Thursday, November 8, 2007

A Minute and a Half

A minute and a half, 90 seconds, and then it’s over. That’s how long it takes me to sing the National Anthem and I did that last night at a college basketball game in the civic center…A instrumental accompaniment to drown me out. Yep, me the microphone and my fingers crossed.

It is the probably the most vulnerable I could feel in front of 10,000 total strangers unless, of course, I was also standing there without my clothes. The best thing though is I can feel the crowd almost rooting me on and hoping I don’t screw up. Just hoping I don’t forget the words and stand there awkwardly with a blank expression….duh! They probably are putting themselves into my size 6 ½ shoes and also thinking…. “you got yourself into this, now sing yourself out.” After all, I’m not a professional, or anything close to one, and it is 10,000 people. Plus or minus a couple of people who were in the bathroom or out getting beer…and you know who you are. Could you please try to be on time next time.

So was I nervous? You bet your late ass I was…Even though I have done this for ten years…the anxious feelings still come. Actually I am the most nervous the day I have to sing. Oh and driving to the event, I am super duper nervous. I am very preoccupied and focused on the whole thing…heck, if I got a call from one of my kids and they said…”Mom, I’m dropping out of college”, I’d say, “Oh, isn’t that nice.” And PaulA is so sweet to me. When he drives me to the event, I can tell he is on his best behavior…trying to say and do all the right things so I don’t go into Diva breakdown. He tries not to distract me by saying anything randomly stupid, he doesn’t play the radio and he doesn’t hum…He drops me off at the front door and wishes me good luck… (Probably can’t wait to get rid of me!) He does everything he possibly can….so if I screw up…I can’t blame him!!

During the 45 minutes that I have to wait to sing…I pace and wait. Practice a couple of notes. Wait and pace. After my name is finally announced, I walk out to center court, take a deep breath, stare at the flag….and for some reason….I am not nervous anymore. Maybe it isn’t nerves after all, maybe it is adrenaline getting me all amped up. But I don’t feel nervous at all…I go into auto drive and the words just come to me ...and luckily in the correct order, which is totally awesome because I might confuse a few people singing along with .. “And the rockets blasted in red air. The glare bursting in bombs.” Good thing I had my fingers crossed!

I keep going back for more because I love it…A minute and a half of adrenaline, being on the spot, and trying, oh so hard, not to embarrass my children.

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