Karaoke and Vodka Threaten To Sabotage a Trip

LAURIE: My birthday was the other day, on a Friday. I’d overindulged the night before, and had a miserable day at work, interrupted briefly by phone calls from friends and a lovely chocolate ganache cake, courtesy of my boss. My friend Kate’s birthday is two days after mine, and her birthday party was that night, at the splendiferous Congee Village, where you can eat Chinese food in a regular restaurant setting, or eat Chinese food in a private room equipped with a karaoke machine. We were there for the karaoke, and as a bonus, the food was good and plentiful.

I luuuuuurve karaoke. I know that this does not make me unique, but when someone hands me the microphone, and the totally incongruous video featuring (I’m not kidding) a small brown child in a dusty diaper swatting at a goat, giggling old Belarusian women in traditional garb, and Norwegians in a speedboat is somehow magically in synch with the lyrics to the Ike and Tina Turner version of “Proud Mary”–well, I am transformed. Throw in a few rounds of vodka tonics; the fact that it’s also my birthday; and the sincere, awed support of other drunk people who didn’t know I had it in me, and I am obviously your worst karaoke nightmare. I would have been the “karaoke hog” in Aimee’s bachelorette bacchanal.

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Sweatin’ to the oldies.

Which is why–when I was supposed to be on West 66th Street, waiting for Josh to get out of work at midnight, with my bags packed and all ready to jump in the car and drive to my parents’ place upstate so we could visit our wedding venue–I was actually in a basement on Allen Street, my bags decidedly unpacked, gripping a wireless mike and purring the lyrics to Olivia Newton John’s “Physical.”

And I now know that our wedding weekend will, nay, must–MUST–include karaoke.