A Matter of Voice

We get a lot of telemarketing calls, and often, this is how the ensuing conversation goes:

Me: Hello.

Caller: Hello. Is your mom or dad at home?

Me: No.

Caller: Okay. I’ll call back later.

I’m usually grinning when I hang up the phone. A three second conversation with a telemarketer and I didn’t even have to lie!

You see, ever since I turned, oh, twelve, I’ve sounded like a twelve-year-old.

Not that I’m actually aware of this myself. Frankly, the voice I hear when I speak sounds womanly and appropriate to my age and maturity. Not low and husky, no, but certainly not like a prepubescent child.

This, however, is not what people tell me. Not that they put it as bluntly as “Oh my gawd. Did you know you sound just like a twelve-year-old?” But I get the drift. And the telemarketers provide ample evidence.

The only time I ever really hear the way my voice sounds is when I’m tinkering with my work voice mail message.

When I first started my business, I was extremely professional – you simply can’t practice law without having that kind of highly-toned, almost paranoid professionalism seep into you. So – yes, I actually did this – when I first hung out my own shingle, I would change my voice mail message every single morning. Worse, if I had a meeting to go to, and would be “out of the office”, I would change my message again.

And every single time, it would strike me how young I sounded. I can’t tell you how often I pressed “1” to re-record my message – to this day, that “1” button looks more worn than all the others on my office phone.

Thankfully, though, those days of professionalism are long gone. I’m still professional, in that when I have a deadline, I meet that deadline. But I never change my voice mail message unless I’m going on holidays.

At which time, I am, once again, struck by how much like a twelve-year-old I sound.

I’m telling you all this because I am, at present, enjoying the perk of having had a sore throat a month ago. Sore throats, I admit, are a pain in the, well, throat. But I find that as long as I load up with lots of packages of  Fisherman’s Friend and a box of those awful tasting, throat-numbing lozenges (it doesn’t matter what brand – they all taste the same), I do just fine.

Because in the midst of all that sore throatiness, I am, you see, looking forward to the perk that I know is on its way.

First, though, after the soreness wears off, I go through a day or two of not being able to talk much at all. Which is okay, because it gives me an excuse not answer telemarketers’ phone calls.

But then the perk starts. And let me tell you, this particular perk lasts a long time.

For nearly one glorious week, I find myself speaking with a husky voice that sounds to me like some glamorous 40s Hollywood sex symbol. (I have not asked anyone if this is indeed true, as I have no wish to destroy the illusion.)

I’ll just say that I talk a lot during that one gorgeous week.

As the perk begins to fade, which it does over the course of three or four lovely weeks, my voice is lower. I can hear it. To me, it has a slight husky tinge to it. To others, I probably merely sound like a woman my age, but at least, not like a twelve-year-old, but again, I never ask because frankly, I don’t want to know.

So yes, you can just take my word for it, right now I am on the last days of that lower, huskier voice.

And it just occurred to me that maybe today’s the day I should be changing my voice mail message.

Because in a few days, I’ll be back to telling people, no, my mom and dad aren’t here right now.

15 thoughts on “A Matter of Voice

  1. Margot Kinberg

    Belle – I know exactly what you mean about telemarketers! You’re lucky you have a young-sounding voice, so that you can get rid of them that way. I wish I could do that. Isn’t it interesting, too, how our voices change when we get upper resp. stuff? Changes the whole “personality” of the way we speak.
    .-= Margot Kinberg´s last blog ..Hidden Motives… =-.

    Reply
  2. Jules

    I’ve never had a problem with my voice making me sound young, but I have a problem with looking to young. People are always shocked to hear I’m about to turn 25. Claiming I look 15. So I can sorta of relate to you there. On the plus side, you can get rid of telemarketers a lot easier than the rest of us.
    .-= Jules´s last blog ..In My Mail Box, Sort of. =-.

    Reply
  3. Janel

    You’re cracking me up with this one! I hate my voice on our answering machine. I sound like a kid, however the telemarketers usually figure out that I’m an adult. Unfortunately. It would be fun to play with them!
    .-= Janel´s last blog ..Jumblicious 1/15/10 =-.

    Reply
  4. Audrey/brizmus

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s just hilarious! I think you should consider yourself lucky to have the adorable voice of a 12 year old. I personally think it’s better than the voice of a 40 year old Hollywood sex symbol.
    I hope you enjoy the rest of your time with your raspy voice, nonetheless.

    Reply
  5. Steve Kubien

    The voice you describe is also called your “phone-sex voice”. Now you can really enjoy it!

    I hate my voice on my voicemail. It sounds so deep and foreboding (I don’t get to use that word often enough) when I really want to sound upbeat and cheerful. I have been told that I ought to radio work but I wouldn’t even know where to look for such work. -sigh-

    Reply
  6. Ann-Kat (Today, I Read...)

    This post made me smile, Belle, especially since I’ve heard your voice. 😀

    I’ll say you do sound young, but it’s also sweet. You have a pleasant voice.

    And if it at all makes you feel better for when the husky wears off, I also have the voice of a twelve-year-old girl and you’ve described perfectly my exchanges with many a telemarketer. LOL In fact, when I giggle—I squeak. Just be glad you don’t actually squeak.

    Regarding your husky voice (which I definitely want to hear now), I do have to agree with Kevin…it’s also called your “phone sex voice”…or were you trying to be polite in your post by calling it the ’40s Hollywood sex symbol? Assuming you meant 1940’s, they did have some lovely voices back then.
    .-= Ann-Kat (Today, I Read…)´s last blog ..Recent Arrivals: Bird in Hand by Christina Baker Kline =-.

    Reply
  7. Cat Woods

    LOL! I picture your voice as nothing but sweetness and light. Exactly how you come across in your writing.

    Enjoy your sexy movie star voice, but know that we appreciate how you come across to us.

    As to the telemarketers, you have the better end of that deal than most. We have to fend them off to the point of rudeness.
    .-= Cat Woods´s last blog ..I’ll take one agent with a side of fries… =-.

    Reply
  8. Rebecca

    I sound 12 too!!!

    And I look 19!!!

    I get those telemarketer calls, too, sometimes. It’s awesome. Sometimes the doctor’s office asks to speak to my mom, Rebecca, too, hehe.

    Well, all I can say is at least we don’t sound old and look old, right!
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..Blog Luv Fest =-.

    Reply

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