We get a lot of telemarketing calls, and often, this is how the ensuing conversation goes:
Caller: Hello. Is your mom or dad at home?
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.