In My Write Mind
4.14.2005

TDS

The dry throat. The deer in the headlights look. The sweaty palms. T.D.S.

Those are all signs. All indicators. Those are all me...whenever people ask me to sing. Don't get me wrong. I love to sing. And I know that I'm more off-key than a pubescent Peter Brady. And I'm fine with that. Really, I am. It's when you're talking to someone, having a great conversation even, and then you ask: Have you heard the new song by [insert artist name here]? And they say, I'm not sure...how does it go?

*throat, deer, sweat*

That right there is some pressure. Not only do you have to sing, you have to sing a song that even YOU don't know that well. All of a sudden, at that moment, when the words have barely left their lips, THAT is when all of the musical machinations within your body fly away, leaving behind a rhythmless corpse. In that instant, you're orally challenged.

*throat, deer, sweat*

But you try. You can't go out like a sucka. I mean, you DO know the song somewhat. And you DID bring it up in the first place. So now you're stuck. Win or go home. So you use your mental tuning fork, try your best to clear your throat (not gonna happen) and let 'er rip. And you think that you've nailed it. It's only when the person who's listening makes the "bitter beer" face that you realize just.how.awful.you.must.sound. I mean, not only do they NOT recognize the song, you may have just earned yourself the title of CEO of your very own company...So So (Tone) Deaf Enterprises. And with that title comes the responsibility of embracing it...and yourself. Because after your wretched attempt at song, yours will be the only company you'll have.

*throat, deer, sweat*

All of a sudden, you're ostracized from any and everything musical. Invitations to Karaoke Tuesdays aren't extended to you...conversations about new CDs that hit the stores cease when you pass by...Name That Tune reruns are blacked out on your cable box...people invite you to birthday parties late so that you miss the group singing portion...colleagues and family members combine their resources and buy you a tambourine, gently suggesting that you stick with that, like you're a broke version of Melody from Josie and the Pussycats.

Yup. Life is never the same again.

Quick story: My friend Lynnette is in charge of the audience for BET's 106 and Park. Well, when the show was in its infancy, she would always call and ask if I would come and bring some friends to fill the bleachers. I only said yes when they were having good guests. Hell, you know I wasn't going to see the wack-ass hosts. LOL Anyways, this one time, a group of us went to the show. We were laughing and joking in the holding area when we saw this beautiful young lady sitting by herself, waiting to go upstairs to the show. My boy and I persuaded the women with us to ask her to join us. She did. Told us about herself. Made us believe that she was the next Monica. We.took.her.word.for.it. Sigh.

So we get upstairs, inside the studio. The warm-up guy wants to get the crowd ummm, warmed up. So he asks if there's anyone in the audience that can sing. Me and my boy look at each other as if to say, Hey, if we hype this girl up and she can actually sing, she will be grateful to at least one of us and then...who knows?!?!?

So we encourage her to do her thang, fine as she was. After getting the crowd into it, clapping it up until she stood up, she was ready. Little did we know that it was US that were unprepared. I can't recall what she sang that day...I DO know that I hate that song now. Monica?!?!? Hell, Monica LE.WINSKY probably sounds better than this girl. Oh, the horror. I still shudder to this day thinking of how tone deaf she was. As a matter of fact, that was our new nickname for her after that. Tone. Just.horrid. You want to know how bad it was? She was associated with us since she was in our group. Because of her performance, Lynnette, who's supposedly MY FRIEND, banned me from the studio for a month. LOL So Tone, you owe me. I missed seeing Erykah Badu because of you. Grrrrr.

Where was I? Oh yes. You are banished from Rhythm Nation. Your a capella is a caHellus Nous. You have become an American Idle. Simon Cowell sends you hate mail and issues a restraining order on your voice. *shaking head* And all because you tried to overcome the *throat, deer, sweat* syndrome. Damn shame.

So, the next time that situation arises, do like I do. Come up with excuses not to sing. Tell them to listen out for it since radio plays the same songs every 20 minutes anyway. Tell them you have a sore throat. (Hell, at that moment, you wouldn't be lying.) Tell them anything. Just DON'T SING! Rattle and hum like a U2 album. But don't sing. LOL

Even if you think you can, think again. In fact, think about this: Is it worth the loss of cool points, friendship, or, in the case of Tone, citizenship? Oh yes. I forgot to mention that Tone wasn't an American citizen and soon after our meeting she had to go back to her native country. Me thinks that during her interview with INS, she told them she could sing and they asked her to prove it. Needless to say how it turned out. Yeah...we get postcards during the holidays. LOL

*throat, deer, sweat*

Remember those three words...like a Stevie Wonder song. And save yourselves from musical purgatory. Trust me on this. Bitches.

scribbled by Will at 4/14/2005 07:25:00 AM
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Mind Droppings

I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. (Joan Didion)



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Will. Lefty. Since Summer 1971.
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