Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Voice

This weekend I had to interview my father for a school project. My handwriting is pretty bad, and slow, and my memory equally so, so I decided I needed to record the interview and then transcribe it. That meant interviewing my dad in front of the computer, the only voice recording device in the house.

Everything was fine ... until I heard the playback.

I sound like a small child.

This won't be a surprise to anyone who knows me. You have heard my voice anytime you talk to me.

I only hear my own voice maybe once every couple of years, and it always shocks me. Horrifies me.

Because inside my head? I have a rather deep voice, and a deep belly laugh.

Outside my head, I have a high child's voice and a tinkling giggle.

(ok, so I did only giggle on the recording, none of my trademark big laughs, but still, it is an indication)

This sounding like a child often makes people not take me seriously. Maybe it meant that I didn't get those jobs I interviewed for, who knows. I know my voice get's higher and more giggly when I am nervous.

Maybe this is what my brother is trying to get at when he yells at me on facebook to take care of the dead mice on my own and not let my landlord do it for me. Maybe a "take charge" attitude will make people more quickly see my capabilities, and ignore the fact that I sound like a little kid and still get mistaken for an undergrad.

I too often take the "shy violet" approach. I didn't speak until I was about three years old, when suddenly I went to a family reunion without my mother and brother, the people who spoke for me. Armed with the instructions "don't let daddy fall asleep", when we got back home, my dad said dazedly to my mom "She never shut up. For three days, she never shut up". And I haven't yet, (or so the legend goes, really, I kept my mouth shut all day at school, so the floodgates burst by the time I got home).

The shock of hearing my own voice makes me cringe at what other people hear. But, I have been complimented on my laugh enough in the last few months that I know it is not a bad voice, it is just not what I think it is. This experience should remind me of what other people hear, and why they are so quick to treat me like a child, and that if I want to be taken seriously, I should act seriously.

And maybe wear my hair less in pony tails.


Anonymous said...

You go Girl! Good observations. Suzque

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Your voice doesn't sound like a little kid's. It's just that, first of all, we all sound a little more tinny and high-pitched on a recording like that, and our voices are all a tiny bit higher than they are in our heads.