Last Friday I went out with a group of college friends in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle. We hadn’t convened as a group since 2011, which was ages ago.That was in 2011. You can tell it’s an old picture because (1) I don’t wear glasses like that anymore (they’re bigger now) and (2) I look younger and smaller. Aging is awesome, amirite?
We meet up at the Oddfellows, an old Oddfellows Hall that was converted into a charming restaurant/bar about 5 years ago.It’s quite beautiful inside, in a sort of shabby-chic/pseudo-Parisian/stylish-farmhouse way. A lot of hyphens involved with that joint.
We had aperitifs there and then wandered over to Poquitos, a hoppin’ spot for great Mexican food and scratch cocktails. I drank some fresh watermelon margaritas and ate a ton of food: ceviche, insanely good guacamole, delicious street-style grilled corn, and tasty and tender carne asada. When I wasn’t guzzling libations or shoving food in my mouth, I shared lots of laughs with my friends. So much fun! Big thanks are in order to my friends H and her husband J for hosting our fantastic supper.
We then capped the evening with a visit to Rock Box, a nearby karaoke bar. I had never been there before, and was expecting something along the lines of the depressing little bars that usually host karaoke. (You know what I’m talking about. There’s a funky smell to the joint, there’s usually a wall of pull tab dispensers, and someone is passed out on top of the bar.)
I was mistaken, because Rock Box is dark and sleek and cool enough to sell Jell-O shots where the proceeds are donated to charity.
Rock Box offers Japanese-style karaoke, which means that it features private rooms that you can reserve to sing with your friends without fear of humiliating yourselves in front of strangers. My friend H had thoughtfully reserved a room in advance and we quickly left the entrance area/common bar (where some crazed and totally inebriated man was screeching “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC) for our own private space.After some instructions from the hostess, we started singing. It got wild, y’all. There was some Billy Joel and some Neil Diamond and even “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” from the Frozen soundtrack. I know–slooooow down, ladies.
And then it happened: I decided to bust out the Beyoncé, performing “Drunk in Love” solo. Yes, the singing parts and the rapping parts. All by myself.
Had I ever sung this song before other than singing random lines of it while I listened to it in my car? Listening to a CD, by the way… that I bought at Starbucks. Yes, I own CDs and buy them at Starbucks. People like me have no business singing Beyoncé songs at karaoke bars.
Are you familiar with “Drunk in Love?” If not, give this a listen so you understand what I was up against.
So I sang it for my friends, and it was epic… As in epically ridiculous. But still a hell of a lot of fun.
H dared me to sing/rap the same song out in the common bar/lobby area of Rock Box when we our room rental ended. If not for the watermelon margaritas (“I’ve been drinking…watermelon”), I might have laughed her off and said something like, “Silly you, I’m a grown woman with 2 children, a mortgage, and pride! And I only know of this song because I own a CD that I bought at Starbucks, and I therefore have no business singing these kinds of songs for an audience!” Instead, I said I would.
And I did. And it was about as crazy and ridiculous as you would probably expect. I did try my best to channel Beyoncé a lá her performance at the Grammy’s, minus the wet hair, the chair, the smoke machine, the thong, the cool moves, the fabulous voice, and the prop Jay Z. Don’t know what I’m talking about?
Apparently my over-the-top performance was a hit. Or at least a spectacle. I had an audience. Their reaction? Kind of like when you’re driving past a car accident on the freeway and can’t help but slow down and gawp.Fortunately my good friends from college were there to memorialize the event in photos and (oh joy of joys) video. My hope is that the video will be sealed in a vault where the government stores nuclear waste, with signs posted for future civilizations warning them from opening the vault for fear of causing certain annihilation.
I honestly don’t think I can ever again hear that song–or any other Beyoncé song–without thinking of those friends, or that night.So imagine my amusement when my husband and I went out for a date the other night at Hilltop Kitchen and I ordered this drink off the menu:“Surfbort,” indeed. Don’t worry; I refrained from singing this time.
Have you ever been to a karaoke bar? Do you like to sing or just sit back and giggle at the singers?