I hear it, probablllyyyyy, 27 times a day. and I'm not exaggerating. "Ssshhhhhhh" or "take it down level" or "your volume just escalated VERY quickly" or (my fave), "I heard you before I even SAW you!"
Now, my family and close friends, they know. They get it. They've learned how and what is appropriate to say to me when I am extremely loud (as in, when talking to me all day, every day) and what is not.
Well, I'm getting ahead of myself. First let me start by saying this. Hi, My name is Shannon. I have no volume control. AND I KNOW THAT. (step one is admitting you have a problem, right?) It's been an issue my ENTIRE LIFE.
+It's why I was so good at cheerleading. +It's why in weird "ice breaker" situations I'm picked to be the "group leader." +It's why all of my evaluations in the Army have the stupid, pointless bullet of "excellent command voice" on them. +It's why there are TWO groups of girls/women in my life. The ones who I immediately become good friends with, and the ones who IMMEDIATELY dislike my guts. Because, as a Buzzfeed article recently BRILLIANTLY pointed out, Others judge me before they even get the chance to get to know me because of how loud I speak.
And, I have the awesome benefit of being too loud AND EXTREMELY extroverted. oh AND BLONDE. (adds a whole other factor of airhead into this that I'm just not getting into today).
This is the story of my Life:
Except it's not. I like who I am. I like what I've become as a person. But, I HATE the consequences of this "blessing." The reason I'm writing this down today is because for the 4th time this calendar year, we were eating out in public, WITHOUT THE TRIPLETS (meaning THEY were not the reason for the noise), and someone came to our table specifically to let us know that my volume was distracting. THE FOURTH TIME. My good friend Jess was with us today when it happened and she made the point that NEVER IN HER LIFE has she been out and had a stranger negatively comment on her volume.
Yep. Well. It's my life. and it's embarrassing. and it's humiliating. and it makes me want to get up and do one of three things: 1. Kick you in the back of your knees while you walk out (totally 5th grade standing-in-line move). 2. Go to the bathroom and cry (or like I did when it happened in Amsterdam on my birthday, Sit at my table and opening cry)3. Wittingly tell you to F off in a more polite way that kind of leaves a good ZING.
But, unfortunately, each and every time it happens I'm even more stunned it has happened. So, I just sit there with this face that reads, "Did that REALLY just happen..AGAIN?!" Really I'm just here to tell the WORLD--
I KNOW I'M LOUD. No, I DON'T realize it has reached that level, usually.NO. I'm NOT personally trying to RUIN YOUR DAY/DINNER/LUNCH/COFFEE/DATE. Yes, I do realize that Americans have a reputation of being loud and obnoxious and I'm NOT trying perpetuate it. But, mostly, I know.
oh, and this: The above? I've tried it. I've been alive for 27 years with the SAME problem. I've attempted remediation. Believe me.
So, just know, GUY IN SANDERS WHO CLAIMS "NO BIG DEAL BUT...YOUR VOLUME WAS VERY DISTRACTING TO MY FAMILY AND PROBABLY EVERYONE ELSE IN THE ROOM"...I know. and until they come up with a volume dial for my voice box that others can control (or maybe the army realizes I DO have a slight hearing problem and could use something for that..), I'm not sure it'll get any better any time soon. I apologize my conversation about the habits of my newborn who I'm actively breastfeeding as you tell me this "disrupted" your family's brunch SO MUCH that you felt compelled to tell me, a complete stranger, about it instead of doing what the REST OF THE WORLD for 27 years has been doing and just complaining about me while walking back to your car.
I apologize. and Merry Christmas. and I'd like to redirect you to this blog:
to learn more about the condition I suffer from. and thank you everyone else for reading my rant. Because I'm sure you, too, have been a victim.
thank you for still being my friend.