I have been told I’m funny. I have been told that I have beautiful blue eyes. I have been told I have nice hair and nice teeth, but extremely cold hands. I have been told I have an iron deficiency. I have been told that I have birthing hips and strong calves. I have been told I make a better door than a window.
I have never been told I’m a good singer, that is, until last Saturday.
My sister planned a gathering, to say good-bye. My husband and I are moving to England in eleven days and my sister (I guess) wanted to celebrate that fact with friends and family in abundance. She called it: “It’s Not A Good-Bye Party”, but we all knew what it was.
When our family gets together it is mayhem: people slapping each other’s rear ends, uproarious laughter, children crying, and the occasional sing-a-long. The men usually retreat to the living room, to amuse the children and talk about American football. The women of the group converge in the kitchen, and in hushed tones share child-rearing techniques, discuss the latest episode of Lost,talk about our parents (who have been best friends for 40+ years), occasionally break into song, and gush “I love you guys” and mean it.
On this fateful day the women were indeed hanging around the kitchen, slumped on the countertop, nibbling on olives and pretzels and chatting it up. We were discussing Whitney Houston: her career, Bobby, how strange it is that she named her daughter Bobbi, and someone began singing her hit, “I Will Always Love You”.
A side note: We all fancy ourselves to be singers. Some of us studied music in college, some of us are members of a local choir, and some of us sing in their car on the way to work (that would be me).
Shortly after the first bar, we all joined in and harmonized quite radically. It was music to my ears, quite literally, it sounded wonderful and it was music inmy ears. I sang along, unabashedly hitting the high notes in Alto, the lowest of the female range. When the song concluded my cousin Alison, without being prompted, turned and said to me, “You have a really good voice”.
Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather (a really large, heavy feather). I was absolutely shocked. No one had ever told me I had a good voice, but then again, no one had ever heard my voice, at least no one in the recording industry. The world had not yet had the opportunity to judge my voice on its merits, but Alison’s comment inspired me. If Alison thought I was good, then I must be really good.
Now I feel compelled to share my voice with the world. Will I be able to end world hunger with my voice? Probably not. Will I be able to record a #1 album in the UK? I think so.