The Fabulous Familiar

Taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dancing (and Singing) Queen

"We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, we create the dreams."

People have passions that pull them through the week; that one activity that makes them forget about their worries, forget about their stresses, and neglect to remember heartache. Some guys fish. Some girls knit. People cook. People go hiking. While I would like to say that these normal events speak to my heart, it is evident that they do not. Hiking is more like torture than relaxation to me and cook to relieve stress? Ha!

We're driving down the road the other day in Loramy's jeep; I have had kind of a bad day, and I'm not feeling up to par. The best thing about best friends is that they know what to do to make you feel better. She didn't try to give me any kind of advice; she didn't ask me to reveal "how I feel." She simply rolled down the jeep window, turned on her iPod to a fun, must-sing-out-loud song and began.

I sat there for a little bit; I was not going to give in to this; I was not going to laugh and have fun. My day was bad and it was going to continue to be that way. She, knowing me, knew that I couldn't resist. She smiled as she saw me reach over and begin to manually roll down my window. It was kind of an admittance of defeat. She had won.

Before I knew it, I was singing at the top of my lungs and dancing with my arms out the window of the Jeep. We got to our house and decided we weren't finished yet so we looped the neighborhood a few times until our favorite songs were over. Oh, the glorious feeling of feeling my hair blowing in the wind and just being totally uninhibited. I somehow feel like the best version of me when I'm hanging out of the Jeep in the summer; I am truly happy.

Tonight, I needed a little boost. Solution? Karaoke time. My roommates and I have our prized possession in the corner; a karaoke machine with two mikes and a television dedicated just to the art of karaoke. A soulful rendition of "I Will Survive" and a duet of "I Got You Babe" later, and the world is right. I could probably cause the neighborhood dogs to go crazy, but I don't even care--straining my vocal chords to Gloria Gaynor somehow makes me feel like I have received closure and resolution in every heartache I have ever experienced; it's like my voice can actually carry itself to the four regions of Arkansas and cover every boy with my deep disdain.

We often have people over for karaoke; you always have those few characters who immediately refuse: "No, no...I don't sing." First of all, how do you not sing? Unless your vocal chords are messed up, you have been called to karaoke. It's a God-given gift. What's interesting is that halfway into the evening a certain song comes on. You can never predict what it will be, but you slowly start to see the mike chord be pulled across the room. Before you know it, the Ebenezer Scrooge of karaoke is busting a move and rapping to "Nelly."

Shy girls suddenly become Britney Spears and the kid who was "too cool for school" has to have the microphone torn from his hands to give other people a chance to perform. It really is a beautiful thing.

You can learn many things from karaoke. For instance, when a girl and a guy are singing together, I can tell what kind of chemistry they have; that's right. There's Olivia Newton John's "Hopelessly Devoted to You" and then there's the Please-Realize-I'm-Not-Just-Your-Friend "Hopelessly Devoted to You." And sometimes I can tell that "I Got You Babe" often is equivalent to "I (Wish) I Got You Babe."

Karaoke teaches you more about yourself than you would ever think. It's a box of enlightenment; a small joy. It releases anger, brings joy, helps with sadness; and has a lot less calories than stuffing your face with ice cream. Unfortunately, I did both tonight.

I feel like we need to take more time out to dance, sing and laugh. If we don't, we will go absolutely crazy. I know that as long as there is music and fun in life-- along with best friends--I really will survive...


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