I'm currently living in Houston, Texas, and after ordering a decaf to go, the man behind the register said, "Where are you from? You have an accent!" Eyes peering into my face, trying to figure me out. I squinted my eyes and peered right back, with a slight smile. I knew he was trying to
pick up my bad self put a finger on my unique voice.
I have learned through life, and after living in Southern California for 48 years, that I don't have an accent. I just sound, umm, 'different'. Most people can't quite figure me out.
I didn't know I sounded different until people started getting the nerve to say things out loud to me, mind you. "Where are you from?" "You have an accent; but, I can't place it." "Do you have a cold?"
You see, I thought I had done such a great job with my speech that I really had no idea that my deafness was detectable. But, it peered through. After about the third verbal question, pertaining to my 'accent', I finally realized this.
So, I went to the one person who has always been my most trusted friend --> my husband (dated him since I was 13). Not sure if he was my husband at the time, though; since I don't remember when I came to the realization of my said voice, and it was a total downer for me, I'll have you know. I was in the depths of despair for months and months...still am.
Randy broke it to me gently. "Yes, you have just a little bit of nasal in your voice; BUT (and here was his trusty, perfect way with me), it's hardly noticeable."
"Then WHY is everyone asking about my unique way of speaking????"
"They're super into you!" he said.
That's Randy. My precious Randy who loves me, and always tries to provide a fluffy pillow for my potential
mental breakdowns moments of collapse. OK, so, I eventually came to learn (and accept) that my speech isn't as nOrMaL as I thought.
So, anyway, back to the guy at the cash register -- I told him I was deaf, and that was the reason for my accent. I was smiling (I'm actually a happy person, content, and fine with being deaf. I love my life.) He looked puzzled, and in disbelief. I liked it!! Haha ... I liked this because it proved to me that at least I do speak very well, well enough to puzzle people ;-)
I turned my head to the left side, and showed him my implant (it's there for all to see, since my hair is short) -- and said, "It's true. I can't hear; but, have been given artificial hearing. I've lived in California for 48 years; so, I don't have an accent. I'm just deaf."
He was amazed, and I then strutted my humongous hind end out the door as if Ocean 11's soundtrack was going on in the background. Uh huh.