Tuesday, July 20, 2010

No Shame in Car Singing

It’s time people, time to remove the shameful stigmatism from singing in your car.

You know what I’m talking about. You’re cruis’n down the road when your jam comes on the radio. Under the guise of privacy that your car provides you start groov’n along to the beat. Slowly and ever so quietly the words begin to escape from your mouth. Before you know it you’re singing at the top of your lungs and loving every minute of it.

However, lurking at the next intersection is an ominous red light; a clear sign that the party is about to stop. You’re still feeling those good vibrations only now you realize that you are indeed not alone. With a glance to your left you see that you’ve caught the attention of the driver next to you. Maybe he’s laughing or maybe she is just staring at you, head shaking mouth agape it doesn’t matter, like Marlin the clown fish the “good feeling’s gone”.

You bashfully look away, turn down the radio that was previously blasting and sit in silent shame waiting for the light to turn.

Why should an observer or two stop our little private karaoke car ride? The answer: It shouldn’t.

Last week, due to conflicting schedules, I was without my carpool buddy. I heard Katy Perry’s ‘California Gurls’ on the radio three times. Did I sing along? You betcha, every time. The only way to break this shame cycle is to move beyond the fear of ridicule, abandon our self-reproach, set aside mortification and let the rhythm move you. Of course this was made easy because while I was rock’n out with Katy my lady there wasn’t a car around.

The real test came on my ride home. With Lady GaGa’s ‘Bad Romance’ bump’n through my Honda I was somewhere between “I want your love” and “I want your revenge” when I rolled up to the stoplight. I noticed the car next to me inch forward a bit; undoubtedly my famous seated dance moves caught his attention. Mid head-bob I threw him a nod without missing a beat and burst into an “Oh-oh-oh-oh-Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh!” Then I shouted something that sounded like “La Cucaracha!” I don’t know what she’s really saying something in French, it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that I was not ashamed. He started to laugh and the light turned. We both went on our way only, for me, the hit parade kept on rolling all the way home.

Say it with me “I [insert your name], sing in my car and am not ashamed!”

There, doesn’t that feel better. Now the next time you are singing along to Taylor Swift (don’t judge me you know you do it) and you find someone peeping in on your performance; resist the urge to turn down the volume and fall into the car singing shame spiral. Instead consider them an unpaid spectator to your show. If they don’t like it they can look away. You just keep singing your little heart out.

My hope is that my children can grow up in a world where it’s perfectly acceptable for them to sing in their car without fear of ridicule or rebuke. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to get my carpool buddy up to speed on our Carpenters ‘Superstar’ duet for the ride home today.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Memo to Women: I don't get you.

In my life I’ve come to accept a handful of absolute truths. 1) You can’t name a food that I can’t improve with either bacon or chocolate. 2) I can gain weight easier than I can lose it (see No. 1 for confirmation). 3) Bleeping out swear words on TV makes me laugh, every time. 4) Most people, through no fault of their own, just annoy me. 5) I will never EVER understand women.

To be fair the list of things beyond my comprehension is long. Quantum physics, macro-economics, micro-economics, Yo Gabba Gabba and why some people actually like salad.

The difference is that I like to think if I put in enough time and effort I could come to at least a basic understanding of the above mentioned quandaries. Women, however, are an entirely different subject.

Even at a young age they perplexed me but I thought then with enough exposure I’d come to understand them. I foolishly believed that when I married one of them that the daily close up observance would enlighten me to their inner workings. Unfortunately the more I learn about them the less I understand. Recently I wrote about their inexplicable shoe fetish, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Ladies the way your minds work just astounds me. No offense but to an outside observer you all come off as, well, kind of crazy and interaction with your gender is a bit maddening. (By the way when you start a sentence with “No offense” you are not allowed to take offense to any ensuing statement no matter how offensive. That’s the rule.) Don’t get me wrong I think women are great and I love my wife dearly but seriously sometimes I think you all are conspiring to drive us insane.

Case in point, my wife has had a cough for some time now. I have repeatedly told her that she should go see the doctor. She resisted and I did not push it. This past week while I was out of town she visited with a couple of old friends. They also witnessed her coughing and her friend said “You should go get that checked out.” This was almost verbatim what I had told her a handful of times. Well guess what? She finally went to the doctor. Now I’m glad that she did but what the frack?! Why was my suggestion invalid but her friend’s counsel words of wisdom?

To further drive home the point she even posted this on her friend’s facebook wall “I went to the doctor. Bronchitis. Thanks for telling me to go.” AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

This situation was beautifully explained by one of my favorite TV shows, Scrubs. Yes the last few years of the show were dreadful but this gem came from the final season.

“A wife cannot hear logic from her husband. It must come from someone else; a friend, a stranger…Oprah.” – Dr. Perry Cox

If this recent cough-n-stance was an isolated incident then I could happily dismiss it but I’ve witnessed this phenomenon again and again. I’ve even been on the other side where my neighbor had made a suggestion to his wife which she rejected but when hearing through my wife that I had said the exact same thing she reconsidered. Why?!

Shouldn’t the information be judged on its own merit and not marginalized because it was spouted from the dolt that you call your husband?

Please, ladies, I beg you. If this is some carefully crafted worldwide conspiracy to cripple our mental faculties then we give. Call off the dogs. Have mercy. Stop the insanity.

Alas I fear this will not be the case and this universal struggle for understanding will inevitably be our downfall.

Guys, our only hope is to just accept this. Don’t try to understand it. Embrace the crazy like it’s a free chalupa. Do not attempt to fight it. Resistance is futile. Peel back one deranged layer and you’ll just be confronted with another. Trust me this is better left as is. With any relationship communication is paramount; so continue to talk, continue to share, continue (or start in some cases) to listen but stop trying to analyze their ways. That’s just what they want us to do. They’re trying to drive us mad, yes. That’s how they’re going to do it. They wants to break us. Drive us crazy. We mustn’t let them do it. No. No. We’ve gots to stay sharp. Yes. Keeps our wits about us. Yes, yes…yes.

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