Friday, August 17, 2012

Karaoke Lessons: Friendship Rocks!

Happy Hour is Officially Over!

Happy Hour is Never Over When You are With Friends!

Days exist in one's life that just absolutely suck all the joy right out of a body and leave a person feeling defeated, tired, put-upon, old and ugly.  Nothing goes right.  One bad thing piles on top of the other and it seems as if a person's house of cards will crash down completely and leave one bereft of anything good.  Unfortunately, my best friend experienced a week of such days and yesterday she had reached her breaking point for stress and depression.  

The "blahs" must have been contagious as I had a series of bad days as well, feeling low and unlovable mid-week.  The events of last night, however, considerably changed my mood.  I woke this  morning feeling happy and upbeat, and my friend did too.  Nothing special happened--we didn't win the lottery, meet anyone extraordinary, or even  engage in friskiness.  We spent time together being silly and stupid and having a blast. 

She came over to my place after work and we indulged in a brief pity party, discussing the ins and outs of why the week had been a wearing one. We exchanged sympathy and advice, gave all the obligatory affirmations and basically comforted one another. Then the fun began--we started with ice cream.  Good ice cream.  High quality, "so-not-sharing-with-the-children"  kind of ice cream.  Passing two cartons of Ben and Jerry's back and forth allowed the conversation to elevate to lighter topics. As we chatted, we started laughing a bit, poking fun at our moroseness and self-pity. Once you've reached the stage where your own misfortunes can become the butt of jokes, you know things are looking up.

Giddy and hopped up on sugar, we decided spontaneously to gussy up and go to karaoke.  Following the logic of commiseration, if ice cream had made us feel better, just imagine what a beer and a bad rendition of Love in an Elevator could do for our collective mood. 

It totally worked too!  We goofed around, cracked jokes, and flirted with some men who's ages we were better off not knowing. After a couple cold beers, we got on stage and butchered White Snake's Here I Go Again, laughing the entire way through the song.  Feeling our oats, we then decided to take on the Spice Girls, whipping out with an embarrassingly bad version of Wannabe.  I haven't had so much fun in a long time.  There is something entirely refreshing about making a total ass of yourself and doing it on purpose, as opposed to feeling like the world is making an ass out of you for all reasons beyond your control.  

Last night's revelry at a dive karaoke bar put things in perspective for me.  Sure, life can get dreary and depressing and yes, bad things happen to good people all the time, but as long as you have a good friend with whom you can laugh, be silly, and play the fool, things never get too bad.  Friendship ameliorates, heals, enriches, and enlivens.  It adds an element to one's life that not even family can fill.  Family has to love you, to be in your company whether they like it or not.  Friends, on the other hand, choose your company because they enjoy it.  They want to be with you because of you, and whether or not we realize it, the notion of being wanted as opposed to needed has a tremendously powerful impact on a person's sense of self and feelings of personal worth.  

Karaoke did it again.  Yet another life lesson reinforced through the power of song.  Friendship totally rocks!  Sometimes it rocks quietly and solidly, comforting when comfort is needed.  Sometimes it rocks loudly and raucously, cheering and elevating when necessary.  A good friendship just does what needs doing.  Yesterday it needed to cheer up both of us.  It needed to remind us that the world holds so much joy if you only look for it, and that being down never lasts for long.  Thankfully, our friendship did just that.  It jump started our resilient natures, boosted our moods, and just made me wake up with a sense of satisfaction and a smile.  Life is good, especially when you are lucky enough share it with friends.