Friday, November 12, 2010

This is one of my fave love songs
Yesterday I had a conversation on facebook with my sister and some other people about accents and how it feels to have an accent. I always feel defensive and insulted when someone tries to imitate my speech because it makes me feel self conscious and reminds me that I'm a "foreigner" even though I feel very much acclimatized to my environment.

A few years ago I dated a man much older than me (I briefly wrote about it in this old blog post) who had divorced his wife shortly after we met. I didn't ask for it, in fact, while he was married I refused to be anything but his friend OR acknowledge his feelings (which I thought were juvenile) and while the divorce was taking place I was on another continent for months, having fun with pals and not talking to him. I simply forgot about him. When we eventually started seeing each other the wife made a point of becoming my friend. One night while sitting together in a somewhat inebriated (and thus sensitive) state I confided in her that I always felt self conscious about my use of language and pronunciation. To which she replied "Yes, well when you speak with an accent people just always assume that you're stupid and don't know what you're talking about." I'm unsure whether her comment came from an actual belief in what she was saying, our relationship was complicated and maybe she was trying to hurt my feelings. But that comment resonated very deeply and to this day when someone jokingly pokes fun at the way I speak I become withdrawn and a bit resentful.

Here's the facebook conversation, HERE, it's something to think about.


Xenia said...

I can't beleive she said that!! <3<3

benivulka said...

I know isn't it fucked up?! Holy shit.