has this ever happened to you?
you are talking to someone- face to face, like, um, your sister- or your brother and you absolutely cannot pay attention? it isn't that the conversation is boring it's that the person speaking sounds so much like you it is freaking you out a little? the only way you can be sure you aren't speaking is to subtly move your hands to your jaw and ensure nothing is flapping?
it happens when my sister talks to me (which she hasn't done in over one year, so i guess in a way i should add that to my "grateful list").
it is the strangest thing; we don't look alike- but we sound exactly alike- it's as if we are identical voice twins. she speaks and i think "ugh, is that what i sound like? shoot me now".
oddly, although our voices are identical i can sing and my sister cannot. canNOT.
interestingly as we age when my sister laughs, which isn't all too often, she sounds exactly like our 93 year old grandmother- thankfully, i do not- (another item to add to my "grateful list").
last night my 3 year old climbed into my bed- he was "newvous" and i said quietly "it's okay" and i did one of those "grab the mattress because you feel like you are falling" moves because the voice sounded exactly like my mother's. there were two huge clues though, indicating surely it was i who had spoken: (1) the tone was comforting and kind (my mother is neither) and (2) the voice was coming from the bed - (in my entire life my mother has never sat on or near my bed).
after my son fell asleep, i quickly ran to the bathroom to gargle with boiling water and listerine- there was something obviously wrong with my voice- while i was in there, i checked for a stick up my ass- if my voice was leaning towards my mother i would do all i could to prevent my attitude from going there too.
it happens with my second son too. he sounds exactly like my brother- so much so in fact that when he calls, if i haven't looked at caller id, i duck and cover after hearing "hello". ( don't ask why i duck- the phone call is usually cellphone to landline- but i feel the need to hide whenever i hear my brother- a call from him means hours listening to the drone and anger of a drunk dialer).
i spent the summer with my father and he sounds a lot like my brother- to the point where sometimes when he was speaking i probably did that "dog thing" squinting my eyes and turning my head to listen on a different frequency.
my stepmother sounds uncannily like her own mother- here i have to pay very close attention, especially if they are in the room together and adding to the same conversation; it can get very confusing very quickly.
and sly sounds exactly like his father- but that doesn't matter much. their accents are strong and when they are speaking together they let loose into tobago patois; so not only am i clueless as to who the speaker is, i don't know what they are saying anyway, so it doesn't matter.
what is the cause of all this? are voice boxes so limited that there are only a few keys to choose from?
can we change our voices- training them to sound more like lauren bacall and less like minnie mouse?
should i have laid off of the helium- or smoked more?
obviously, i shouldn't have quit smoking- my lungs may be happy but my voice box is not.
oops. AND NOW!! tatataDAAAA: FOOD! (this all started as a blog for foodies)
yesterday's vegetarian fare was extraordinaire. sly made everything. root vegetables with roasted garlic and fresh herbs, stuffing with apricots, golden raisins, drunken cranberries, capers and oodles of fresh sage and plenty of butter. it was just the three of us; quiet (well, not so quiet- shea & i were here) calm, serene- no political or religious arguments- a lot of looking around the room and realizing just how far i've come and how very very lucky i have been.
lots of laughter and hugging; a black man, a white woman and a light brown boy: nobody to mistake a voice with.