Monday, June 11, 2012

Music Monday: You Better Think (about what you're doing when you're driving)

I am the world's worst singer, but that doesn't change the fact that I love to sing my heart out when no one is around to hear me. While some would-be rock stars sing in the shower, I've always loved singing in my car. Unfortunately, this has sometimes proven to be problematic, and I've learned to temper my enthusiasm for belting out tunes while behind the wheel.


I love Aretha Franklin, and my favorite song to sing along with the Queen of Soul to is Think. I'd love to tell someone off the way Aretha does in this song but, as an introvert by nature, I don't really have it in me. Except when I'm in the car singing, of course.

One evening I was driving to my sister's house and was happily singing along to Aretha, when I suddenly heard a crunch on the passenger side of my car. I had been so wrapped up in telling some imaginary person who had wronged me that he better think, I'd managed to hit my sister's neighbor's mailbox.

I jumped out of my car, my heart beating so fast I thought I would pass out, and was beyond relieved to see that the mailbox didn't have a scratch on it. In fact, no one would ever have guessed that a moving car had just barreled into it. My car was a different story, however, as the side-view mirror was now hanging on by a thread. 

While I was grateful the mailbox withstood my assault and I didn't have to pay to repair it, I could not escape the damage done to my pride. My family and friends have never let me forget this incident, and I still get teased about it. I still love the song though, although I now only sing along to it when I'm at home cleaning. I figure I can't do any damage with a mop or scrub brush.

You would think I would have already learned my lesson about singing and driving when this mailbox crash happened, as I had already had a singing mishap years before when I got my first (and only, knock on wood) speeding ticket.

When I first finished school I lived in a small town outside of Columbus, Ohio called Marysville. After driving home to Cincinnati for a weekend, I was driving back to Marysville on a Sunday night and, of course, listening to music. It was late and I had the country road to myself. Or so I thought.

I was listening to Free Fallin' by Tom Petty and really got into it, much like Tom Cruise's character did in this scene from Jerry Maguire. This incident happened a few years before Jerry Maguire even came out, and this scene totally cracked me up when I saw the movie. At least I wasn't the only one to get a little carried away with Free Fallin'.



Next thing I knew I heard a siren and saw flashing lights behind me, and I realized too late that I was not in fact the only car on the road. The officer asked me if I knew how fast I was going and I had to admit that I really didn't. I didn't think I should tell him that I was too wrapped up in my singing to notice. I wasn't that far over the speed limit, but far enough to get a ticket, and learn an expensive lesson.

After both of these mishaps I really did learn my lesson, and I've always been much more careful when driving. I was lucky the only things that were hurt by my silliness were my pride and my wallet. And in spite of these incidents, I really am a good driver, I swear it.

What about you? Do you like to belt out a tune when no one is listening? If so, have you ever been caught in an embarrassing moment as a result?

35 comments:

  1. That was such a great post! And yes I do catch myself singing a tune. Actually my last trip home from grandmas was surprisingly quick considering I was signing every song on the way. Some trips there is no good music and some seem like every song needs me as a back up! I do get embarrassed if I feel like someone sees me but wish I did not. Hey it's fun up to that point.

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  2. I crashed my 1970 Kharmann Ghia singing "If I fell in Love with You" by the Beatles. I even remember the line at impact, "And help meeeeeeee" Bam!
    I still like to sing in the car, but my kids make fun of me.

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  3. I do sing in my car but I've never had a mishap. And the speeding happens no matter what!

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  4. I am always singing when in my car. This made me laugh because can see how you could get so wrapped up in a song you lose sight of everything around you - literally. And while driving, that's dangerous.
    Karen

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  5. Haha, this is why I restrict my singing to the shower! :D

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  6. I think there should be a singing and speeding exemption ;)

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  7. I'm a terrible singer, too. :)

    I don't sing in the shower but I do sing when I'm cleaning and when I'm in the car - which is weird because even if people can't hear me, they can still SEE me acting like a doofus. It's like singing in a fishbowl. :)

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  8. I enjoy singing in the car too. So far no mishaps, though.

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  9. I love singing in the car but as I live in the city I'm always aware of the fact that people can see me and will think I'm talking to myself so I mainly belt out my tunes in the kitchen while I'm cooking. So far I've had no food crashes that way either!

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  10. No I don’t sing in the car!!! It would probably break down in protest!! lol

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  11. I can't carry a tune but I do love to sing with my favorite artists. No mailboxes have been harmed in my delivery. :)

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  12. @Amber, thanks! You made me laugh about every song needing you as a backup LOL.

    @Pamela, oh no, I'm sorry you crashed too! I hope it wasn't serious. I can imagine your kids making fun LOL.

    @Alex, I hope you continue with no mishaps!

    @Karen, LOL, it's true, sometimes it is just fun to get wrapped up in a song. Better for me not to do it behind the wheel though LOL.

    @Kyra, I really should do that LOL.

