Monday, May 28, 2012

How to Karaoke/Reject a Grandpa Advance

On my way to a karaoke event last Friday, I had this conversation with two of my closest friends: "Don't you think it's weird that... our friends... like karaoke so much? I mean... normal people... don't like karaoke. And our friends... really... really like karaoke."

This is true. It's not that I have so many friends. But an inordinate number of them enjoy singing karaoke. I have mixed feelings about karaoke. I can't wrap my mind around why it's okay—why it's something I do.

My broadest peer group is made up of a spectrum of 21 to 38 years olds. These are my closest friends, and I fit nicely in the middle.

The regulars at these joints:
  • are a lot older than us
  • have had a lot more babies than us
  • have lived through a lot more wars than us
  • have a lot more dead friends than us
  • were actually born long before most of the songs we're all singing were recorded

I like to sing Dreams by Fleetwood Mac because I can sing 40 percent of it quite well. The other 60 percent is hit-or-miss. After finishing it, one of the old man regulars came up to me.

"Hey do you do Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty?" he asked.
"Uh... no I don't know a Stevie Nicks / Tom Petty song."
"Oh, well it's Stevie Nicks."
"Ok. I don't know that song."
"Stop dragging my heart around. It's Stevie Nicks."
"OK. Can you... sing it for me?"
"No you definitely know it; it's Stevie Nicks. So, do you wanna sing it?"
"I don't know it."
"It's Stevie Nicks."
"So do you wanna sing it?"

I knew we'd be leaving soon so I thought saying yes was a safe bet. Except Mister Regular got his song in and was called up 30 seconds later. 

"I don't know this song," I said.
"You'll catch on," he said. "It's Stevie Nicks."

I did my best. 

It was't great.

Did not look or sound like this, though the old man did provide some air guitar.

When it was over he said, "I thought you would have known that song."
"Yeah. I... said I didn't know that song."
"It's Stevie Nicks."
"Well, it got better towards the end."
"Yeah, you coulda sang deeper."

It could have upset me that he didn't seem to understand that, despite my lack of depth and lyric/melody knowledge, I had still done him an enormous favor. But I couldn't be bothered...

Because you see... on a night like this night, there is a magic moment to leave. It's a moment where you're still having fun, where the lights are still dim, where the border between us and them is still starkly evident. This moment nearly always passes exactly 40 minutes before actual departure. The window of this magic moment had admittedly closed when the old man approached our table once more. 

He non-menacingly placed his arm on my shoulder as he asked, "So where's your better half?"
Without missing a beat, I replied, "Oh, he's at home," even though my better half is actually a five-year-old female chihuahua. 

Have I ever mentioned her?
Now, it's not that I'm particularly practiced at it, but I am quite good at vaguely rejecting unwanted advances. So I don't know what happened that night when my brush-off spiraled. out. of. control.

"Oh, he's at home," I responded.
"Why isn't he here?"
"Oh, he was so tired. He works like 80-hour weeks. He was just super exhausted."
"Where do you guys live?"
"I—we live in Minneapolis."
"Oh, Minneapolis huh."
"Yeah, so it's kind of a drive and he was gonna come tonight—I mean he loves this sort of thing—but by the time he got off, I was on my way here already and... you know, he had a long week. He works so hard."

It gets worse.

I told this old man... who had counseled me for not properly singing a song I told him I didn't know... who was wearing a ribbed SUPER MAN TANK TOP... that my husband was in the DESIGN INDUSTRY. Yes, that's right. I went beyond making up a husband. I made up a career, schedule and lifestyle. 

So... how have you, readers, compensated for really letting a 68-year-old man down with your singing?


  1. haha I'm so glad I found your blog, every post is so funny. I feel like it was almost required for you to make up an entire life for your imaginary other life because that old man was so persistent!

  2. Roxie said...

    How about all your imaginary children.. the one that has your nose but your husband's eyes? The one that inherited your slightly crooked teeth and has to get braces? The baby one that has your curly hair...Did you EVEN THINK to mention any of them? The fruits of your womb?

  3. making up a husband!!??? hahahahahaha- I think i would have said, " I AM the better half..."
    but anyways- your concocted story was hilarious..
    keep em coming



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