Shake your groove thing even if you can’t sing

I have always had a fondness for music. An extra fondness, actually, with lots of extra-ness.

As is my particular case with, say, Haka dancing, just because I love it doesn’t mean I’m good at it.

I can remember having a full-blown crush on Donny Osmond and his voice when I was only six years old. I got the Donnie Osmond Album for Christmas that year and it was the highlight of my young life.  I still have that album, and know every song on it. I  even took it to show and tell in the first grade, it was that prized a possession.

Music continued to play a major role in my private life as my mother continued to feed my love for music. She bought me a Liza Minnelli album for Christmas a couple years later, and again, I know every song on that album.

I can sing “Lollipops, Lace and Lipstick” with as much feeling as “Cabaret.”

My problem is that while I can sing, I cannot do it well.

I didn’t know this about myself until the sixth grade when I was the only person who tried out for seventh grade choir who didn’t make the cut.

Seriously, my mother and entire family had failed to mention that to me. I’m only recently figuring out how good they are at completely blocking me out.

At any rate, my early failure at choir couldn’t deter the fire in my soul for music.

So, I dance. I dance standing up, sitting down –  just about anyway it is possible to dance, I dance. I still sing, but only in my car.

Which brings me to the subject at hand – car dancing.

I have playlists that come with their own dance sequence, and I sing those babies with all the feelings, and the dance moves.

I am my best audience. The people in the cars next to me are my second best audience. There is usually a lot of laughter which perfectly dovetails with what I actually do, so I cannot lose and here we are.

A good friend of mine and occasional ever-so-respectful politial sparring partner, Mike Hicks,  posted an epic video on my Facebook timeline this week. It made my day and I can’t stop watching it.

It was a husband and a wife stuck in a traffic jam on a major highway, so the wife begins singing songs with the radio, complete with all the sass, dance moves and attitude; while her husband videotaped it.

Watching the video was almost like looking into my own rearview mirror as I go to work every single day.

Except… except … this woman completely upped the game and she is my new hero.

Since traffic was at a complete standstill, what appeared to be her favorite song came on – Meghan Trainor’s Me too –  and she began the concert in the car and eventually got out of the car because she could not contain her greatness.

I salute her.

The whole thing made me realize that in the greater Iowa Park/Wichita Falls area, opportunities for traffic jams of that magnitude are rarities, given that people in Iowa Park (myself included) get bent out of shape if six cars are in line at the four-way stop. I’ve heard people say, “who opened the gates?” during these type traffic jams in Iowa Park. Still, that’s not near enough time for Dance Party USA outside my car, especially not in an open-carry state.

I’ve gotten elderly couples involved in a special Bruno Mars moment at a stoplight on Southwest Parkway; jammed for a cop and found out there’s apparently nothing in the penal code which makes it illegal to drive and shake your groove thing at the same time; and I’ve been scoffed at by fun vacuums posing as humans; I have most especially thrilled my children into morbid shock by my car choreography as I dropped them off at the junior high.

Pro parenting tip: Car dancing is an excellent threat and therefore, bargaining chip. Trust me.

But I have never had the privilege of giving a full American Bandstand Performance  of George Michael’s Faith on the middle stripes of I-40 during standstill traffic.

I kind of want that in my life, that complete to just let it hang out.

I have friends who sing into beer bottles, own karaoke machines, or actually have beautiful voices and can actually break into song without bringing shame onto their family.

My method of madness is the car. It’s my safe space with superior acoustics. Seriously, the sixth grade choir teacher’s professional opinion aside, my voice is freaking amazing in the car.

And so are my moves.

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Drivel and quips

I can’t lie.

(OK, I can lie, but I won’t.)

I got nothing.

There is nothing more painful, to me anyway, than sitting at a keyboard – we writers call it showing up on the page – for several days in a row and having snippets of drivel and clever quips to type as I think of them, but nothing solidly hilarious or mind-bending.

That’s where I’m at – riddled with snippets and quips instead of sentences and paragraphs.

A friend diagnosed me with a post holiday creativity hangover that prevents me from having a congruent thought long enough to write about it.

If there is a cure, I’m sure pharmaceutical companies will make a fortune in 2017 and beyond, but not from me unless they put it in chocolate.

I was whining to this friend about how a lot happened during the holidays that were funny, heart-warming and/or mind-bending, but like with booze, too much of this stuff can fog my brain.

The Christmas holidays were quite literally a two-week event in my world, having attended parties and get-togethers with close friends and family before going to South Carolina to spend the actual day with our grandson and children.

Upon return, we had a three-day New Year’s weekend slumber party at a friend’s house where I was thrown from a Big Wheel in  their garage, which is precisely when I think all of my writing talent left my body.

Still, every minute was a bliss that I apparently can no longer find the words to describe.

Instead you get a few quips and some drivel, taken from conversations I can remember the entirety of.

Many of you know I love to sing, although rumor has it that I cannot and probably should not.

The fact that I do not care about this rumor is the reason my mother gave me the funniest line thus far of 2017 on Monday, January 2. I was in the bathroom at work, singing Ave Maria, when my mother asked, “Are you singing Ave Maria in the bathroom?”

I answered, “Yes, and I’m sorry. I thought I was at Target.”

My husband does this funny little thing when I sing in the car. One day when we were going down the road, Seven Bridges Road by the Eagles came on and I proceeded to become the fifth harmony. My husband asked me very sincerely, “Who sings this song?”

This bothered me for two reasons: 1. He loves the Eagles and why would he be asking me this question unless he was having a serious memory lapse?, and 2. I had to stop singing to answer.

When I answered “The Eagles,” Mr. Fun Vacuum said, “Yeah, and you should probably let them.”

Our son flew in from Madison, WI, the Friday before Christmas, where the high temperature that day was 27 degrees. Prior to that, there were a few days where the high was below zero.

That night in South Carolina, the temperature was dropping and had hit around 40 degrees, and we were all sitting outside visiting around a propane heater while rubbing our hands together like we were experiencing the last warmth earth was going to offer before the sun burned out.

After a pause, my son looked at us thoughtfully and said, “I think it’s cute how y’all think it’s cold.”

During the same trip, I was brought to near complete exhaustion by an 18-month-old, and found that I can sing the Mickey Mouse Club Hot Diggity Dog Song with a knee pop, even in my sleep.

We played Cards Against Humanity, ate copious amounts of every food group plus Chex Party Mix. I marveled at my kids’ generosity in spirit and love; and at the amazing tiny creature who with his eyes, could convince me to hang out in the hall closet with him for kicks.

Also, I kept still in the moments he would just sit with me on the couch and let me marvel at him. We visited Santa, and sat on the potty and speed-read through a hundred books that were upside down.

And for efficiency, the last paragraph is applicable for the New Year’s weekend slumber party with my friends.

I’ll be back next week, and the one after that, hopefully with my thoughts aligned in such a way that you are not forced to endure my brand of attention deficit disorder.

Until then, look up as often as you can in 2017. Sing in the bathroom and in the car. Eat the good food and spend as much time as you can in the moment appreciating the family and friends in your life.

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