Monday, 30 January 2017

The Embarrassment of Being Me

I’m not sure why, but the other day I was thinking about speech impediments. Okay, I know why, Tsunami is having trouble with “S’s”. Not a big deal, but when you are sitting in Tim’s having a coffee you have to talk about something and after a lifetime of living together I will grab whatever topic is available. Louise would just as soon I kept my mouth shut.

I don’t know if it is a problem or not, at two I probably made more sense farting than talking. Hmmmmm…not much has changed. Louise was saying that the kids had some speech problems and I sure as hell did. I kind of feel bad that I may have passed down some bad genes. Hopefully I also passed down my cute and likable genes as well.

When I was little I had trouble with the “TR” sound among other things. I would be walking past a store and get all excited about the big red fuck in the window. “Can I have the red fuck mommy? PLEASE!!! Stevie and I could play with the fuck together.” I imagine that it went on and on till dad picked me up and ran to the car. I never did get that big red truck.
 Image result for toy red truck
When I was in grade school I still had problems with my speech. It turned out that I had a lazy tongue. Truth be told, my whole body was lazy. I guess it wasn’t embarrassing enough that I couldn’t speak properly in class, so I saw the special speech lady once a weak to work on diction. Once every week I would have to leave class and go to a special room to practice talking for an hour or two.

Shhh…shhh…shhh…cou…cou…cou…ttt…ttt…etc.

I was a little kid and the thing I wanted most of all is to fit in. I just wanted to be the same as everyone else. I was kid humiliated. My self esteem dropped another notch of two.
 Image result for reel to reel tape recorder
One week I went into the speech room and there was the teacher with a big smile on her face and a reel to reel tape recorder beside her. I got to practice my sounds into the recorder and I could play the tape back to see how I did. For those who aren’t old, in the late fifties and early sixties almost no one had a tape recorder. Well, no kids anyways. All of a sudden going to speech therapy was going to be cool! No one else had ever used one! I would be the first!

The euphoria lasted through the “RECORD” and ended when the teacher hit the “PLAY” button. I didn’t know who was on the tape, but it sure wasn’t me. That high pitched, whiny voice belonged to someone else. Someone who was a total goof! Not me!

Sadly, the whiny goof was indeed me. Not only did I have a speech impediment, I had a horrible voice. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent crying in my room. I stopped talking in class, with my friends and pretty much everyone. On top of that, every week I had to go and listen to that whiny, goofy voice. Life wasn’t much fun for a while.


Like everything else, the passage of time helped to dull the embarrassment of being me and I carried on with my life. Eventually I got to the point where I am now, talking too much. I still have a horrible voice and just thinking about it still has a profound impact on me. I suppose I should have gone into voice acting, I have a voice fit for a goofy cartoon character after all. I didn’t because then I would have had to listen to myself on tape…
Image result for silly cartoon character

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