The Fabulous Familiar

Taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary...

Monday, September 6, 2010


When answering the phone at work this morning, I realized I am a woman of many voices. I often wonder why I am incredibly drained after a day of simply just talking to people and interacting with other human beings. I have come to the conclusion that it is because I am being an animated version of myself…and that is emotionally exhausting.

If you were to call me on my cell phone on any given day, you would probably think a) you woke me up b) I was immensely upset about something or c) She is probably sitting in bed eating ice cream and writing in her diary about her sad life. Why? Because I am in no way enthused.

If you called me at work, however, you would get excited, energized Ashton who is at the edge of her seat waiting to help you. My voice raises about 2 octaves and my normal grumbles become enunciated words of purpose. Call me names. Gripe about my inability to do anything for your situation. Throw in some cuss words. You will not unravel the chipper dialogue I long to present to you in its fullest form.

My grandma used to say that I needed to work on my phone voice because I sounded like I was dying or being held hostage. I now find that I am being held hostage in a world of candy, rainbows and butterflies where I talk like a host on Nick Jr. and flash my smile with lipstick on my teeth. In any given day, I am all of these people:

The granddaughter: The granddaughter voice is used to address customers who need some family loving outside of their home. This is the girl who speaks softly, in Southern colloquialisms that will make you want to make me an apple pie. I will often throw in some “darlin’s” and “ma’ams” to make you feel like you are sitting on your back porch drinking pink lemonade.

The mysterious younger woman: I am bound to come across some men who need to feel like they still have game. They will often remark, “Hey little lady” or “Exciting weekend up ahead?” This is when curling a strand of hair around your finger, shuffling papers and nonchalantly responding with, “Maybe so, we’ll see” is the perfect retort. This doesn’t answer their question, but still makes them feel like they made a proper move. Checkmate.

The girl at fault: This girl, for the sake of her job, lets everything be her fault. She is able to listen to criticism for long periods of time and nod accordingly. She takes one for the team and never loses her tender, mousy voice of acceptance. She often gulps because her mouth is becoming dry from utter disdain.

The interested party: This girl notices you have a Razorbacks shirt on and will make small talk with you about the big game yesterday. This is the girl who will look at the photo album of your fifteen grandchildren while meticulously finishing paperwork at the same time. If you need a shoulder to cry on, by all means, do it while she is typing.

This isn’t to say that all interactions with me are superficial or that I hold no regard in getting to know people. I really do love people; but I feel like we all overextend ourselves socially throughout the day. There is nothing wrong with being what people need you to be at that moment in their lives; as long as you stay true to yourself and give them a glimpse into what makes you you. And that, by golly, is the truth darlin’.


Blogger Daddio said...

I've always thought you sounded sweet on the phone--I guess you're using your "Daddy" voice.

September 6, 2010 at 2:30 PM  

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