April in Glenwood: A karaoke DJ saved my life
Last weekend I celebrated my impending nuptials with an appropriate hobby: karaoke.
Hobby may be a strong word, considering singing in tune isn’t exactly a talent of mine. I’m not really a karaoke regular either, as in the enviable type of singer impressing audiences with perfect pitch, tone, rhythm, and vocal technicality. I can do comedy, though.
That’s best way to describe my karaoke style.
I rarely shy away from a crowd so I have fun with it. For me, karaoke is all about the showmanship. And the humor. My old stand-by is “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard, a number I’ve had memorized since I played it repeatedly in my Mustang’s tape deck in high school. I do have a knack for remembering a ridiculous amount of lyrics, especially from the ‘80s, so singing along to words on a screen to my favorites is a night well spent. When I had the chance to celebrate the end to my bachelorettehood with my girlfriends in the city, I thought karaoke post-dinner sounded perfect.
Turns out we were in good company.
We discovered a friendly karaoke pub featuring a mix of ages and reasons for singing on a rainy Saturday night in Louisville. From a couple ladies celebrating their 23rd birthdays with “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen to our group of 40-somethings dubbed Team Bride singing ‘80s and ‘90s hits, we were all over the board. There were definitely the karaoke regulars with the perfect pitch, tone, rhythm, and vocal technicality.
And then, me.
Of course I didn’t miss a beat with the Def Leppard hit. I even gave a Salt-N-Pepa “Push It” duo with a member of Team Bride a try. The crowd was into it and kept dancing, so that was a good sign. Karaoke was a fun option for our party, and was appropriate considering that’s how it all started my fun love story.
I first met Steve on one of my Christmas breaks, when I still lived in Colorado, when he still DJed karaoke for fun. It was always a tradition with my friends when I was home visiting to go out and sing karaoke in my small-town pub. My best friend Megan was known for turning off her mic when we sang.
I probably should.
One night, Steve and I started talking between my nearly-endless karaoke requests and became Facebook friends. I remember thinking he was cute and my type. But I lived more than a thousand miles away, so friends we would stay. Or so I thought.
Flash forward to a hot September night two years ago.
I had attended a fall festival in my hometown with friends, not long after I decided I would come back to Indiana to be closer to my parents after struggling with two unexpected family losses. I was as single as a contestant on “The Dating Game,” but didn’t have many plans to try my hand at love again. I was pretty much on the losing end. My best friend’s husband suggested she and I go out after the festival for some karaoke singing and girl time, and we obliged.
That’s the night the real magic happened.
A seat was empty next to Steve, so I grabbed the spot and we started talking. I think I remember saying, “Aren’t we friends on Facebook?” That night he did his best Bob Seger, and I was all over the “Pour Some Sugar On Me” theatrics. So much so, I rolled my ankle.
Only I could suffer a karaoke injury.
My graceful dance moves must have made an impression. Steve asked if I would like to go out on a date that next weekend, and I immediately said yes. At least I knew I could make him laugh. He took me to dinner and a comedy club to watch stand-up — a man after my own heart — and we were smitten from the start. That fateful night of karaoke after being Facebook friends from the past led to this wonderful life we’ve created with kids, camping, and an occasional night out singing karaoke.
And plenty of comedy.
April E. Clark was once a bachelorette on Paonia’s live version of “The Dating Game.” She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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