My friends in another state are having an ABBA karaoke party tonight, and I can't go. I found out about the soiree on Facebook, where I get to read about all the people having more fun than I am. If not for the low balance in my checkbook, I would have boarded a plane immediately to hang with them all for nice round of Dancing Queen.
My plan tonight includes folding laundry, convincing children to go to bed, and reading another chapter or two of Brideshead Revisited. If I am lucky, The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia will be back on the Netflix. But my heart will be with my most awesome friends and a certain Swedish band who produced the most singable music in history.
I admit without shame that I love karaoke. My first flirtation with it was singing the great Prince song Kiss with my BFF Amy at the Bombay Bicycle Club in Indy. We did a fine falsetto, and to my horror after we were done I saw that my future stepfather (who turned out to be a vile man who is now contesting my mother's will, but that's another story) was at the bar....
Another song I can do very well is Tainted Love by Soft Cell. I perfected that one the summer of my 20th year after being dared to do it by Bill the Lawyer (one of only two lawyers I can abide, and whom I always referred to as Bill the Lawyer, which caused him no end of eye-rolling) who was 7 years my senior, which was our ultimate downfall. He made me sing it every time we went out anywhere, so accurate was my rendition. I was very popular in the boring-lawyer-party circuit of the early 1990s.
There really is nothing more goofy and life-affirming than singing pop songs to bad, tinny back-up music. For awhile, a few terrible years ago, it seemed that karaoke was fading out of style. Thank the heavens and good sense that it seems to be coming back into vogue. One great example was the dulcet tones of Hammer Dan (who has a fantastic blinking sign announcing "Dan-A-Roke"), overheard at Hopwood Cellars, home of the amazing wine shake and moonshine grape. I felt among my people as I watched Dan bring everyone out of their shells for some great tunes.
In the meantime, the mountains of laundry await me in my current mundane life. I keep checking my phone for messages calling me away to somewhere else, but alas, none are there. I will never end my quest to convince some innocent bystanders to come along with me to sing badly in front of strangers (could be tricky, but I did birth twins, so anything is possible). Hammer Dan will be back August 21 - any takers?
Courtney is a most fabulous writer and teacher of gifted middle school students. She is the author of two novels - see the "Cate Books" page of this site for information! Watch for updates about future books that need to be part of your personal library. In the meanwhile, enjoy her pithy life observations.