My occasionally snarky thoughts on everything from motherhood, politics, life and current events. Cocktails are sometimes mandatory. Bottoms up!

Friday, December 09, 2005

'Tis the Season

Not a Christmas rant, but a rant none the less....

No, I'm not talking about THAT season. It's also the cold and flu season -- otherwise known as the season for every frickin' person that I come in contact with to comment on how gawd awful or sick I sound. And I mean EVERYBODY. At least everybody that is not related to me or who doesn't "know" me. And I'll tell you what, the world is filled with people that I am not related to and don't know. Filled!

Look, I get it. I know what I sound like. I've had 20+ years to get used to it fer cryin' in a bucket. I know that folks are trying to "empathize" or whatever. That's why I have eleventymillion pat answers to the comments/questions I have heard over and over and over again. Usually designed to give the commenter/questioner a chuckle. Sometimes to give me one. Depends......

c/q: Losing your voice?
me: Better than losing your mind I hear.....

c/q: Laryngitis?
me: No. Lucky husband.

c/q: Do you feel as bad as you sound?
me: Thankfully no. It would really suck if I did though.

c/q: Been yelling at your kids?
me: Not today! [or the ever popular] No, they respond well to whistle commands.

c/q: Have you tried hot tea with lemon?
me: Only the spiked kind.
[or if I am feeling particularly snarky] No. I prefer scotch and Draino.

c/q: Oh my God, you sound terrible!
me: Thank you. Good thing I'm not contagious, huh?

c/q: What in the world happened to your voice?
me: Good clean livin' will get you every time....
You get the idea....

I *do* on occasion let people know that this is my "natural" voice. People that I am going to see on a semi-regular basis, for example. ( So that they don't just assume that I have the plague or something. ) Then the exchange usually goes something like this:

c/q: Wow. You sound awful... Laryngitis?
me: No, actually this is my natural voice. It's always like this.
c/q: Oh. Well, it's really sexy.

Sexy??? So sick = sexy? Sounding awful = sexy?? Are you kidding me? On what planet!?!? And more people than you would imagine say that! Blows me away. ('Course I use this neat thing called logic....)

Then there is the occasional WTF were they thinking/what the heck is wrong with these people kinds of exchanges. Like at the last big corporate muckity muck Christmas party I had to attend.... (Now granted, I had just met the Top O' the Heap Uber Muckity Muck's Wife 15 minutes before at the muckity muck grip-n-grin -- but still!) As we were seated for dinner:

TOTHUMMW: Oh great, I'm sitting next to the one person that I won't be able to hear!" [big smile]

me: "You'll be okay, I'm not that interesting...." [equally big smile]

TOTHUMMW: "Well, just so long as you don't tell me it's a permanent condition because you had CANCER or something...."

me (and hubby behind me): /:^0 ... ... ... ... ...

Hubby (as I was too stunned to speak): "Well, actually.... um..... Yeah...."
So then I spend the next 20 minutes calming her down. 'Cuz I'm fine about it, I really am. I was just shocked that she would guess right -- the first time no less! Who makes statements like that though? And why would you ever?

Admittedly, I am not "truthful" with every single person who comments on my voice right from the get go, simply because I do not have the time (nor the inclination) to share with every person that makes a comment. It's a lot of folks -- trust me. (And TMI helps no one.) Most of the time people are just making small talk (as we are all prone to do). A conversation replete with medical history is just not warranted with every checkout person on the planet.

And just so you know, there are a couple of up sides to having a voice like mine. (You just have to look for them really, really hard.)

Like in college, I had the unique ability to "call in sick" for my friends if they didn't prepare for an exam. (I was a great stunt sickie.) Or I could even "call in sick" for myself if it was one of those huge survey classes where the prof didn't "know" me (or any of the other students for that matter).

And I never have to talk to pushy telemarketers because if I answer the phone and the person *asks* to speak to me I know that they don't "know" me and are most likely trying to sell something. Before the invention of caller ID it was a really handy talent!

Now I know that people are trying to be nice (usually) and are just wanting to commiserate in some way. Usually I have a great deal of patience and humor about the whole thing as it is something that I deal with 24/7/365. It's just that this week has been a big week for "Wow, you sound really awful!" comments. And for some reason it's workin' my last nerve. While I was out with my Mom shopping the other day and I had fielded the 5,968th comment she finally looked at me and said:
"I bet you wish you had "This is my natural voice" tattooed across your forehead sometimes, huh?"
And yeah, sometimes I do. 'Cuz it gets old. Old. Old. Old. And apparently I am cranky. Cranky. Cranky. Cranky.... Good thing I am not loud too. ::wink:: Or contagious....