When I was in college a friend gave me a gift certificate to have my astrological chart read for my birthday. I was intrigued. The meeting was in the astrologer’s home, which was very bohemian and smelled heavily of patchouli. Not surprising on either count. She told me a bunch of things I don’t remember now and didn’t mean anything at the time. However, there are two things I do remember: 1) that I’d have two children (we have one and the ship has sailed on the possibility of a second) and 2) that one day I’d be writing. When I asked her if she saw me singing, she said no but that she definitely saw me writing. Hmmm.
Now, I love to sing -- just ask my neighbors… It has always been an emotional outlet for me. Mad at The Captain? (c'mon, you know it happens) Adele or Miranda Lambert. Happy with life in general? Kenny Chesney or just about anyone -- mostly country but the occasional pop and classic rock songs make the cut. My childhood four-poster bed was the perfect height to use as a microphone when I was singing the Grease soundtrack in fourth grade and the Annie soundtrack in sixth and the Footloose soundtrack in high school (I’m short). These days my brother-in-law comes to our house and plays his guitar and I sing. We throw songs back and forth to each other. You learn this and I’ll learn that. Our only audience is the rest of our family at RitterFest, our annual family reunion (fodder for another post).
While The Captain patiently listens to me crooning country songs, he has gently made me to understand that, while he enjoys listening, I will never see the Grammy stage from a vantage point other than that of in the audience -- ouch. I don’t like this but I know it’s true and whenever anyone replies to the contrary, my response is that even if I were good enough, I’m twenty years and forty pounds too late. That doesn't stop me from making a captive audience of my family. J They, too, listen patiently and applaud enthusiastically. (thanks, guys)
Recently, as you know, I’ve found my laptop keyboard as another creative outlet. Not that I don’t still sing along to my iPod in the car, the house, the shower, hum quietly to music in the supermarket, and my brother-in-law still comes over to play his guitar. I guess my astrologer was right about something because now I have an audience that extends beyond my family – even if my voice has a different medium, so to speak. Now I’m off to put the folded laundry away (yes, it’s folded today) and get to work on the floors while subjecting my reggae-loving neighbors to my renditions of Little White Church and American Honey. Thanks for listening.