Wednesday, April 08, 2009
...in keeping with the humiliation theme...
...and lest you mistakenly think I'm not the biggest dork you've ever heard of...
I always wanted to be a singer. In my heart of hearts, I've always known I was meant to wail it out and do a lot of very fancy yelling, bending the entire universe to my sublime will. There've been a couple hiccups along the way, though.
Grandpa would play guitar and insist I sing Skip to My Lou and I wanted-- really and truly wanted-- to sing, but I felt shy and embarrassed. I know: go figure.
In fifth grade, my best friend was a girl named Karen.
Karen had nary a shy bone in her body. She was super cool. Her face was dusted with freckles, her dark hair falling in lank strands to her shoulders, and I was transfixed on that broken front tooth which I thought made her look really special. Gosh, I wished I could have a broken front tooth.
[Uh, hello! Warped. You already knew this.]
Anyhoo, my quest for world domination seemed finally to be taking off when Karen (not me!) had the brilliant ideer we should sing a duet in the school talent show.
Jimmy Sides played his guitar and sang "Operator." He was so cool, and, y'know: mature. All the other fifth grade boys were so dorky. In retrospect, I'm sure Jimmy would have preferred to play something by KISS. I like to imagine the Jim Croce number is a secret shame he carries to this day, much like the song I'm about telling you here, and that his parents prolly made him sing that song.
Karen was adamant we should sing in the talent show. I had a better voice, better style and sense of nuance, etc., but all that didn't matter a whit. Karen had in spades a trait I utterly lacked: sheer and abiding gall. I wanted to sing something pretty I'd heard on Lawrence Welk. Karen had the brilliant idea to sing the horrid song featured below. Honestly, I can't bring myself to write the very name of this wretched song. Horrors. Horrors!
So, anyhoo, we *cocked brow* decided we'd sing (sans yodeling) this rather than the Lawrence Welk 'stravaganza. Mom thought this song was just adorable. *cringe* The audition was fine-- we had to sing for a gaggle of teachers. It's easy as can be to sing in front of people you don't respect. *yawn* Bastiges. However, come the day of the talent show, the whole of the rest of the 5th grade through 12th grade, parents, faculty et al? Guar-damn-teed constipation cure. Srsly.
I rather fancy Karen had to drag me out onto the stage. Once at its center I stood there mute and dying inside as Karen sang her little fifth grade balls off. I swear I was crying, but I don't know. I heard the blood rushing through my own veins, my breathing enormous and labored. The gym beyond the proscenium telescoped out, accordion-like till all the universe was that room awash in faces and eyes and bad 1970s fashions. The accompanying music clattered on gaily, so cheerfully that it fairly begged for a bloody nose.
I think I didn't utter a single peep the entire song.
Surreal torturefest ended, we turned toward the wing and I stumbled zombie-like as I looked over at Karen, who was smiling out at the audience as she marched resolutely offstage. I remember seeing the kind, pitying eyes of Miss Fogelman as she ushered us through the huge, heavy velvet curtains. Thank goodness that is over!
It's amazing how silly moments will stay with you, isn't it? No, I'm not embarrassed now. Singing in front of people doesn't bother me at all these days. However, if I had to sing this song in front of anyone, even my puppehs, it'd probably kill me!
don't tweedle-dee-dee me.