Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mini-Post: Please Don't Sing At Me


Title Photo Credit: Jastrow

I hate awkward situations, as many do.  Out of all the socially uncomfortable situations that could happen, there is a specific one that I wish to call out, and that’s being sung at. I find the thought of having someone sing to me to be very weird.  If you find typical conversation to be awkward, try having someone sing at you.  It’s social awkwardness multiplied by a factor of 10.

Luckily, I haven’t been sung at very much in my life.  It’s happened on some of my birthdays through the years.  Even those cases are enough to make me wish that singing “Happy Birthday” wasn’t such a ubiquitous custom.  I remember my ninth birthday, which was probably the biggest birthday party that I ever had, as a prime example.  Everybody was singing at me, and the whole time, I was sitting there wondering what to do.  It’s not like I wasn’t happy to have cake and presents, but I simply didn’t know what I should be doing while they all sang.  I ended up placing a ridiculously large, exaggerated smile on my face and waving at my family.  I was out of ideas.

Aside from birthdays, I have a friend who (especially when drunk) is prone to suddenly singing at whoever he’s with if a song that he likes comes on.  I hate when that happens.  I get out of such cases by suddenly having to go to the bathroom. 

Even video of someone singing at the camera is hard.  Check out this Target commercial below:

When I first saw this commercial, I cringed away from the TV.  I’m not a very close follower of Coldplay, but I would assume that the singer is probably otherwise a pretty charismatic guy.  Even he couldn’t make singing right at the camera look good, however.

Also, if someone’s so into singing that they’ll just start singing at someone else, then they’ll probably be smiling as they do it.  That makes it worse for me.  They’re clearly enjoying themselves, whereas their singing does nothing for me.  I’m generally a kindhearted enough person that I don’t want to crap all over their passion, but I’m also shitty at fake smiling, so I’m at a loss for what to do.

I find that smiling part to be an interesting distinction.  People singing “Happy Birthday,” my drunk friend, and Chris Martin are all smiling when they sing at me, and I can’t take it.  On the other hand, if I’m watching a music video, and the singer looks either emotionally gutted or violently enraged while singing at the camera, I have no problem.  My preferred genres of music tend to have videos where the singer isn’t smiling, fortunately.  (No one’s ever sung at me in person while looking either distraught or apeshit so far.)  Maybe I just understand those mental states better than happiness.

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