Apparently I talk posh.
Well, this is somewhat subjective to the listener, but for the majority of the time, this is something most people agree on. Only, I generally never find this out until I have known people a while, and it still surprises me now at the age of 30. I should have gotten used to it.
Now, if it were just talking posh, that would be the end of it.
But it’s never that simple is it?
Posh voice = posh person. Up my own arse, full of myself, airs and graces….sure you can get the gist. Anyway, what probably doesn’t help is that I can be quite loud, am sometimes confident (not that I feel it on the inside), which seems to confirm these suspicions that people have about me.
A year ago I started Family Learning at the Big Little Man’s school and met a lot of other Mums, and they made those judgements. It didn’t help that we’d moved into a detached house in the midst of the terraces of the South Wales valleys, so my voice is quite unusual around here (English AND posh! Heaven forbid!) so people thought I was a toffee nosed twat I think (or feared I was Margaret Thatcher reincarnated maybe). Until they got to know me. Then they realised I was ok. And then we had a night out, and got drunk, and they told me that I was nothing like they had assumed.
All because of my voice.
And then the same thing happened with my college friends. EXACTLY the same. Nothing like vodka shots to reveal everyone’s initial perceptions.
My voice isn’t likely to change, and I wouldn’t want it too. Though I do catch a crazy Welsh burr sneaking in now and again. But around here, it’s always a conversation-starter. And there are times it’s quite useful to have the posh connotations my voice brings, as well as it’s distinctiveness in a valley full of soft lilts and sing-song voices.
And we are all judgemental aren’t we? I know we usually try not to be, but whether its gender, skin, weight, clothes, education, profession, politics, home, partner, name, sexuality…and so on, we all do it. We make judgements of other people based on factors which, when you think about it, really don’t mean anything, and are no reflection of the kind of person that they are. For example my husband is a Tory (I know, I know), but he is also a lovely person (inconceivable, but true). Incidentally, we have agreed to not discuss politics ever again.
I always say I don’t judge, but I am lying, I absolutely do.
But if I can make the effort to see the person beneath, and then adjust my views, and admit I was wrong, like my friends did, then I think that’s ok.