Singing da blues
I had a meltdown today over issues entirely out of my control, which is generally the source of all good meltdowns.
The best part was Andy’s mom is here visiting and she is on day two of the most vile stomach virus known to humankind (at least this winter). I’m not sure what it officially is called, but it’s worse than H1N1 because you continue to live through it. It’s not swine flu. I call it the feline flu. It refuses to kill you. It just keeps batting you around and occasionally laying its fat, furry self on top of you to try to suffocate you, but then it lets you up at the last moment, gasping for air and praying for salvation. Then, just when you think you might make a break for it, you get batted down again. Bat, suffocate, breathe. Gasp, gasp. Bat, suffocate, breathe.
So, with me in full “dissolve into a giant ponds of tears” mode, I had to hide in my bedroom, while the poor woman lay on the couch recuperating from her miserable night.
I finally pulled myself together enough to realize I absolutely wasn’t going to solve my problems huddled under the covers. I also wasn’t going to solve my problems in any other room of my house either, but if I stayed there, the approximately 38 billion 1-inch shingles for my daughter’s “easy build” dollhouse were not going to get stained either.
I finished staining the shingles. (That sentence reminds me of those “if you can draw this, maybe you can go to an art school you’ve never heard of before and become a famous artist” ads. You know the ones – step 1: draw this oval. step 2: add a rectangle. step 3: now simply add a few thousand details to create a portrait of a royal family, complete with their jewels, crowns, award-winning horses and hunting dogs.)
While sitting around later, I decided it was time to break out a little living room karaoke.
It’s been years since I had out the karaoke machine. It is beyond understanding why I decided that at 9 p.m. on Jan. 2, when my daughter should be going to bed, I would instead entertain my ailing potential-mother-in-law and my tired boyfriend (tired because he had to glue 80,000 logs to the sides of the quick build house. Like he gets to bitch. 38 BILLION shingles, dude). But I did.
Here’s the problem: the last time I had my machine out, I could distract my daughter from the fun of an amplified microphone by tossing shiny objects into the next room. She’s 8 now. My tricks don’t work as well. She’s had microphone experiences I can only imagine and she wants to SHOW THEM ALL TO ME RIGHT NOW.
I had to share my karaoke machine.
Do you hear that? It’s the sound of my heart shattering.
After suffering through a first duet with her, I decided the best way to get some “me” time on the machine was to let her go first. I found some songs for her to sing. So she sang. Again and again and again. It absolutely didn’t matter if she knew the song or not. In fact, I doubt she has even HEARD most of the songs she was trying to sing. And I will tell you that when my daughter knows a song well and has heard it many times by good singers, she has a really lovely voice. Unfortunately, those conditions did not exist tonight.
Fingernails on a chalkboard. That’s all I’m saying.
Besides, I had one thought and one thought alone: give me back MY MICROPHONE!!!!!!
Is that so wrong? Does that make me a bad mother? I work hard. I sacrifice. I allow her practically free reign over this home and most of the contents. I buy her gum. I laugh at her jokes. But the karaoke machine is MINE. MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE.
Finally, after dutifully clapping about 10 times and cheering her on, I begged for my mike back. Oh, sure, I had to duct tape her mouth shut and tie her hands behind her, but I finally got to sing me some songs.
I did my Bette Midler impersonation. A little Billy Joel. Janis, of course, and my personal hit, “I Will Always Love You” as done by Whitney. To wrap things up, I did a rocking Cher, sans skimpy costume. The “singing on an aircraft carrier” outfit just wasn’t appropriate with my daughter and Andy’s sick mom in the room. However, the next time I get to sing on an aircraft carrier, I’m totally wearing it.
My voice cracked a lot on the high notes. It’s been a while. I rocked a solo version of “Summer Nights,” but I was out of breath by the end. It’s hard to be Travolta and Newton-John at the same time.
I realized mid-concert, as people were exiting the room, that I was making a comeback tour.
When life gets you down, sing and dance like there is no tomorrow. That’s my old-newly-revived motto.
Coming soon to a city near you. Check my web site for local concert dates.