Facebook triggered a memory yesterday. Somebody said something about having sung raucously in front of their town, and it made me laugh....
[However many] years ago. Somewhere in the middle of acquiring a Theology degree.
Our little school had a plethora of traditions, and one of them was that the entire student body had to participate in the choir at the annual graduation ceremonies. Which meant ... mandatory choral practices for weeks leading up to the event.
Is it OK to say that this was not the highlight of our educational experience? We didn't enjoy it. I like to sing, but 500 unwilling participants and songs I didn't really care for ... not a good time. I wish I could tell you that I would rather have been partying, but that's probably not true. It would have been spring time. The truth is, I probably would rather have been working on one of a number of papers coming due. I also on that day, was glancing across to the tenor section and wondering where my boyfriend was.
So Lewis-the-leader was conducting, and the band was playing, and we were all droning through an anthem one more time. In the middle of this particular song, Dave-the-soloist was to step forward and ... well, solo, obviously.
So we blandly sang our part, Dave solemnly stepped forward, and suddenly, seamlessly, the band did ... something ... different. No one was quite sure what it was. Lewis' arms pumped harder in an effort to bring them back. But they didn't care. They were doing their own thing, and they were doing it well.
Just as we all started to think, "That sounds familiar ..." up came Dave's mic, and with a grin, he crooned, "Start spreadin' the news ...." Two guys - one of them my absent boyfriend - the other, his friend Pete - danced out onto the stage behind Dave, twirling umbrellas in perfect choreographical time. We all started to laugh. Lewis, who couldn't see what was happening behind him, began sweating with his conducting efforts.
"I'm leavin' todaaaay....." Poor Lewis was in full body conductor mode now, trying to regain control, as boys with umbrellas danced behind him, and Dave channelled Frank Sinatra beside him. When he finally realized what was happening, he threw his hands up helplessly and chuckled good-naturedly as the song carried through to the finale, "....it's up to you, New York, NEW YOOOOORK!!!!" Umbrellas twirled in a perfect flourish and the renegade band concluded the song with enthusiasm. Choral practice was effectively over that day.
I'm not entirely sure, but that may have been the exact moment that I decided to marry Spike.