Friday Fun: Hidden Talents

Sing, sing a song....

Sing, sing a song....

I went out with my best friend again this week, and “made a fool of myself.”

I’m talking karaoke.

Now the truth is, I don’t make a fool of myself.  But that’s what I call it.  As in “should I make a fool of myself this week or not?” – which is usually what I ask my friends.  To which they reply “yes! Yes! Please!”

See, they never knew I could sing.  It’s not something I brag about or anything, but I’ve always had a pretty good voice.  Good enough that, at age 14, my aunt B literally begged me to sing at her wedding.  I could pick whatever song I wanted, she just wanted me up there singing for her.  (I ended up singing “Longer” by Dan Fogelberg.  It was a beautiful song, seemed appropriate to the wedding, and was something she would remember from her own teen years.)

But then, when they took me out for my birthday this past year, I’d had enough to drink that I felt courageous enough to get up and sing.  And I hate to sound like I’m full of myself or anything, but I totally blew them away.  That time, I sang Celine Dion’s version of “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”.  (I love that song, mainly because it’s written by Jim Steinman, the guy who wrote most of Meatloaf‘s biggest hits… and Meatloaf is SO my boyfriend.)

I’ve done it a few times now, singing “You Oughta Know” and “Hand in my Pocket“, both by Alanis Morrissette.  Most of the time, when I sing, it’s just my friends that cheer for me.  Most of the other people that frequent that particular bar simply seem like they couldn’t give two shits about the people that are up there singing, regardless of who they are or how good (or bad!) they happen to be.

But two days ago, I surprised the hell out of myself, even.  I got up and sang Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me“.  And I had people cheering for me before I even finished the song.  When I was done, I received the biggest and best applause I’ve ever gotten since I started singing Karaoke 6 years ago.

So yeah… singing would be a hidden talent of mine.  It’s not something most people would even think of when they think of me.  But it’s “me” more than anybody would even guess.

Pink & Purple Ripple Afghan - Baby

Pink & Purple Ripple Afghan - Baby

A totally unrelated hidden talent of mine is my ability to crochet.  When people find out that I make things like this, they seem in total awe of my talent.  And honestly?  I think most people (except for maybe those that are really uncoordinated) would be able to do what I do, if they were taught how.  My late maternal grandmother taught me when I was 7, mostly to shut me up.  😉  She would crochet in the evenings, when all the housework is done (much as I do now), and I would sit and watch her and ask a million questions.  One day she sat me down with my own ball of yarn and a hook and I was off! She only taught me the most basic stitches, but I was able to make things from then on. A few times I thought I’d “discovered” a new stitch, only to find out it was simply a more advanced stitch than the ones my grandmother had taught me.

I will admit, though, that it’s only been in the past few years that I’ve learned to read a pattern.  Before?  I would look at it and it looked like a different language, even though I was supposed to know what all the abbreviations meant.  Then suddenly a few years ago, something in my brain just “clicked” and patterns started making sense to me.

But when my friends and family see what I’ve made, it always garners “oohs” and “aahs”.  Honestly, it doesn’t feel like something you have to have “talent” for, but since so many people seem in awe of it, I guess I have to lump it in there on my “Hidden Talents” page.

What are your hidden talents?  Do they seem like a big deal to you?  Do others stand in awe of the awesomeness that is you?  (And of course you’re awesome!) ???


6 Responses

  1. Mine is my ability to coordinate colors/prints when I’m searching for fabric to make an item of clothing. If I have slacks of a certain color at home, I can go out looking for fabric to make a top and find a print in a color that either matches it or coordinates with it. Back when that bullet-proof polyester fabric was popular (and I could find it for a dollar a yard), I had about 10 pairs of slacks in various shades of two main colors, and 10 tops in matching/coordinating prints. That gave me nearly 40 different outfits with just 20 items of clothing (and I probably spent less than $150 on the fabric, thread, zippers, and buttons I used to make all of that). No way in hell could I do that today, fabric is so much more expensive, but I haven’t lost the talent. It’s still there when I need it.
    Another of my talents is to take a print fabric that someone thinks is so fugly no one would wear it and use just the right pattern to make an awesome item of clothing (I’ve done that several times, and shocked the hell out of people who said no way would that fabric ever look good on anyone, let alone look good on a fat woman). But then, I have strange taste in the prints I like (I found one, a long time ago, that was small tropical flowers, about the size of a dime, in magenta, orange, pink, yellow, red, and purple with about 3 shades of green in the leaves. It made the cutest peasant top that I wore with white slacks). I miss that top…….

  2. M, that sounds like something *I* would wear!

    And you so TOTALLY need to win the lottery so you can fly over here and give me sewing lessons! 😉

  3. My hidden talent is my ability to cook anything from a recipe and pretty much get it right, straight out the gate. Ask me to improvise and things might get a little sketchy. But with a cookbook all things are good.

    Also, I am scarily pithy, which comes in right handy for Big Moves. Show names, tag lines, postcard writing, event listings … anything that must of necessity be short and sweet, I can write quickly and easily. Comes from several years at an alt-weekly, I suppose. Glibness, when tempered by knowledge and commitment to the cause, becomes a gift.

  4. I do not have the best singing voice in the world, but I can carry a tune, and one night out at karaoke, I got huge applause for doing Juice Newton’s version of “Angel of the Morning,” especially when I hit the high notes. I’ve also gotten good response for “Blue Moon” (the 50s’ fast version by The Marcels) and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.” I also like the fact that I can get up there and nobody cares it’s a fat chick singing—they just want the voice to be decent.

    I can also sight read music to an extent. When I worked as an activity aide in a nursing home, I would sometimes go around with a co-worker and sing to the residents. He was amazed at how quickly I could pick up music I’ve never sang just by looking at notes. I did have piano lessons when I was a child. It didn’t last long, but I’m sure that ability stayed with me over 20 years later.

  5. I’ve turned out to have a reasonable talent for cooking. Sometimes I follow recipes, but a lot of times I just think about what flavors would go well together and follow my instincts. It doesn’t seem like it’s a big deal to me because it’s not restaurant cooking, just food, but others really seem to like it and who am I to spoil their pleasure?

  6. bigmovesbabe – you know, I just didn’t think of it when writing the post, but I have that amazing recipe following ability, too. I spent so long thinking that I couldn’t cook (simply because I can’t cook like my grandmother – who is more like Tropical Chrome, and can make anything out of nothing), when I just need a RECIPE. I’ve never done wrong with a recipe yet. And oh yeah, I can definitely see where your blurb-writing abilities would come in handy! If that guest post you wrote for SP is anything to go by, you’re awesome! 🙂

    Bree, I’m enough of a music buff (and I think being raised by my grandmother helps, too – she listened to all the “old stuff” when I was growing up) that I know exactly what songs you’re talking about. 🙂

    Tropical Chrome – like I said to BMB above, my grandmother is like you. She’ll look in the fridge, pull out stuff you wouldn’t think would go together, and make an amazing meal out of it. Me? Hah. No way. But I think it’s an awesome ability to have (especially when you grow up poor and sometimes have to be VERY creative with meals!). 🙂

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