Singing is something I have never done well. I don’t recall at any moment in my life where someone asked me to sing more. I do have a few times when they actually told me to shut up. I’m not exactly sure what makes someone a good or bad singer probably because my body never discovered how to actually do it.
Jenny, on the other hand, is a phenomenal singer. She could crack a glass eye with her voice. Not only that, her family can sing too. Videoke is a big part of Filipino culture and I got to experience it with her family on a blistery Thursday when we spent the day meeting lots of people and eating; one of which I’m very good at.
I had been to karaoke nights before. I never sang solo. This is a record that remains intact thanks to Jenny saving me from complete embarrassment.
Jenny’s family rented a Videoke machine for the day because it attracts a crowd and gives everyone something to gather around. Two really fat guys, who couldn’t fit inside of her gate, were the ones who delivered it off a truck. They were the kind of fat where you wonder if anyone could ever love them. Their stomachs stretched so far you’d swear they put a Dunkin Donuts out of business at some point or possibly gave them such great business another had to open up to keep the rest of the public happy. I mention this for no other reason other than to delay telling you how pitiful of a performance I put on.
Obviously, as the lone white person among 30+ natives, all of the attention was on me throughout the afternoon. They all had to hear me sing. Jenny is known for her singing abilities ergo she must have fallen in love with mine, right?
I managed to keep quiet for a few songs until I was peer pressured into selecting a musical number to belt out. Jenny made me go with a Michael Jackson one because she knew there’s no way I could sound anything remotely like the most famous, distinctive singer of all-time. In her mind she was choosing one I knew. Unfortunately song lyrics are not something I read well no matter how familiar I am with the song. It’s just one of those skills I lack and it makes my singing even worse.
The song Jenny chose was Billie Jean. I find this poetic. Back in the 1980s Jackson was performing this song for a Pepsi commercial when his hair caught on fire. If this happened to me only a few beats into the song it would have ended much better than the actual result.
Not only was I unfamiliar with the song’s beat, I had no understanding of how the machine worked. I also couldn’t hear what I sounded like which is a horrible feeling for a control freak. All of these along with no singing abilities factored into a performance so bad you couldn’t even make fun of it.
And that’s the primary problem with me, sometimes. When I mess up or suck at something it’s really bad. Others can be goofy and you laugh at them. Something about me makes it tougher because damn it I was really trying my best to decent halfway decent. But like so many other failures in history I didn’t manage to please anyone’s ears.
I’m not sure what people actually thought of my lackluster performance Jenny aided me in completing. I do know that everyone tried to get me to eat more food, likely because it meant with food in my mouth there was no chance I’d sing again.