Not Even Karaoke


Offspring and I are both musically inclined; this is actually one of like four  things we have in common, along with eye color, sarcastic bent, and a hard-wired need to be right.


Husband doesn’t just hate musicals: I’ve literally never heard him sing.



That probably doesn’t sound strange until you think about the people with whom you spend the most time – you know what they sound like when they sing, because they’ve done it at some point.  They sing along with the radio, they hum a little while puttering around… something, right?  At the very least, they join in when others are singing a familiar tune.  Nope, not my man.  Never.  Not once.  And I’ve asked.


sing it!





I had begun to suspect one of two possibilities: either he was tone deaf, or he was possessed of such an angelic voice that to hear it would cause our hearts to break and our ears to refuse all lesser sounds.  Well, he’s helped our son prepare for auditions – and correctly adjusted him when he missed a note – so he’s not actually tone deaf.*  Which leaves me to imagine the glories of the voice I will never hear… and to try to trick him into demonstrating it, because self-preservation apparently isn’t my thing after all.


ME:  (calling the babycat over)
BABYCAT:  (leaves, tail twitching)
ME:  Well he doesn’t love me at all, does he?
HIM:  Guess not.  Good thing I do, a little.
ME:  Only a little?
HIM:  Hmm… yeah.  Little bit more today than yesterday.  But not as much as tomorrow.
ME:  …
HIM:  That was good, right?
ME:  You have to sing it to get full credit.**



Incidentally, since I don’t want there to be any confusion, this is the babycat:



Babycat = full-grown.



I’ve had him longer than I’ve had Husband – a fact of which he reminds Husband semi-regularly.  I took some heat last time I introduced the cats here, and have resisted mentioning them since because of that.  But now that I’m finally coming out of my cave just a little (a personal Facebook account and the new Instagram) you’re sure to see pics of them eventually… because that’s what the internet is for, right?  Pictures of our pets?


I’m sure as hell not going to show you my lunch.  (Chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs.  Can’t make me grow up.)







* I’ve only ever met one person who genuinely was, and she fascinated me; I kept plunking on the piano and asking her, “you really don’t hear any difference between these two notes?”  I’m sure it got annoying, if not embarrassing, after the first 45 minutes or so.  I’ve heard people claim to be tone deaf, but what they mean is that they’re very bad singers or have no musical skill; they can still hear the difference between two notes, or recognize when you change a familiar melody.  Most people can.  I have also known one person who was actually “beat deaf,” which is a whole nother thing, though the two can be related.  Seriously, this is why music programs are so important, even if you’re never going to be a professional musician: the cross-section of people you meet and the things you learn about them can’t be found elsewhere.


** No, it didn’t work.





23 comments on “Not Even Karaoke

  1. Regina says:

    Be careful what you wish for. My husband sings all the time. He makes up little songs to score our life. It’s endearing…for the first half hour or so.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. JenS says:

    I’ve never heard my husband sing. I’ve heard him shyly hum a tiny bit of a tune so we could figure out what song was stuck in his head, but it was a half-hearted try and not actual humming. You could not tell if he has any musical talent by those sad hums.

    My Husband has mentioned he sings sometimes when he is alone and I’m away from the house or taking a nap. It is a rare thing that I don’t believe I will ever witness.

    Why would you get heat for mentioning your cats? Adorable kitties deserve all the attention. F%$& the haters! Cats rule! 😻😺

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s because I called one fat and the other stupid. The thing is, she’s really stupid. And he is fat. Watch: I’ll yell FATASS and… see? He came running. But we’re not too upset about it, because he was dangerously underweight when we found him shivering under a bush and it’s sort of a miracle he’s alive. I figure since I saved his life, I can call him whatever I want, and he’s proud of his fat ass anyway.


  3. There was a girl in my high school choir who was tone deaf. She couldn’t distinguish musical intervals at all and there was absolutely no rhyme or reason to the notes she sang. Our music teacher tried to coach her for a while, but ultimately gave up and just stuck me and another girl with a strong voice on either side of her at concerts to drown her out.

