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.
I originally 'aired' this post at Four Perspectives.
Photo shamelessly pilfered from here: http://www.topnotchparents.com