Tonight I went to my friend’s 30th birthday party at a karaoke bar. I wavered on the decision to go or not, but in the end decided that sometimes being a good friend is just going to things. So off I went. Upon reflecting on an evening of sipping diet coke and screaming at people to hold chopped up conversations, a few things stand out.
1. I have nothing in my wardrobe that would fit into the category of “evening wear.” Seriously, I got dressed in what I thought was a decent outfit, and looked in the mirror to find that I looked like a librarian…or maybe a cute preschool teacher (and the bun definitely was not helping). So there is certainly room for improvement in that department. Not that I need to do any serious shopping, as my usual evening activities include folding laundry and watching Babylon 5 with my #1 man (oh the things you do when you’re in love). But still- it wouldn’t hurt to have an ensemble or two to pull out when the opportunity arises.
2. Karaoke bars have their own subculture. There were people there who definitely do this…a lot. Their songs were memorized, maybe even a little choreography or facial expression going on. You could tell the difference between people who were there to hang and the ones who were there to sing. At one point, when the bachelorette party was getting a little wild on the dance floor and an Urkel-like guy was crooning some Metallica, I felt like I was on an episode of The Office.
3. My friend, the birthday girl, wanted everybody in the party to sing something. So I flipped through and signed up for a favorite Ingred Michaelson. The guy who sang before me was AMAZING which was extremely irritating. But I wasn’t really sweating it because there had been plenty of terrible singers and everyone just sang along. And then I got up there….and couldn’t really hear myself…or the music…and somewhere in the middle I realized that I was one of those terrible singers. This instantly made me nervous, so the second half was even worse than the first. I really should have had a drink or two before attempting it.
I walked back to the table, a little bit humiliated but mostly thankful that I had picked the shortest song I knew, when the group immediately began praising the whole ordeal. “Please don’t lie- I know it was awful.” I said with a laugh. So then everyone shut up and just looked at me. But then one optimist piped in, “You were very brave to get up there,” and everyone immediately agreed.
It’s a painful lesson, this business of learning not to take yourself too seriously. There’s a part of you that says, “It’s not a big deal- everyone was standing up and screaming their heart out,” and then there’s a part of you that secretly wished people might hear you and swear you will be the next American Idol.
Personally, I think it is good for me to try things and not be good at them. I am realizing more and more that I don’t like to do things I’m not good at- maybe even not the best at. I see this pattern developing in my son, who often only wants to play the games that he has a strong chance of winning. I can be that way, too, shying away from the strategy games that my husband loves and pretty much destroys me at. But I don’t want to have a fragile ego that can’t handle a good dose of reality, to be paralyzed by any experience that puts me beneath someone else’s skill level.
On a side note, I’d like to thank you for the comments on the last post. I hope I didn’t come across as “If you don’t comment, I will not blog”, but it sure is encouraging to get some feedback. I thought this might be the case as a certain male sibling of mine said to me, “So I read your blog- do I have to comment or can I just tell you?” Hmmm…this made me think maybe I came across a little strong! Sorry about that.
My dear husband cleaned my crazy kitchen while I was gone today and I would just like to publicly say thank you for that. He also took care of the lawn- a huge blessing as I was beginning to lose Ella in parts.
And speaking of Ella, my dear sweet Ella, she had her first temper tantrum today. It was all because- are you ready for this- I would not let her hold my cell phone. I don’t think that’s a good sign.
Jesus is good, dear friends. Not sure where that came from, but it was too true to not type and so may your thoughts rest on that for the night.