June 12, 2007

Singing “Surrey With a Fringe On Top”

Posted in *cringe*, Past, The How, The OCD, The WTF at 8:15 am by Dagny Taggart

In front of Ira!!!

One of my biggest fears is making an ass out of myself.  Which is unfortunate, because, well, it happens.  A lot.  I am a goofball klutz.  Le sigh.

We could get into how I didn’t really relate to other kids when I first started going to school, because I was sick all the time and couldn’t do phys. ed. or play normal games at recess, etc.  But really, I just didn’t get them.  I didn’t understand what I was supposed to be socially aware about… when I was seven, and the cliques started to form in that teensy North Jersey town.  And I kind of always suspected that I was being mocked.

It’s not paranoia if it’s true, in case you were wondering.  That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Anyway, I’ve always been really self-conscious in new situations.  I don’t like having an incomplete understanding of what’s expected – I can do quite well, if I know what the rules are.  But if I don’t know the rules, I tend to shrink back and try to stay out of the way as much as possible. 

One of the things I’ve been trying to do lately is get over that fear, which means trying new things.  In front of other people, who will all be witness to the self-ass-making.  All of them.  Whomever they are, they will all see it.  And they will know that there’s still that girl who isn’t quite sure she gets it, whatever the “it” is that prevents one from the making an ass out of oneself. 

But, you know.  I don’t want to be the chick with all the pet fish (cat allergy, remember?) who never actually did anything because she was too afraid of looking stupid.  So last night, I attempted a reasonably unfamiliar activity in front of people far more accomplished than I.  And nobody laughed.  At least, not at me.

It was kind of cool.  If this keeps up, I might just have to try my cords at a little something, the next time I’m invited to do this

So, thanks for last night.  I’m a little less terrified, now.  Not just because the worst that could happen really isn’t so bad, but because the worst doesn’t have to happen at all.



  1. Jo said,

    Greatest thing about Kareoke is that 1) there will always be someone worse than you and 2) if you do it often enough you lose some of the self-consciousness.

  2. Did you try bowling for the first time last night or something?

    Karaoke is best when you rent one of those rooms and it’s just you and a bunch of your friends, I think there are a bunch of them in the area at like Korean bars. It’s more of a bonding experience that way (if that makes any sense) I find it way more enriching than the american “Get up in front of a bunch of people you don’t know and probably don’t want to hear you” style.

  3. Hey Pretty said,

    I totally hear ya. I was always the youngest person in my class, and hence a little behind the developmental curb in terms of motor skills and athleticism. To this day, trying new sports is a huge obstacle for me.

  4. Jo: Both are excellent points. I just tend to freeze up when I get nervous!

    HYSL: Pool, actually. The bowling thing I have down. I was at a wedding reception that featured karaoke, once – and I sang. But, that may have had more to do with the rum pumch and the fact that the wedding was 3,000 miles away from most of the people I know! 😀

    hey pretty: Glad to know I’m not alone! But I think coming out of our shells is worthwhile, don’t you? 🙂

  5. vvk said,

    My comfort level is sort of weird… I don’t mind getting up on stage and embarrassing myself in front of a crowd, but standing in that crowd and mingling… that makes me cringe. Or watching other people embarrass themselves… ugh.

    I was always in the awkward position of being the youngest, and the tallest and the biggest kid in my class. I’m also not very physically coordinated, and I’m a tad bit self conscious of how much bigger I am than many people around me.

    Oh well.

  6. LMNt said,

    Not only did you not do badly last night, but you made quite an impression on your audience, and kind of scared us all just a touch. You see, none of us improved that quickly when we first started. You’re like and idiot savant or something. 😛

  7. LMNt said,

    ack! I meant AN idiot savant or something. I’m not stupid, I promise.

  8. Lisa said,

    Ooh, wow. I will try new things with impunity, but not karaoke. I can’t carry a tune and I only, ONLY sing in front of people I have known for years and really trust. Good for you!

  9. vvk: I definitely have a hard time watching other people embarrass themselves. Probably why I don’t enjoy the National Lampoon’s movies so much. And, I can relate to the younger/taller/least coordinated situation, too. I think there’s quite a few of us, so that’s something, anyway. 🙂

    LMNt: Well, now let’s see if I can just get around to actually, you know. Winning a game or two. 😀

    Lisa: It’s funny, I think it would be easier for me if it were complete strangers. I care about the opinions of people I know – strangers? Not so much. Of course, I’m odd. 😀

  10. joebec said,

    well i think it’s great that you want to get over the fears you have about being embarrassed. i used to feel similar when i was younger but i learned to laugh at myself and so if others laugh they are laughing WITH me, not AT me.

    i think you’ll do great at karaoke! if you are super nervous go up with a group or a friend until you feel more comfortable. either that or wait til everyone is really drunk… LOL 😀

  11. Beach Bum said,

    Is that a hint that I should plan another karaoke outing sometime soon? I need to schedule it for when you’re actually in town!

    And yep, all my karaoke outings and I still haven’t sing — and probably won’t. I know what I sound like (think bad American Idol audition? That’s me! Except I’m totally aware that I suck).

  12. trybritri said,

    I just lmao at the title going into the first line. Sorry. didn’t make it past that yet. LOLOLOL!!!

  13. jess said,

    Can I relate to this or what? I’m always self-conscious. Until I tell people I’m feeling self-conscious, then they look at my funny, like, ‘you think I’m not self-conscious?’

    Pretty soon, they’ll be calling you Fast Eddie 🙂

  14. joebec: I think I might wait until I’m really drunk, at least! 😉

    Beach Bum: I’d love to come out! I’ll try to figure out when I’ll be around for the next few weeks, and reschedule things if need be. 🙂

    tribritri: No worries – glad you liked it!

    jess: you know, maybe if I just focused on everyone else’s self-consciousness, and didn’t stop to think about my own issues, this could be easier?

    And I don’t know about Fast Eddie, but I’m looking forward to practicing some more and seeing what happens. 😀

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