hanging out at Wegman's.

FREEBIRD!

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