Yes, there I am, blurrily depicted as I sang my heart out at a karaoke venue. You're just lucky you can't hear it!
It was a great time with family! We rented a private room within the venue, so we could really cut loose and be ourselves without fear. Well, let's say that I was without much fear. It took awhile for the others to warm to it, as none of us had much experience with karaoke. But after I damaged their ears on a few songs, I think everyone else felt like they could do no worse! So the participation level went up.
Here are some highlights of Family Karaoke Night:
My favorite song: "Midnight Train to Georgia". It actually IS my favorite song. I have the Pips' part down cold. The backing vocals didn't appear on the screen, but I didn't need them. My wife Sara served as Gladys Knight. Now if I could only dance like the Pips, too...
My best song: Out of a very narrow list, either "Bad Case of Loving You" or "Listen to the Music."
Song I shouldn't have sung: I received a request to sing "Karma Chameleon." Let's just say it's not in my range. Many, many songs are not in my limited range!
Most annoying song: Sara despises "A Whole New World" from Aladdin. So, of course, my sister Jeanne and I sang it as a duet. Sara finally joined in with us.
Blackmail song: I sang "Hooked on a Feeling" and convinced Jeanne to sing the "ooga-shakas" from the Blue Swede version as backing vocals. Yeah, I'll always have that video to hold over her if I need it!
Bawk Like a Chicken song: In our family, we like to have people singing like chickens as backing vocals in a Muppet-like way. Toto's "Africa" works very well for letting the chickens go crazy!
Sweetest song: Sara has often said "Your Song" by Elton John is her song to me. So it was a sweet moment when she sang it.
Feel-good song: Sara and I were married on September 21, so Earth, Wind and Fire's "September," which mentions the "21st night of September," has always been our song. We sang that as a duet and joyfully let 'er rip!
Absolute funniest moment: I convinced everyone to sing together on the Carpenters' "Sing". You may know, "Sing, sing a song, let the world sing along..." Right at the most enthusiastic point in the song, when everyone was singing, "La la la la la," a lost woman unexpectedly walked into our room. She quickly apologized and backtracked, but she must have really wondered about us! We all broke out laughing at the idea of raucously singing "La la la la la" together and being discovered.
At their best, families are safe places where we can truly be ourselves. Honestly, that doesn't seem to happen a lot. Families can be pressure cookers instead of safe havens. I would say, enjoy a Family Karaoke Night! Have some fun, be kind and considerate to each other, and hope that those qualities carry over into the rest of your life together.