The other day I had the opportunity to hear my own recorded voice and I realize I’m prone to exaggeration but you’re just going to have to believe me when I say that it was THE WORST THING EVARRRRR. I know I have some obnoxiously immature-sounding verbal tics and my voice is kind of nasal and I don’t always come across like the sharpest tool in the shed especially when I’m feeling awkward, but there’s knowing and there’s knowing, you know? I had recorded a phone interview and in playing it back I was pretty horrified by my, like, um, totallys. I’m forty, for god’s sake, and I sound like … well, have you heard Louis CK’s imitation of what sounds like a super-irritating high school girl? The only voice he knows how to do, as he said in his SNL monologue? I’m like literalahhh the first black president. That’s what I fucking sound like! LIKE ALLLL THE TIME, OHMIGAH. At least I definitely sounded that way during this interview, which is pretty embarrassing to know after the fact. I think my naturally dip-shitty way of talking may have been exacerbated because I was nervous (I was interviewing the communications manager for the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife for an article about how ODFW had recently killed two cougars here in Eugene, and I got the feeling she was pretty tired of talking about it), which is even more frustrating. I mean, it doesn’t seem like a particularly useful life skill to have your intellect audibly devolve when you’re in a challenging situation. Like, um, hi, 911, can you, like, totally send a, you know, ambulance?
The other thing that’s made me focus on my voice lately is Riley, who continually absorbs our various sayings and incorporates them into his own lexicon. For instance: “I know, right?” He says this all the time now, and not only am I hyper-aware of the fact that he’s copied-and-pasted this from me, but I can’t help saying it back to him, until we get caught in a completely, like, idiotic loop.
“These Red Vines are really good.”
“I know, right?”
“Totally. Best candy. Right? I know.”
“So good, right?”
“Best! Oh my god.”
“Gosh, Riley. You should totally say gosh.”