Sunday, October 07, 2012

Like no one is watching

I was feeling overwhelmed by the crush of political news on my way to work the other day, and "Love Shack" comes on the radio.

I associate that song with Deb for two reasons. First, I took her to a friend's friend's birthday party early in our relationship, and there was a karaoke machine. Deb was a karaoke fiend and grabbed the mike. Being in the stage where you'll do anything to impress your date, I joined in on "Love Shack," doing the guy's part. I was starting to wonder what I was getting into when she really let loose on "Tin roof, rusted!" even though we were in someone's apartment, not a bar.

The other reason is one day after we moved in together we were unpacking her stuff and found a videotape without a label. I asked her what it was and she said she didn't know. I popped it in the machine, joking it was homemade porn. Instead, it was a tape made one night when she and a couple of friends went out to karaoke. There she was, singing "Believe" by Cher, "Mickey" by Toni Basil and, of course, "Love Shack." She told me to record over it. You bet your butt I didn't do that. And I'm glad I did, because it's the only video I have of her.

Anyway, "Love Shack" is on the radio, and I think of Deb. And I think of how she was in the video, singing and dancing, uninhibited in that way she was when she was having a good time. The first concert we went to, I was a little embarrassed to see her get up and do that full body dance of hers. Then I realized she was having fun and I had no right to stop her, and why would I want to? Just because I'm more inhibited? Clearly, she was having fun, and who was it hurting?

The memory of her dancing like no one was watching made me smile, and my mood lifted immediately.

The next song on the radio was "Rock Steady" by the Whispers, which I hadn't heard in years. I forgot how catchy that song is.

First I tapped my fingers along. Then the head bob. Then the Jay and Silent Bob head weave. Then the car seat butt wiggle.

I'm sure the people in the other cars got a good giggle. I didn't care. It was like no one was watching.

OK, maybe one person was, but I know she was dancing right along.

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