Last night, I updated my Facebook status to read: “I am dancing around my kitchen, singing the Sleeping Beauty Waltz, and eating fresh blackberries from the back yard. Just because.”
My friend Leslie remarked that I am seriously whack. Which may be the truth.
The truth is: I love to sing. Like, all the time. I sing in the shower. In the car. In the garden. I sing to the kids (if they’ll let me) before they go to sleep. I sing while I do the laundry. Stressing out at work? I have a show tune for that. I cannot pass by a karaoke machine.
I make up songs on the spot about life’s mishaps:
Please don’t you slam that ‘fridgerator door.
It makes the bread fall on the floor.
Or narrations about what the cat is doing… (Sang to the tune of POTUSA’s “Lump”)
Mudge sits alone on the kitchen chair,
stretchin’ rollin’ puts her belly in the air.
My kids regard me as though I were the weird old aunt who wears a tinfoil hat and purple rain boots. “Geez, Mom! Do you have to do that???” Sometimes, I make a point of singing stupid kids’ songs to their friends, just to embarrass them. My kids, not their friends. Their friends appear to like that I sing to them. “Your mom is hilarious!”
My husband has learned to live with my ongoing self-styled soundtrack, with only the occasional, “that’s not your best key, dear”, to interrupt my serenades. The cat normally decides that I am in pain or otherwise distressed and reacts by licking my face and meowing frantically.
But I still sing, because it makes my heart glad. And I’m not half bad at it. Oh, sure, I’ll probably never make it on American Idol or anything. But I can sing in the church choir and I belt out the national anthem at the fair before the combine demolition derby starts. What’s important, though, is that the songs – any songs – tap into those emotions that I need most at the time. It might be songs from my childhood, or whatever I heard on Daisy's radio station driving home. I sometimes switch from Bing Crosby to Pat Benetar to Pink in the span of a few minutes. I can use a song to cry out my despair when the tears won’t flow, or to dispel disappointment. “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”, sung with an attitude just on the edge of panicked laughter, is a wonderful way to ratchet my frustration level down from the break point. I can make a despondent friend laugh, or soothe a baby to sleep.
Some people write to express themselves; some paint. Some people keep it all inside, preferring not to let others see what they’re really thinking.
Me? I gotta sing.