The very best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear.

I went out for a few hours, came home, and found that my husband had wrapped all the Christmas gifts!  It was the best Christmas gift ever!  It instantly made me feel like giving HIM a big Christmas gift, if you know what I’m saying.  Voluntary gift wrapping is even sexier than voluntary dishwasher unloading. 

Here’s a little fact about me: if there is a song playing that I enjoy, I will sing along, regardless of the location.  This isn’t a conscious thing; I just tend to sing along, in my head, which often leads to SINGING OUT LOUD FOR ALL TO HEAR, a la Buddy the Elf.  It’s my way of spreading not only Christmas cheer, but just cheer year-round, I guess.  There is a good chance that if you see me in the grocery store, I will be pushing my cart, humming and singing along to the 1970’s light pop favoured by grocery stores everywhere: I’ve seen lonely times that I could not find a friend…but I always thought that I’d see you again.  Needless to say, if Hall and Oates is playing, there is no chance I will not be singing along.  She’s gone, oh I, oh I, got to learn how to face it. 

A large part of my inability to hear a song and not sing along is that – I’m going to boast about myself for a minute – I have an immense catalogue of song lyrics in my head.  I pretty much know all the lyrics to every song ever written, from By the Light of the Silvery Moon to In Da Club.  What can I say, other than my awful voice, I rock at karaoke.  The downside to this is that I have a massive percentage of my brain devoted to song lyrics.  If I could just free that part of my brain think of all the things I could accomplish, like earning my Ph.D., maybe, or figuring out how to drive to south Calgary without bursting into tears.

A few weeks ago I arranged to meet up with some friends in an area I was not familiar with.  I wrote down directions, studied them, and half an hour before the appointed time, I headed out.  Not unlike the time I was driving from the airport to West Houston and ended up in Sugarland, Texas, I drove past my turnoff.  There was much construction, and road signs were not up – for the love of god, Calgary, keep road signs up during road construction – and I ended up far into a residential district before I realized my mistake.  Then I pulled over and cried, before remembering that deep in the glove box is a Garmin!  I plugged it in, typed in the address, and then became insanely frustrated as the Garmin had not been updated in some time, and kept telling me to turn left where the streets were blocked off by construction.  Eventually I made it to my destination, and realized that I did not know how to get home, until my friends very kindly pointed me in the right direction.  Upon reaching home and relating this to my husband, he sighed heavily.  “You’re so smart” he said, “How can you be so bad with directions?  You need to realize you’re lost BEFORE you see a herd of cattle or the signs to Banff.” 

He has taken it upon himself to become my instructor, spreading maps all over the house and quizzing me about the major arteries of the city.  Some of this information must have been absorbed, because I drove to the southeast part of the city to meet up with Marilyn for lunch and I neither got lost nor burst into tears.  I had heart-pounding anxiety for much of the trip, but I made it!  I did! 

This newfound information has not displaced my song knowledge, however, or – needless to say – my propensity to sing out loud in public places.  On Thursday I found myself in the Superstore liquor store, singing a duet with an older gentleman.  I was pushing my cart (yes, CART) through the aisles, and I heard someone singing the very best festive song about date rape ever written: Baby, It’s Cold Outside.  I unconsciously hummed, then sang along – SANG ALONG – with a total stranger.  It was somewhat awkward when I realized I was part of this impromptu duet when I rounded the aisles and the older gentleman winked at me, me with my case of wine, giant bottle of Bailey’s, and a twenty sixer of gin.  It had all the makings of a great romantic comedy, other than the fact that a) I’m happily married, b) the man in question was in his sixties, at least, and c) this was all taking place in a liquor store at ten in the morning.


  1. Song about date rape.
    I hope Papa Beib does a remake.
    I love music and retain the lyrics. Shall I break out in a little New Kids on the block for you?
    Yes, I embarrass my family.
    PS. I wanted to point out that my word verification was:
    Stifi…which makes me giggle since you ummm…well at the beginning of the post you mentioned…well…you get it.

  2. My response to Mr Nicole’s comment is “AWWWWWWW.” And “HEHEHE.”

    When I was living in Edmonton and people gave me an address I would ask, “What’s the nearest shopping mall or big box store?” This guaranteed I would not get lost. It was a trick I learned from my mother. Alas I no longer live in Edmonton and no longer engage in competitive, professional-level shopping so I’d probably get lost as often as you.

    I don’t think I know all of the lyrics to any song other than O Canada. Can we still be friends?

    (My word verification is “bunwabla”)

  3. I’m a little freaked out at how I could have written this post myself. Compulsively sings all the time? Check. Massive library of song lyris in head? Check. Gets easily lost, displays inability to navigate? Check. These are all things I am KNOWN for. Worldwide, most likely. The people who used to work in the cubicles next to me loved me, I’m sure. They all learned to work with headphones on really, really fast.

    Now I just need to a) get myself a husband who will wrap, or at least unload the dishwasher, and b) figure out what to do with the bottle of Bailey’s I bought for the pie party but never opened. Perhaps you have some advice on that last one? I have never actually had it before.

  4. Oh yes, massive library of bad song lyrics in head. I don’t usually sing out loud though. And I drove to downtown TORONTO to meet Marilyn – does she purposely pick the hardest place to drive just to test our devotion, do you think?

    splazoot. wtf is WITH your word verification today?

  5. I have exactly the same combination – ridiculous amount of song lyrics taking up too much space in my head and a complete inability to navigate.

    My husband often jokes that if I need to remember something all I need to do is to have someone set it to music. Head if full of commercial jingles, song lyrics from my childhood, hymns from when I was a kid and went to church, even lyrics for songs I hate, etc. Could use that brain space for other things these days.

    I thank (insert deity here) for my iPhone’s map function every time I have to drive someplace the least bit unfamiliar. It gives me directions and it tracks me so I can tell when I missed the damned turn or something. The last part is critical as I could get lost in a town with only two streets.

  6. I’m glad you made it out of the liquor store alive. 🙂

  7. I am honored that you risked getting lost to meet me. We should have met up at a karaoke bar to have a sing-off. One of my best traits is my knowledge of song lyrics. 🙂

  8. Whoa. I have this same issue. Actually I don’t really view this as an “issue” because I really enjoy it. Like you, I sing along with anything, anywhere, anytime. Sometimes it’s an ice breaker and sometimes people are annoyed by it.

    I know all songs whether I like them or not and all commercials- jingles and prose. And I don’t ever forget them. I can recite tv commercials from when I was a child.

    But I can’t remember to take my dog to the groomer even if they call me 12 hours before the appointment.

  9. I’m a sing-along-er! I have to hope my kids have good memories of their mom signing along to EVERY song ever.

  10. He wrapped all of the presents? What a good man.

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