    My husband is far from tone deaf but still can’t carry a tune to save his life…not that it stops him from trying. One of the reasons I know I really love him is that he’s the only person who can sing that horribly off-key around me without making me stabby. (I have perfect pitch and 95% of the time it is definitely more curse than blessing.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • One of my high school choir directors firmly believed that each of us could and should develop perfect pitch (it’s possible, but hard work!) so he would issue pop quizzes where we’d name an interval or a chord and even individual notes. All after we were warmed up, at least, but still! To date, I know exactly one person who succeeded at the goal; she went on to become a music teacher, thus perpetuating the cycle.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s really strange when you’re just born with it, because you never realize it’s unusual until someone points it out and make a big deal over it. Took me years to get used the idea that that wasn’t how it worked for everyone.

        That said, I think people have more potential for it than they realize. We always hum one single “om” at the start of my yoga class, and without fail everyone almost universally goes for a B flat. I have no idea why. Class attendees vary wildly from week to week, but the B flat is omnipresent.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Arionis says:

    I’m with Him on the musicals. Mama Mia? More like Mama murder me please.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The Hubbit doesn’t sing. He sort of drones, with the occasional yodel. If I hadn’t heard it with my own ears, I wouldn’t have believed it was possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. gingerbread76 says:

    Tarzan doesn’t sing. When he drives, he doesn’t listen to the radio. He listens to the engine.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. cracTpot says:

    I knew a girl who was completely beat deaf. Watching her dance was like watching a stripper with hip dysplasia. I loved it! She was completely unpredictable. Who doesn’t like surprises?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I only ever met one person who was genuinely beat deaf, and he learned that (and what that meant) by auditioning to be a drummer. I watched it happen. It was torturous. My heart broke for him but also… I had to wonder how in the hell he’d got to that point without anyone telling him?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. People gave you heat for pictures of your cat?! Show me all the kitteh pics! How rude. I can’t believe your husband never sings. My husband is constantly singing in a high-pitched voice to our dog; usually something about her being beautiful and the best. Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My favourite thing to absentmindedly sing is the Jurassic Park theme song. I’m not good at songs with words. My vocal range is unusually low for a woman and pitifully narrow (And I have a music background, so I know what I’m talking about and this is not just me being modest or humble or whatever). Anything designed for the human voice just doesn’t work for me. So I sing instrumental bits or make up my own singing narrations about whatever it is I’m doing.

    My partner picked a winner.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You get a mixed bag of sympathy from this alto: altos get a reputation for being lazy, as if merely working harder can somehow stretch our voices to a “feminine” range. Personally, I’ve always wished for a sexy contralto like Toni Braxton. (In my mind, I totally sound like that.) So if you’re hitting those lows for real? I’m jel.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha. No. I’m not hitting those lows for real. I am vaguely an alto, but I also have a narrow range. I can literally only sing about five notes. I did music at university (for a year), and even though I was there for clarinet, everyone had to do basic singing. I was a disaster. I literally couldn’t. I had voice students tell me of course I could, don’t be silly, and foolishly volunteer to pair with me for the group-singing project thing … only to find I really, really couldn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. GettingTooOldToCare says:

    Been with my husband 30 years and never once heard him sing, just for fun. Who cares what we sound like? Singing is an expression of joy, and I don’t believe my husband has any pure joy in his heart. He’s too introverted and embarrassed all the time to simply let go and have fun. He bores the shit out of me and I’m over it. When I want to blast some good rock and roll in the car and sing out loud, he gets annoyed and tells me “turn it down.” Can’t express emotion around him. He just can’t deal with the fact the some people actually have an expressive personally.

    To remark on another poster: my first husband made up words to songs and sang out loud in my face like he was telling our life story. So fuckin irritating. Guess it’s true: be careful what you wish for cause you just might get it.


    • Fortunately for us, Husband has plenty of joy – and does like music, he just won’t sing. Which is so weird to me. He also has the most eclectic Pandora station I’ve ever heard – it’s literally just all the things he likes, all mixed up like trail mix – which I find hilarious.


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