Voices

I’m really good at finding what’s wrong with people and telling them about it. It’s not that I’m good at telling them, I’m just really good ABOUT telling them. I try to do what normal people do and ignore other people’s flaws [because I have plenty of my own (this being one of them)] but eventually it ends up eating away at my patience — making me angrier and angrier – I start looking for it, anticipating it — actually wanting them to do it — the thing I hate — just so I can be right and hate them more. Until I can’t take it anymore and I explode.

My ex-girlfriend does ‘voices.’ I don’t mean she works for Disney or she’s a puppeteer (because that would be cool). What I mean is she does voices — like Robin Williams. All the time.

Me: “Hey, how are you?”
Her: (British accent) “Very Good Sir! Ow’ are you?”

I was good until you did that. Why are you doing that? You’ve never been to England. And I didn’t say anything that remotely relates to anything British.

She is an actress so I understand her inclination to “play” but still — when you do a voice, it needs some kind of context. Here’s what I mean:

Me: “Do you want a bagel and cream cheese?”
Her: (Jamaican accent) “No mon, I don’t tink I be eaten a bagel today. Do you have any rum, mon?”
Me: (no accent) “Nope. No rum, mon.”

Now if she did a Jewish accent – I’d get it – bagel and cream cheese – not funny – but contextually, sure it makes sense. But she didn’t. She pretended to be Beanie Man.

After months of dealing with this internally. And focusing my energy on never giving her anything to play off of, I realized that it was killing me and I needed to say something. I hid all the harmful liquids in my house to prevent myself from poisoning her and invited her over to for an intervention.

Right before I spoke, I realized how weird this was gonna be. I mean who tells someone their ‘voices’ are a major problem? I do.

Me: “Listen…what’s with the voices.”
Her: “What do dou mean?”
Me: (slightly aggravated) “You don’t know what I’m talking about?”
Her: “I really don’t.”
Me: (mocking her in a baby voice) “Hi! Wanna come over and pway?”
Beat.
Me: (continuing as a baby) “I wove you! (for effect) Fuck me! Fuck me!”
Her: “I do that with everybody. You’re the first person that seems to mind.”
Me: “I doubt it. I’m just the first person that’s ever said anything. Look, I understand why you do it — I just want to ask you to please not do that with me. It bothers me.”
Her: “You want me to not be myself?”
Me: “Um…no. I want you to be you. That’s not you. That’s a collection of voices. I feel like I’m sleeping with Sybil.”
Her: “I don’t know what to tell you, I’ve been doing that since I was a child.”
Me: “Well you’re not a child anymore. And I think I know why you do it. I think you’re afraid of being you so you hide behind these characters that aren’t you. And that’s okay. But it comes across as an insecurity – you’re scared to be yourself. But I want to be with you – not the characters… ”
Her: “I don’t really think that’s the case. I just do it because its part of my personality.”
Me: “Maybe you have multiple personalities? If you do, put the nympho on.”
Her: “How long has this been bothering you? Why didn’t you say something earlier.”
Me: “It started bothering me about the third of fourth time you did it. And every time since, which is something around a million, and I never said anything because I thought it would go away on its own but now I feel like we need to put some Tabasco sauce on it.”
Her: “What do you mean?”
Me: “Like you know when people bite their fingernails?”
Her: (sad silence)

Me: “So…what do you hate about me?”
Her: “Nothing.”
Me: (in my head with a British accent) Yes! I rule.

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