It happened just the other day…again!
Someone thought I was a girl.
No, not by the way I look or dress or walk, but simply based upon the sound of my voice.
Since most of you have never met me, and since the words I’m typing cannot “sound” and thus you can’t hear me (by the way, if you can, please seek medical attention immediately!) you’ll have to take my word for it that I have an odd sounding voice.
You’d think that I’d be used to it by now. After all, I’ve had it since, gee, let me think… And yet, invariably, the sales call or the McDonald’s drive-through reply of, “Thank you, Ma’am!” slams the truth home: I don’t sound like I think I sound!
My voice has been compared to that of Joe Pesci or Ty Pennington’s (sorry, fellas!) and when I sing (I use the term loosely!) I can imitate Geddy Lee from Rush. Flattering? Sometimes. Fun to showcase at parties? You bet! And yes, getting a room full of folks to laugh is great, but it doesn’t heal the sting, no, the emotional trauma caused by those sanguine drive-through greeters…
“Ma’am, would you like to Super Size that?” “No! I want to Super Size your your thick skull before I crack you one!”
And unlike bad breath or rude etiquette, I can’t change or fix it; I’m stuck with this tone! I suppose I could fashion some hi-tech gizmo with digitized voices and wear it 24/7. No one would dare call me “Ma’am” or “Mrs Lowder” with the testosterone-laced voice of James Earl Jones, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Clint Eastwood! And the annoying sales call? I’d have them cowering beneath their cubicle wishing their momma was nearby!
Years ago, I’d defend myself brashly with retorts like: “I’m Mr. Lowder!” or “I’m NOT a girl!” But the years have worn me down. Now, I simply answer their question, or order the latte, all the while wagging my head like the beaten old hound that I am.
And then I go home, fire up my computer and pour out my wrath on them in my stories.
Hey, you’ve got to get your motivation from somewhere.
Vengeance is mine, saith the writer. Mighty is the pen!