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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rites of Passage. AKA: The WoMAN Voice

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I finally did it—even after years of careful listening—I mistook my friend’s 11 year-old son for his mother.

I firmly believe that a milestone in life has been reached when a pubescent boy experiences a stretching of limbs, facial features, and vocal chords—making him sound akin to a grown-up woman—not too dissimilar to an adult Michael Jackson.

“Hey *Becky, how’s it going?”

“This isn’t Becky, this is her son, *Joey.”

Verbal Faux pas.

I felt instantaneously terrible for what I’d done; I quickly began to backpedal, talking about how I couldn’t hear properly because the stereo was up far too loud, my windows were down, passing traffic was flying by in the opposite lane, a sonic boom had just thundered down from the heavens, the air-raid sirens had suddenly started blaring signifying a nuclear fallout, and aliens had stolen my eardrums and replaced them with cotton swabs.

As I apologized I though back to the days of my own mom-voiceness, and the numerous callers that would mistake me for my mom. This started to happen so frequently that there came a point where I either wouldn’t answer the phone, or would intentionally lower my voice several octaves so that there would be no way on heaven or Earth that I could be mistaken for her.

It usually didn’t work.

In fact, I can remember one day when I was so sick and tired of saying, “This isn’t her; this is her son,” that I decided to simply roll with it. I carried on a complete conversation with a salesman who was trying to get us to switch our life insurance playing the part of my mother.

I was amazing.

Luckily, this awkward period quickly passed, and I was never mistaken as my mother again.

I arrived back at the present.

“So anyhow, that’s how come I couldn’t tell it was you.”

“Oh, that’s okay…” he responded with a trailed off voice.

I just couldn’t bear to tell him that he did sound like a woman on the phone.

However, maybe I should have. After all, it is a rite of passage…

*These are not their real names; I wanted to protect the identity of both Stephanie and Tanner.

Photo shamelessly pilfered from here: http://www.topnotchparents.com


Shannon said...

Oh. my. gosh. That was classic (the way you didn't want to reveal the identities of the downtrodden). Fortunately, the only one that has been mistaken in my household for me is India - she got sick of it quickly too.

Sue said...

I always feel bad when I make that particular mistake, too. Like I'm crushing his budding masculinity or something...

Ah well. You survived, right? And so will he!


RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

Poor little girl. I mean, boy. There are worse things than sounding like a woman when you're a boy, I'm sure. I can't think of what they would be. Will get back to you on that.

Mamma has spoken said...

It could have been worse. Hum, it could have been a girl mistaken for a man? For some reason I keep thinking about the Brady Bunch episode when Peter's voice changes.

Marnie said...

LOL!!! Now that is funny as it's something we've all done.

Many moons ago I was working retail while paying my way through college. There were two women at my counter - one about 20 and the other was A LOT older. When the older one decided to pay for both purchases, I said "Wow, you have a nice Mom". Opps! Apparently the older one was her sister...a very older looking one, but nonetheless, her sister and did I ever wish the ground had opened up. Yikes! There was no graceful way out of that one :0)

Anonymous said...

My husband still gets mistaken for me...It really ticks him off.

I hope Tanner, oops I mean Joey, grows out of it quickly.

Natasha said...

People would always mistake me for my mom on the phone, but I'm a female so it wasn't as bad. I hope Joey's (aka Tanner's) voice changes quickly.

Sandra said...

Well thank goodness you protected Stephanie and Tanner's identities. We woudlnt' want any of this getting out! This is too funny! My 13 year old son gets passed off as his 10 year old sister...by me! I cannot tell them apart on the phone for the life of me!

Kalei's Best Friend said...

After all these years, I get mistaken for my two girls, tho its so evident to me when I hear their voices there is a definite diff... But I can imagine males have it much harder... what does that say about the boy's mother? is HER voice that high? or is she borderline pre-puberty male?

Linn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leeann said...

My almost-12 year old son is in that boat. He seldom gets called me but often is mistaken for either his older sister or his younger brother. Even his dad and I have trouble telling them apart. He gets down about it and I keep telling him that a year from now he will be both taller than me and that he will never again be mistaken for his sister on the phone. Not sure how much that is helping him NOW though.

Anonymous said...

Oh man! And when it happens, I feel like such a schlep. Poor boys are trying to be men in little boy pants and bam! I go and mistake them for their mother.

I ought to know better, beings as I am a mother to several boys..... and I see their response when someone thinks they are me. HA!!!

Not that I rub it in when it is my own sons.... I'd never do such a thing!

M-Cat said...

What's bad is when I answer and someone asks for me by name. Um. HELLO! There are NO OTHER GIRLS LIVING AT MY HOUSE! Who the crap did you THINK it was?

whew - rant over. Poor Tanner, I mean, Joey.

Cheeseboy said...

I think that most 11 year old boys sound like their mothers. You should not be ashamed. Your jerk-facedness is at a minimum here.

Still funny though.

Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys said...

I'm saving this post for when my son's go through their "change". I'll tell them, "See, it's a normal mistake." Think it'll help?

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