Soooo, I was driving home from work, singing along with the car radio like all the women in my family do. The radio was turned up loud, and I was singing like I meant it -- and then I had to slow down for a stoplight. That's when I began to analyze my actions and to wonder if I'm crazy or if other people behave the same way under similar circumstances. I couldn't wait to get home and ask your opinion.
It seems that if the wheels on my car are turning, I'm quite comfortable putting my heart and soul into accompanying the music on the radio. It doesn't matter how many lanes of traffic there are or how many people might possibly see me; as long as we're all moving, everything's fine. I figure nobody will get more than a passing glance at me, and they'll forget it before they've gone another half mile.
My discomfort begins when I have to stop. That's when a driver in the next lane would have time to casually glance my way and not only notice my gigantic mouth movements but study them. That's when the self-consciousness really creeps in.
The obvious solution would be to stop singing then -- but I can't do it. I have to sing it all the way to the end, especially if it's a good song. Instead, I try to disguise the fact that I'm singing.
So far my methods of subterfuge are limited. If I'm stopped at a short light and the other traffic is only on one side of me, I can put up my hand on that side to cover my moving lips and pretend to scratch my nose or rub my eye. Unfortunately, scratching or rubbing for more than a few seconds looks almost as weird as the singing does.
A longer stop brings me to attempted ventriloquism. I had to resort to that this afternoon, and let me just note here that it's extremely unfulfilling to sing without moving my lips when a really good song demands to be belted out in a big way. The main problem is all those b, p and m sounds that get in the way.
Today, for example, I was having a wonderful time singing along with Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss to their mournful hit, "Whiskey Lullaby." As I approached the stoplight, we'd just finished the first verse and launched into the chorus. Brad and Alison continued to sing beautifully, but I, because of the cars stopped on either side of me, tried to sing without moving my lips. My version of the lyrics came out like this:
"He fut that vottle to his head and fulled the trigger
And finally drank away her nenory
Life is short vut this tine it was vigger
Than the strength he had to get uff off his knees
We found hin with his face down in the fillow
With a note that said I'll love her till I die
And when we vuried hin veneath the willow
The angels sang a whiskey lullavy."
It's a great song, but it loses a little something in the translation, don't you think? After that, I didn't really have the heart for the lovely "la-la-la" part of it.
So, my question to you is a) do you think I'm totally nuts, or b) do you have these problems, too? If you chose "b" -- and I hope at least a couple of you did -- please 'fess up and tell me whether or not you've discovered any better stealth maneuvers.