Castles in the Sand

When the waters rise, will our castles remain?

I was only having fun, wasn’t hurting anyone… And we all enjoyed the weekend for a change.

As I wrote about last week, I recently discovered that my lack of shame goes much further than I previously realized. One of the most enjoyable perks of such a quirk is that very few other people share my lack of shame. And my family is no exception.

For whatever reason I have long felt perfectly comfortable making a fool of myself in front of large groups of people. Many have asked where I get that, um, trait, since neither of my parents fit that description. In fact, I would have to say that both of my parents (and most of my family) are pretty shy.

Even as we listened to some horrific “singers” at the various karaoke nights on our cruise a few weeks ago, I had a near-impossible time convincing any of my family members to join me onstage for a song. They are all horrified of such a thing, as if the people in the crowd who we’ve never seen before will somehow haunt them forever. I don’t get it.

But I have no such reservations. And I took advantage of that fact on our cruise.

We stopped in Puerto Vallarta on a Thursday, and after getting back on the ship we went to that night’s karaoke festivities. Now this event was more exciting than typical karaoke, because we got to sing with a live band. Naturally this opportunity excited me and I signed up to sing.

After much prodding I convinced my Uncle Tom (who is a far better singer than I and also a pastor who has spent the past 35 years getting up in front of people to speak, yet somehow was quite hesitant about getting up on stage) to join me for a rousing rendition of the Righteous Brothers’ classic “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.”

We get up onstage and pretty much own the show because we’re awesome, and then I signed up for another song to sing on my own. When I got back to the stage to take the microphone, I shared a brief story about how my parents had just visited Puerto Vallarta for the first time since their honeymoon just a couple months before their upcoming 30th anniversary.

I then proceeded to add that they were too embarrassed to join me for a song, so I was dedicating my song to them and wanted to single them out for embarrassment. I’m such a loving son.

The music begins to play and I sing Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right.” Granted, it’s not the most romantic song ever, but the song selection was limited and many of the lyrics quite humorously could apply to my mom and my dad. I figured it was fitting.

What I was not expecting was for the female emcee of the night to walk off the stage and drag my dad to the front of the room for a dance during my song. Now, I am nothing if not the ultimate professional while singing, but I had to really focus to maintain my composure and not roll over laughing.

You see, my dad doesn’t dance. I asked my mom about it and she said he might have danced once. I danced with my sister at her wedding in lieu of a father/daughter dance. It is just something he doesn’t do. Until May 17, 2012, that is.

It may have been the most awkward “dance” the world has ever seen, but it was fantastic. And with that, a night that would have otherwise faded behind the many wonderful memories of the vacation will remain in the forefront.

If I’m crazy then it’s true that it’s all because of you, and you wouldn’t want me any other way.

The musicians chuckled a bit when I announced that I was dedicating this particular song to my parents and thought my mom would find it quite applicable. After all, nearly 30 years into their marriage, I’m pretty sure that there have been at least a couple times when she was right and he was completely crazy. However, I’m also fairly certain that he would claim that she has been the one to drive him crazy.

It’s too late to fight; it’s too late to change me.

Well, after 30 years of her being right and him being crazy, I think we all would have acknowledged that it’s too late to change him (and while she’d never admit it, I don’t really know that she would actually want him any other way).

But that’s not entirely true. On May 17, thanks to a son who takes great joy in embarrassing others (I’m pretty sure I get that from my mom…), my dad did something we never would have imagined. It might not have been his choice, and it might not be fair to really consider it changing him. But it happened nonetheless.

And we all enjoyed the weekend (or in this case, Thursday) for a change.

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