I spent a lot of time in high school at speech tournaments and doing drama stuff. In doing that, I worked diligently on losing "my southern." It started when I realized that most of the people I knew recognized no difference in the words "pin" and "pen." Then I realized that most of the world equated people with deep southern accents as either dimwitted or drunk on mint juleps and bourbon. Because I wanted to do well in the tournaments, show a grasp of basic principles of pronunciation, and be viewed by others as seemingly intelligent, the southern accent was relegated to the back of my brain. It was banished...only to be encountered when I was, in fact, dimwittedly drunk on bourbon or in the presence of my family.
I spent a lot of years proud of the fact that people would tell me they barely heard my southern accent. Then Feathernester basically ruined my life.
The other night, she was recounting how much she loves to tell the story of my aunt calling me out when using my "not southern" voice when we first moved. Apparently, when talking to Feathernester and Mr. Feathernester, I would turn on the anti-southern accent so as to ease them into southern life. My aunt looked at me and asked, "why are you talking like that?" I don't remember this at all, but it stuck with Feathernester and she thought it hysterical. She then told me that, whereas she used to not detect my southern, now it's "all southern, all the time." Like I'm one of those easy listening radio stations. "All Phil Collins, all the time." Darn.
Really, I don't care too much. I still properly pronounce words like "pen" and "library."
However, I have realized that my daughter has really started elongating her words. Especially her vowels. "Babydoll" is "babydaaawwwl." "Light" is "liiiiight." Her friend Carson is "Carseeeen." I could go on and on. I worry that people will think my daughter has been hitting the bourbon hard at an early age. Someone, help us, please.
Happy hump day, peeps. Or "peeeeeeeps," as S would say.