Monday, December 7, 2009

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…A cappella. No instrumental accompaniment to drown me out. Yep, me, the microphone, and my fingers crossed.

Singing the National Anthem…A cappella…is probably the most vulnerable I could feel…unless I also experienced a wardrobe malfunction. After all, I’m not a professional, and there are thousands of people there…plus or minus those who saunter in late. Next time, could you please try to be on 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. And driving to the event, 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 provides curbside service and wishes me good luck… “Shake it, don’t break it.” Or...“Break a leg.”

During the time before the game…I pace and wait. Practice a few notes. Wait and pace. Then when it’s game time…and my name is announced…I walk out to center court, take a deep breath, check for wardrobe malfunctions, stare at the flag….and for some reason….I am not nervous anymore. Maybe it isn’t nerves responsible for upping my amps…maybe it’s adrenaline. But that all goes away with..."Oh say can you sing."

I shift into auto sing and the words just come ...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.”

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

Shout-out to Meredith… “Happy Pearl Harbor Day Birthday.”


Anonymous said...

You rock our national anthem!!!

Anonymous said...

so proud of my mom! great singer

Jayne said...

You're braver than I ever could be.