Skip to main content

She Knows Me Too Well

Pardon the cliff-hanger. Last post I talked about my doctor's visit, but I completely left out the gym moment.

Why? Well frankly I was too irritated after the doctors and plus, I'd like to keep your attention with relatively shorter posts.

Typical News Years resolutions; my sister and my mom found themselves registering at a local gym. My aunt and I had already made an account a week before they did, so my Mom and Sister only needed to 'add' onto our account.

At the gym, we were talking to a lovely employee named Christina. She truly was awesome-we talked about all of our physical fitness goals, the best deal, some classes offered, and of course our interest in buying cute exercise clothes (A true priority when at the gym).

While my sister and my mom were completing their registration at the front desk by providing their finger prints and contact numbers; I was standing behind them playing on my phone.

Christina began talking to my younger sister and asked, something along the lines of, why my sister doesn't have an accent and I do.

Guilty millennial here-I did not even hear the specific question asked. I was too busy playing on my phone and texting a crush of mine.

But I did hear my sister, sixteen years old mind you, respond with, "Oh, it's actually not an accent-she had a speech impediment."

My ears perked up; my sister responded the EXACT same way I have for years. It was honestly strange hearing someone else say it on my behalf though.

I quickly tucked away my phone and put on the typical, amiable smile. Christina's eyes were wide open; not sure if it was due to fear of crossing some privacy line or general curiosity about my speech-perhaps both.

I chimed in, "Yeah, it's actually a childhood speech disorder, and now it just sounds like an accent."

Now when I say this, some people quickly apologize for even asking about it. This is absolutely a pet-peeve of mine. Never apologize for asking a question. You asked it and if the answer freaks you out-you should own it unapologetically. Plus, saying 'sorry' does not make the question itself disappear, nor is there anything to say 'sorry' for. (And if you're saying 'Sorry' because you are sorry for me, well I have a lot to say about that...)

I try to respond in a way that eases the curious individual's uncomfortability or insecurity that may arise after discovering that my speech is not an accent. Hence, when people apologize for asking, then I feel that I've failed to settle their insecurities. Oh the irony! They probably assume I am insecure about my speech or that they have crossed some line, thus they apologize. Yet, their apology in itself produces my personal assumption that I have made them feel insecure.

Thankfully my sister's initial and nonchalant response provided no awkward nor unnecessary apologizing.

Christina, rather than apologizing, said with pure excitement, "That is SO cool!"

My mom remarked, " Yeah, you know even as a kid, she would say she was from England. Sometimes she actually started to believe it and we would always say, 'No, no, no...you're from California and we did not adopt you!' "

Christina laughed and once again complimented me on how cool my 'accent' was.

Now, I love it when people think my accent is 'cool.' It boosts my confidence for sure, but I always try to exude confidence to begin with when talking about my speech. See, if she were to have asked and my sister or I responded awkwardly or with hesitation, she may have apologized merely for asking.

Throwback Pic!
As far as my sister goes, she knows me too well. The fact she gave the same response I give and have given for years in regards to Apraxia is honestly reassuring and freaky. As a kid, she actually has never heard my 'accent.' So when others would ask her about why I speak the way I do, she was sometimes bewildered as to what they were talking about.

Now, after sixteen years and encountering many people with questions about my speech, my sister knows the usual explanation to give. Perhaps I need to find some variations in answering though. She did regurgitate the exact response I always give, clearly I have apparently become too predictable!

Comments