February 15, 2006

The Party: Part II

The Singing:

So at about ten o’clock, we move it into the bar. I didn’t reserve enough seats (since I didn’t expect quite this big a turnout) but luckily it was still considered early for drinking, and we were able to spill over a few tables. I had just finished my first pint when Jackie decided it would be a good idea to do tequila shots. Let me say, here and now: it is never a good idea to do tequila shots. Ever. I tried to refuse, but the girls insisted, so I took half a sip as they knocked theirs back, and shifted the rest quickly to my ex, who downed it happily. Yes, I am a wuss, but I think I redeemed my reputation as a badass with my first song of the evening.


The last picture I remember…
I love you guys.


Now, let me tell you what goes through your mind when you sing karaoke. Normally—meaning, when you’re sober—you just have an abject fear of the microphone. You don’t want to sing. You don’t want to be judged. And you don’t want everybody looking at you while you murder the tune, which you will do if you’re scared, whether or not you have any singing skills. They are quashed by the terror and make you sound like a moron, and then you do the walk of shame back to your table, where everyone asks where your game went. I'll tell you: it hides in the back of your panties. It doesn’t like other people. It likes to come out in the shower and in the car, and that’s it. It’s very shy.

You know a good way to get over that? Booze. It baby-sits your fear so that your mad Joan-Jett skillz can party all night, or at least until your voice gives out. So, keep in mind that I had two drinks and a shot, and had been sitting at the table maybe ten minutes when the DJ calls me up to sing. My sister, funny lady that she is, decided that since it was my birthday and I’m already half-drunk, that I should sing I Touch Myself. So she puts my name in, and I’m up.

Going up to the mic, I remember the only thing I was worried about was sounding really bad. I wasn’t scared, and I really wasn’t all that shy; I just didn’t want to suck. I thought “This has to be good, because if someone does it later and does it better, I’ll be pissed. I want it to be memorable. I want the people in this bar to know I can party.” So, I worked it. I think I hit the notes, mostly. It didn’t matter what I sounded like (I’ve been assured I didn’t suck, that’s all I cared about), since, as Eddie Izzard says “70% is how you look, 20% how you sound, 10% what you say”. Presentation is everything, and I think I presented quite well. I’m glad I did it before I got any drunker; I could still concentrate enough to anticipate and plan the next move. Although, when we got to the fade, I was wiped out from all the dancing and, well, touching myself. Because you have to.


I touch myself. No really. I honestly do.

Unfortunately, as you may have noticed, all we had were cellphone cameras, since certain parties (who will remain nameless, since they totally know who they are) forgot to bring the digital camera. You’ll have to imagine the scene. Just know that it ruled, and I brought the house down.

My brothers were up next, and I almost missed it, as I was up at the bar doing red-headed sluts (Jaeger and…cranberry juice? maybe?) with Jackie and Kate. I have a special song with every member of my family, and I asked my little brother to sing ours. Here he is, along with my other brother, giving me You Can’t Always Get What You Want. The audience loved it. I was crying, but was drunk enough to have it be okay. Later, my little brother decided to do the Humpty Dance, which I love, and happen to know all the words to, so why not get up there and help him out? (And I pull my shoulders, back and quads, but I won’t know it until the next day.)


I totally get what I want.

So I ask my other brother to follow this up with our special song. He says sure, and I get all excited, and he sings… Heaven. Freakin’ Warrant, people. This is not our special song, I just want everyone to know that. This is the song he sings at me to make me laugh and cover my ears and threaten to flash him until he stops. [Dude—for the record? It’s Everybody’s Talkin’. That’s our song. I’ll give it to you at your birthday. Or maybe I’ll do Warrant now.] I appreciated the gesture though, so I rolled with it, and pulled all of the muscles in my neck headbanging. It’s a good thing I wasn’t hung over; I was already in enough pain the next morning. As I get another Guinness (from my sister, for singing MY new special song), Kate and Jackie do Black Velvet, as promised. I didn’t care that Kate so does not know the words. Jackie worked the mic stand (hot, Jackie—I didn’t even think of that), but sadly, I have no pictures.


Bang, bang, bang….

Next up: the obligatory rendition of Love Shack. My little sister wanted to sing, but didn’t want to sing alone. So suddenly, she, me, the ex, and my little brother are singing about a car as big as a whale and I’m pulling all the muscles I have left. They forgot to turn the second mic on, so she and I are screaming the lyrics when it’s our turn into their mic (voice blown the next morning, too—good times), but the important thing is, everyone’s dancing. I make sure my little sister gets to yell TIN ROOF RUSTED! all by herself, her first solo, and I’m reminded how much I love her just then. Of course, I follow that with loving everyone, everywhere, and hugging them, because I’ve had five drinks and that’s how it goes. We get back to the table, where my older sister has gotten the munchies, and has ordered beef stroganoff. Beef stroganoff. In a bowling alley BAR. It was grey, it was smelly, I was afraid. It was more than once compared to cat food. I sat very far away and shook my head, knowing that I would never, ever be that drunk, or that stupid, or both.

It is somewhere in this whirlwind of events that I am asked by a nice-looking boy if I would like to do a drink with him. I bow out, politely, saying that I have already had way too many and I’m done for the night. He accepts this and moves on. Then I get the ten minute Inquisition on who was this boy and what did he want, and why the hell didn’t I go have a drink with him? I, who have no idea what getting hit on looks like, explain that I’m drunk already, not drinking any more, and the dude probably just wanted a girl to drink with—I said no, so he’s probably circling the bar looking for somebody else. He’s not interested in me personally; any girl would’ve done. I am satisfied that I got asked, and it probably wouldn’t have gotten any better after that, so I rake in the self-esteem points and run. My sister thinks I’m crazy (as she eats her bowling alley stroganoff. I am the kettle, you see, and I am black.)

The End:

Eventually we all start to get tired, and we can only cheer for the first thirty seconds of a song before we get bored and start staring at the TVs. Someone from the bar starts singing American Pie (which is a shitty thing to do to the others on the bar, by the way; good song, yes, but it’s ten minutes long. Let other people have a turn before the sun comes up, yeah?) and the ex starts singing, loudly and badly, along with the lyrics. I have it on good authority that he was leering at many different women whilst this was happening—perhaps he thought he would serenade us, and we would drop to his feet like an oiled harem? I don’t think I have to tell you how that didn’t happen. The song ends (after many, many dribbly refrains) and we decide we’re bushed and it’s time to call it a night. The sober people gather their respective passengers (thanks for staying, Sooz—I know you didn’t intend to be out so late) and we all agree it was a pretty fantastic happening, and I know I’ve never had a better birthday.

I don’t care how much I hurt the next day—you guys make me feel like a rock star.

No comments: