1.10.2010

why it pays to be silly and let down your hair


my sis-in-law with her hubby, my sis-in-law with b.
{should you like to see a larger view,
just click on either of the images.}


i'm not really in a writing mood, but i had to share this... even if no one reads it, i want to remember what i'm going to write about, so i'm journaling it now in hopes that i can look back at it some day and smile at myself.

{before i start, i'll say this... my best friend {{a very gifted writer }} likes to write about her kooky moments and mishaps in life. when she does, it is written very creatively and with a great deal of humor. so this is my attempt to do the same, but although creative writing was one of my aims here, also know that every speck of this story is true.}

so, it goes like this... the place where i've been working freelance had its company holiday party last night... a little late, i know. but better late than never. it was a lot of fun, and i'm so glad i ended up going. originally, i thought i might not go -- not because i am anti-social, but because i don't know everyone there very well -- not as well as i have known past co-workers and employers. this is partly because i am still somewhat new and also perhaps partly because i am just a freelancer and not a permanent employee.

however, since i was invited, i thought i should accept the generous invitation. it was at weber grill {a restaurant i had never been to }, so i was curious about what the food and atmosphere would be like. both were superb, and i highly recommend going if you have one near you.

anyway, upon arriving, the woman who sort of runs the show at this company {you know... one of those people who keeps a business together, without whom it would fall apart } was standing by the entrance of our little, private party room and asking everyone to write their name on a piece of paper to fold and place in a christmas gift bag.
she said it was for a game. then i said, "a game or a drawing?"... worried that it would be the kind of "game" where your name is drawn and you are put on the spot to do something. she only answered me with a smile that said, "i guess you'll find out."

hmmmm... my instincts were right. all throughout dinner, names were picked and called, and if yours was the name drawn, you had to either sing or dance. well, after the first name was drawn, i began to regret putting in my name. but the "game" was entertaining none the less. the first person chosen {my buddy eva } chose to do a dance -- a little jig to
shuffle off to buffalo. it was cute.

then two other guys got picked -- one who works there and the other a guest of someone who works there. i can't remember exactly what they did, but one sang and the other quoted a sweet poem to his wife {almost as if on command like at a wedding or something... as if people had just started chiming their glasses with a fork }. it was one of those "awwwwww..." moments.

so with three down and dinner almost over, i figured they were done drawing names for the night. but was i wrong! just when i thought i was off the hook, one more name was drawn. it was
not mine. but it was my husband's. and you know what? earlier, he had specifically said, "do not write my name down on that paper" as i was writing his name down on that paper. he was smarter than i. he knew the gamers were up to no good, whereas i naively believed we'd just be entering to win a prize. so after i put in my name, in went his too... completely against his will.


well, being the fair wife that i am, i told the thirty-plus people in the room that i could not in good conscience make him participate, for he's quite shy. and afterall... i
did forge his name. so i announced that i would take his place as punishment to my forgery. then all eyes were on me.

gulp!

i had no idea what i would do. you see, i'm usually shy too, especially when it comes to this sort of thing. i mean, i grew up singing in church or for guests who came over for dinner. but i was always nervous, and that even with time to get mentally prepared. so you can imagine how something impromptu like this is enough to make me perspire and clam up with a dry mouth and shaky hands. yikes!

all i could think of in a split second was to sing some of the lyrics to the song that had been going through my mind for the past couple of weeks...

"i love you
for sentimental reasons
i hope you do believe me..."

those were the only words i could {and can } remember. i'd only be able to hum the rest. i knew that would never do for this entertainment-hungry crowd. so panic set it. what would i do?

then in an instant, it hit me like a ton of bricks! my claim to fame!... my specialty!... i'll recite the fifty states in alphabetical order! relief came over me as the realization that i had something with which to entertain the troops did too. calm set in and i announced what i would be doing with a proud smile on my face.

thus began my gig. "alabama, alaska, arizona, arkansas, california, colarado, connecticut, delware, florida, georgia, hawaii, idaho, indiana, iowa..." i got this far when the hand of my co-worker {and buddy, jerry } shot up as if we were in eighth grade reciting what we'd learned to the teacher for a test or something... as if to point out to the teacher that i flubbed up. my heart sank. oh, no. i'd forgotten a state, hadn't i? i stopped and said it out loud. "uh-oh. did i forget one?"

remarks flew at me like arrows from all around the room. but i only heard jerry. "you forgot illinois!" was his reply. how embarrassing! you see... i
live in illinois, as does the audience i held captive. the pressure must have been getting to me. at least i did not forget to recite the state of georgia, too. that would have been doubly embarrassing.

i quickly exclaimed, "it's because i'm not singing it!" {you see, i had learned a song in high school choir called
the fifty states that rhyme which was sung to the tune of does your hair hang low? {{don't ask... sometimes our choir director had us performing some really silly songs for our concerts.}} although not my most praise-worthy accomplishment to date, i did pride myself on memorizing all those states and being able to sing them straight though. i still remember the words all these years later {{which my twin sister who was in choir with me is amazed by... she only remembers up to iowa }}, and often when i am getting to know people, i'll pull that little number out to impress them. but i've never done it for a crowd until last night.}

well, i wasn't about to let everyone there see me fail. so i then announced that i would transition from speech to song. SCARY! this is one of those diddies that changes keys once or twice {in the upward direction } and the notes keep getting higher. {hmmmm... do you think maybe it was written by barry manilow?} so no matter how low i start out singing, it's too high for my range by the end -- not a pretty sound coming from this life-long alto. but i did it anyway. i was determined to finish and not make a fool of myself. {well... not any more of fool than i already had, that is.}

i'll write all the lyrics at the end of my post. believe me... singing this is a daunting task. my little game-participation had turned into a big production. and trust me on this, too... i was enjoying every minute of it! not because i like being in the spotlight. but because i was delightfully surprised at how unabashed i felt. it was freeing to let loose and let go... not to care what others thought of me at the cost of having fun. the only other time i am like this is when i get on the dance floor at a wedding. i know i have two left feet, but i have music flowing through my veins, so if it's playing and there is a dance floor around, you can be sure i'll be dancing without caring how uncoordinated i look. and i don't even need alcohol to get me there.

okay, long story {not so } short... i was off to a great start, and although a few minor {but corrected } mistakes slipped in, i sang through the first half with flying colors. it was funny, too, because in the middle of the song {at the end of a verse and right before a key change, the song goes "ooh-ooh"... the first ooh being on one note, the second ooh being the next note up on the scale. it's sort of the bridge of the song... sort of a pause point for the singer to catch their breath. i did my "ooh-ooh", took a sizeable breath, and opened my mouth to continue, when suddenly i heard applause and cheers. they thought i was done! at this point i thought, "uh-oh. i better speed this up. they are just
waiting for me to finish!"

i rapidly said, "wait, there's more" and continued on... "next new hampshire, and new jersey, and way down new mexico..." i began to speed up the tempo... partly to end their misery sooner and partly to show off how fast i could sing it. i think the writer of the song knew it dragged on a bit too, because they added these words toward the end of the song: "texas and their's utah, vermont i'm almost through..." if you have to tell your audience in the song that you are almost through, it's probably too long. {kind of like this post, right?}

okay... i'm almost through. : )

well, to me, the best part of the whole performance was the very end when i sang "no, wyoming is the last state in the fifty states that rhyme" and then slouched/collapsed in my chair -- sort of backward into my husband's lap with a big sighing breath as if to say, "WHEW! i made it!" i was not trying to be cute, but if i were watching someone else do this, i would have thought that was the cutest part. and the funny part is, i have no idea what kind of look b. had on his face while i was singing because i had turned sideways in my chair toward the main group, so my back was to him. he might have been cringing or even hiding. or maybe he was thinking this was his proudest moment! i like to think it was the latter.

well, i did it! i finished and the cheers started again. {along with some laughter and perhaps a bit of astonishment, too. i don't mean in a good way. i mean in a way like "did she
really just sing the fifty states in alphabetical order? did i really just sit and listen to that whole thing?"}

but you know what? it does not even matter to me what everyone thought. {well, i like to think some of them were entertained in a gong show sort of way.} but no matter what they thought, i had fun! i had fun, because i allowed myself to. i was letting myself be silly, entertaining, fun, jovial, goofy... even attention-getting. hey, that's okay every once in a while. it felt good! and i realized something. i just don't do this enough. i don't let my silly side show enough. i'm too often guarded or acting proper-like at the thought of what others might think. but i realized last night that i should be my fun self more often.

and guess what else! when i was all done and the laughter from my adoring fans died down, i was handed a $50 gift card to use at the restaurant we were at.
and to think... i would have done it for free! : )

okay, this is finally the end {-ish }. i just wanted to add this final note {if you were patient enough to read this whole thing }.
go ahead. be silly. let your guard down. do what's in your heart even if you might embarrass yourself. be spontaneous! i give you permission. and you should, too.

the reason i posted the photos i did today is because they are of my sister-in-law {my husband's brother's wife} with her husband on the left and with my husband on the right. she is the epitome of living life with laughter to the fullest and of not taking yourself too seriously -- thus the reason i call her "silly jilly". and i love that about her! so do my brother-in-law and my husband. that's why they are both laughing in these pics, and that's why i love these pics. and come to think of it, their mom is the same way, too, and i think that's why they like my sis-in-law and me. {b. says he is embarrassed by my silliness... like when i dance down the aisles at the grocery store, but i think he secretly likes it.}

okay... i promised you the lyrics, so here they are. {and i swear that i typed them from memory.}

...
the fifty states that rhyme

alabama and alaska,
arizona, arkansas,

california, colorado
and connecticut and more.

delaware, florida, georgia,
then hawaii, idaho,

illinois, indiana, iowa...
still thirty-five to go.


kansas and kentucky,
louisiana, maine,

maryland, massachussettes
and good old michigan,

minnesota, mississippi,
missouri and montana.

then nebraska's twenty-seven...
number twenty-eight's nevada.


ooh-ooh {key change}

next, new hampshire and new jersey
and way down new mexico.

there's new york, north carolina,
north dakota, ohio,

oklahoma, oregon,
pennsylania... now let's see...

rhode island, south carolina,
south dakota, tennesse.


texas and their's utah.
vermont i'm almost through.

virginia, then there's washington
and west virginia, too.

is wisconsin the last state
or is it forty-nine?

no, wyoming is the last state
in the fifty states that rhyme.

...

WHEW! i think typing is just as difficult as singing it is, if not more so!

b. just now walked past me while i was writing this and heard me singing the song under my breath so that i could type along as i sang. he stopped and said, "are you going mental?" i just started to laugh out loud. then he replied, "that's all i need to hear."

and on that note, i end this very long post.

: )

10 comments:

Dani said...

that's so funny! and i'm so proud of you! it's such a freeing feeling to just let yourself go and be silly. very good lesson here, georgia! have a peaceful night!

Hi Kooky said...

Good for you! You are braver than I. What's life without silliness, I say?

Steve Gravano said...

That is so cool. Silly is a good thing every now and then. And to think you got a gift certificate to boot!

slommler said...

ROFL!!!! You had my feet a tapping and my face a grinnin'. Good for you that you can let your hair down. I tend to be quiet and stay within myself at parties. You may have given me some courage to do this. Let my hair down that is. LOL! I will give it a try at the next party; which is coming up in a couple of weeks!
Ack!!
Hugs
SueAnn

S. Etole said...

good to hear your fun time ...

Heather said...

Hi, G! I had dinner with a colleague last night. Her name is Linda. And I finally made the connection as she recounted a story from the company holiday party... You gals are freelancing at the same place! I told her to tell you hello from me today, but I thought I'd pop over to your blog to do the same. I love the story-telling of your song-and-dance triumph. P.S. I know that song, or a version of it, too! I learned it in choir for a concert we did in 6th or 7th grade! Hugs to you!
-Heather

Alicia said...

there is nothing better than ending a monday with a funny story!! love this one!!

Kara!!! said...

That is HILARIOUS! I would not consider myself to be very shy, however I don't think I could have done that.

I think I will have to re-learn that song now :)

Toni said...

You crack me up, but you GO, girl!! Good for you. I think I would have looked for a hole to crawl into, or once I realized what was going on, slunk off to a bathroom to hide. Or make my husband (if I had one) take his own turn. =)

aapuzzanchera said...

I learned that song in 5th grade and still use it to this day to help me remember the states! No one I know, knows it! Nice to "hear" it from someone else.