    @Johanna, that's a good point, it's only fair LOL.

    @Madeline, I know, I've thought of that too, I'm certain people have thought I'm nuts more than once. But I can't break the habit LOL.

    @Cherie, fingers crossed for no mishaps for you!

    @Rosalind, LOL, sometimes when I am stopped at a light I'll be singing and then realize I look like I'm talking to myself. Glad your kitchen has been safe LOL.

    @Carolyn, LOL, I'm surprised mine doesn't. Actually I'm amazed Clancy doesn't howl in protest when he's riding along with me LOL.

    @Brinda, glad the mailboxes near you have been safe LOL.

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  13. I'm a rockstar on the treadmill. That's where I listen to most of my music, but I do admit to belting out a little Adele music in the car lately. :)

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  14. I love singing in the car, too. Those are good songs to belt out.

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  15. Hi Julie - loved this .. haven't we all done ridiculous things at times - I'm not sure I've ever done anything singing wise - very poor at it too .. but I love the freedom of the car and being able to have the radio up without worrying about disturbing the neighbours!!

    Love music - just not very good at it! Cheers Hilary

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  16. @LG, oh, I love Adele, I belt out her songs too. I don't think I'd ever be able to do it on the treadmill, I'd run out of breath too fast LOL.

    @Mary, they are fun ones, no doubt.

    @Hilary, that's what I love about it too. I'll probably end up deaf from having the music up too loud. Thanks! :)

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  17. No, I never sing in the car. I don't drive either. I think the problem here is that you lose consciousness in the present moment, which is a no-no when driving.
    Love songs but don't combine them with another task which requires intense concentration.

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  18. @Francene, thanks for your comment.

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  19. I sing in the car, in the shower, to the dogs, wherever. Not picky. While I may have bumped into a thing or two, it wasn't because of singing. And I've never hit a mailbox :)

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  20. @Carol, oh, I sing to my pets too. They are the only ones who will put up with it LOL. Glad the mailboxes in your area have been safe. :)

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  21. I love Free Falling! That used to be my official downhill skiing song. I don't really sing in the car because I usually have my kids with me, but I think about my book while I drive, which is also not the best idea. I'm a terrible driver to start with, and adding distracted isn't a good combo. The thought of you belting it out in the car was funny :) Thanks for the cute post.

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  22. @Honey, oh, Free Fallin seems like a great song for skiing! I bet you're not a terrible driver LOL, but I know what you mean, distractions of any kind can definitely cause problems. Thanks for your comments!

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  23. I love that scene in Jerry Macguire! I'm such a bad singer that I never sing in public - I spend a lot of time miming stuff at carol services etc. As a result, I've never been caught out.

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  24. For me when I'm driving to and from work, there are feel good tunes, but there are also so many static speed cameras I'm always aware of not letting the music effect me too much. I do have a habit if I'm losing direction, to actually turn the music off so I can concentrate.

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  25. @Annalisa, me too, I loved that movie. LOL, I'm an accomplished mimer as well, I started doing it in school when I didn't want to get in trouble for not singing, but I was embarrassed for anyone to hear my terrible singing.

    @Rebecca, oh, I've had to do that too when I'm feeling lost, it's easy for me to get lost so I have to doubly concentrate when I'm unsure about the directions!

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  26. I *THINK* I love this post - and thanks for the good wishes re Oirland :)

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  27. 'My family and friends have never let me forget this incident, and I still get teased about it.'

    I can just hear you inwardly crying, 'Uncle, Uncle!'

    Sometimes, only a Petty tune will do ...

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  28. "Free Fallin'" is the perfect song for belting out and I may have (once or twice) even had a heavy foot while driving to it ;)

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  29. @Mark, LOL, thanks, and you're welcome!

    @Suze, LOL, that's exactly it. Although now that I've written about it I guess I deserve to be teased again LOL.

    @Kara, glad I'm not the only one! :D

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  30. Hi Julie:
    I awarded you a versatile blogger award. Do whatever you want. You don't even have to do it, but I just wanted to let you know I enjoy your posts.
    Pamela

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  31. Once in high school, I decided to belt out some show tunes for my boyfriend during a long drive. I even did my dainty Ethel Merman impression for him. Of course it was our last date! Glad you didn't end up singing Jailhouse Rock after your brush with the law! Though it had to have been horrible at the time, this is really funny now! Julie

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  32. I do love to belt out a song, but I'm in the same boat as you (bad singer). Doesn't stop me, though, in the car. Luckily, no flashing lights yet. I better watch that. ;0)

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  33. Oooh I loove to sing in the car on my way to work in the morning, I just have a short 15-25min drive to work, and it kind of wakes me up a bit, especially if the song is good (I usually listen to the radio)!


    Roadtrip: On my way from A all the way to Z!
    English Speaking Zone

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  34. @Pamela, Julie, Dawn, and Barbara, thank you so much for your comments and for making me smile. And thank you Pamela for the award, I'm very grateful.

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