The Best Birthday Ever!

Despite the fact that I’m getting old and wrinkled, I can still manage to party when the occasion calls for it. And my 26th birthday was definitely such an occasion.

I spent a fair amount of time this year deciding what I wanted to do for my birthday. Would it be rock and roll bowling? Would it be ice-skating? Or would we rock the bounds of acceptable social interaction with a much maligned, much feared art form. . . karaoke. Despite the serious misgivings of my friends, and perhaps in part because of them, Steve and I planned a night of karaoke in San Francisco.

First of all, we knew there would be drinking. I had to go through rigorous training sessions to be sure that I could keep pace. And the drink of choice? Why tequila, of course! What I love best about this picture is that Chris is holding his baby daughter as we partake.

Chris, Anne, Denise, and Dan

But that wasn’t quite enough. Another practice session was definitely in order.

Chris, Denise, Dan, Kirsten, and Anne

Honestly, I have no idea where I got the reputation as being “trouble”. But that’s what my friends say and even call me.

Finally, the big night arrived. We started out by consuming a huge amount of pizza at an Uno’s Pizzeria in the City. The presents were awesome, mostly consisting of bottles of alcohol and gigantic margarita glasses. But best of all was the tiara I got to wear all night.

Anne in a tiara with Steve

Then it was time for the move down the street to Silver Clouds karaoke bar. People were understandably nervous and no one wanted to make the first move. Luckily, Rich was a real trooper and got on stage right away to sing Bridge Over Troubled Water. Then I picked a song and Steve wrote it on the slip of paper. I wasn’t quite ready to get up there, though, and asked Steve to please not turn it in while I went to the bathroom. When I returned, I asked Steve if he had turned it in. I was much relieved when he showed me a piece of paper in his hand. Within seconds my relief turned to horror as my name was called. Steve had shown me a fake! From the laughs around the table, the look on my face must have been priceless. Anyway, I was committed now and nervously went on stage to sing Stay. As I said, I was nervous, but I made it through the song okay and went back to the table to give Steve the pummeling he so deserved. Suddenly, everyone was putting in their slips of paper and going up on stage. And I frequently was pulled up there with them to keep the fears of soloing at bay. Here Jocelyn and I are singing Play that Funky Music White Boy.

Anne and Jocelyn

A little later I was on stage for a tearfully hilarious rendition of Venus with Denise and Kirsten. I was going along okay until I realized that Denise wasn’t actually singing “venus” but had substituted that “V” with another letter altogether. We couldn’t breathe let alone sing we were laughing so hard.

Denise, Anne, and Kirsten

There were a few other solos of the evening. Vera got up there to sing Sweet Dreams. Apparently the guy up there with her could no longer stand to be a mere onlooker. We have no idea who he was.

Vera with some random guy

And Aaron went up there, too, for an incredible rendition of Whip It. It was excellent!

Aaron

As a final act a whole group of us got on stage for YMCA. Here I am with Steve, Chris, Dan, and Neil.

Anne, Steve, Chris, Dan, and Neil

Anne, Steve, Chris, Dan, and Neil

Remarkably, as worried as people were about the choice of activity, almost every single person at my party got on stage at least once that evening. In fact, a few weeks later, Aaron and Vera, Aaron who had had the most trepidation about the evening, were already talking about what songs they were going to sing next time! Obviously this was a success and a “next time” had to be planned. Our next trip was in July. But those tales will come a little further along in my narrative.

A few days after my birthday, someone asked me if I had a fun birthday and I replied that it was my best birthday ever. As I explained, no other birthday had made me try something so new and laugh so hard, with so many friends having a great time, too. Well, maybe my 21st birthday, but I don’t exactly remember all of that one. : )

Another birthday gone, but it was a great one!