About twice a week, I’ve been going to a spin class, which is a great workout. I go after work, and it gives me that feeling of, “Yes, I work out at a gym after work. I am a grown-up.” But that grown-up feeling suddenly went away tonight, and without warning.
During the cool down, Bette Midler’s The Rose came on. All of a sudden, when I was stretching my arms, the first chord struck, and I instantly knew what it was. I almost fell off my bike. And then I became the 13 year-old Andi again, awkward in every possible way, who sang The Rose at a talent show in the 7th grade.
I thought I had pushed that embarrassing phase of when I thought I would be a professional singer out of my mind. But no. The memories hit me hard. Four girls who thought they could be mega-superstars. Matching outfits. Harmonies, though quite excellent, were shaky because we were performing in front of the whole middle school. I flash-backed to when we would practice this song, singing along with Bette. I remember it like it was yesterday.
Now, to brief you on just how awkward I was, I would like to include this photo. I think this was either the fifth or the sixth grade, and I hope I learned to use makeup and a hairbrush after this, but still. Its pretty bad.
So now that I’ve made your eyes bleed with that image, or gave you a good 30 minute laugh-fest, let’s get back to my memory, mmmk?
The Rose is a very long song. But I didn’t realize that until I got on the stage and stood in front of the microphone. The lights were so intense, I couldn’t see anything other than my frizzy hair. Someone yelled out “go Andi!” and all I managed to do was give a thumbs up, which of course induced laughter. I’d like to think I was the jokester of the group.
We sang it well, as well as four 13 year-olds can sing a song like that. I was a soprano and sang the high part. I’m sure it was absolutely beautiful. My older sister was in the 9th grade at that point and wasn’t at the talent show, but I’m sure she would have hung her head in shame had she heard a horrible rendition of a Bette classic.
In the end, we were surprised and disappointed that we didn’t win the talent show. After that, I think we stopped singing in public altogether, other than the Pocahontas song. It was a lot of fun then, but looking back on it now, I’m sure I had the worst voice of the group, and my group members were just flattering me.
All of this came to me when I was sitting on a stationary bike.