Whenever I interview someone I like to record it on my phone and listen to it later. This is nice for getting accurate quotes and organizing a story. It’s kind of drag because it takes longer and I have to listen to my recorded voice. It has also made me come to grips with a hard truth about myself.
I hate my accent.
I have a Southern California drawl. I drag out the letter ‘s’ at the end of a word. My vowels are long and lazy. My voice automatically rises at the end of a statement, asking the perpetual question, voicing a perpetual complaint.
The effect of this accent is to make me sound like a real dumbass. I could be explaining the nuances of quantum physics or offering my interpretation of the political implications of the Arab Spring and the whole time I was talking you would hear, “Oh my God, Becky, the cutest shoes are on sale at the mall!”
The Southern California drawl is the sound of endless adolescence.
Here are the top accents I would want instead:
- English. Duh, this goes without saying. An English woman can order a coffee or describe a bikini wax and sound like a witty titan of academia. There’s a reason why American actresses and singers all seem to go through a ‘fake English accent’ stage.
- New Yorker. That New York voice is always in charge. It doesn’t really matter what they’re saying; it’s with authority. For example, we could be standing in the middle of a rainstorm and a New Yorker could say, “It’s hot and sunny today.” And I’d be like, “Oh, wow, I guess I don’t need this umbrella.”
- Argentinian. Skipping the globe a bit, you have to love the Argentinian accent. It’s throaty and musical at the same time. It’s damn sexy, but like, in-charge-grown-up-woman sexy. When I am a grown up, I want to be an Argentinian.
- Jackson, Mississippian. I called customer support for At West End one time and I unnecessarily dragged out the phone call just so I could listen to the woman on the other line talk a little longer. It is the best, most perfectly Southern accent you’ve ever heard.
Alas, I’m stuck with what I’ve got: the perfect voice for ordering a Thai Chicken Pizza? or for observing the old cheese and foot odor of an airplane seat. When it comes to career choices this basically leaves me with choosing between being a mime or a writer.
I’ll stick with writer. I’m not really crazy about stripes.
 Theoretically, of course, I know nothing about his in actuality.
 Again, just an example, the only thing I know about the Arab Spring is that it happened.