Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Whispering About Invisibility

     Question of the day:
     "Would you rather have invisibility or the ability to fly?"
     I am a shy person.  I speak with a quiet voice. When I speak people generally have to lean in.  Yep, the "Low Talker" from Seinfield.  I get frustrated because I am constantly being asked to repeat myself.
     I suggest to Ross that he have his hearing checked.  He says, "What did you say?  I can't hear you."  That's when I usually say, "Never mind, it wasn't important."  Of course his response then is: "Everything you say is important to me."  That's sweet.
     I don't loudly enter a room full of people with a big "Hiya." "How ya doin?" Rather, I enter the room with a whisper and tentative smile.   From my corner of the room,  I watch and marvel at how easily others interact with each other. 
         My daughter's husband is constantly asking her to repeat herself.   He tells her she is just like her mother.  When Jen and I speak to each other, Ross and my son-in-law pass quizzical looks between them.  They say that we have a secret language that only she and I understand.    "How can you hear each other?" They ask.
     My grand-daughter spotted a friend and her mother when she and I were at the bookstore last week.  She asked if she could say hi.  We walked over to her friend and Bella began to chat with the girl's mother.  Bella spoke very quietly.  The mother had to lean in to hear her.  Bella's friend just nodded and smiled. 
     Did I learn as a child to "Be quiet!"  Did my daughter's manner of speech get passed on to her by me?  Did she in turn teach Bella by example?  Or are our voices just naturally soft?     
     My voice cracks and I feel the strain in my throat when I attempt to raise my voice.  Are the muscles weak from lack of use?
     I recognize that speaking softly is a form of invisibility.  But perhaps it is an attempt to be noticed and recognized?
     Speaking with more of a full voice would require me to step out of my comfort zone.  
     I don't have to raise my voice when I write.  I can speak softly or LOUDLY as I choose.  The crowd will hear me without having to lean in.  They won't have to ask me to repeat myself.  In fact they probably would get tired of listening if I did.  
     As I leave the room with a whisper may I shyly say, "Since I already know what if feels like to be "invisible", I guess I would choose to fly.  

Here is today's entry from Anna's diary:
Wed. March 6 1929
Brought Junior to 360.  Met Jewel and E. for lunch.  Jewel got her ring.  Very pretty.  Walked to 360 from Tacks. Supper. home about nine.  Radio. read. Baby sound asleep.

[Recap:  Jewel is Anna's sister. I believe E. is a friend.  At least I am pretty sure she is not a sister.  360 is Anna's mother's home, her house number.  Jewel has gotten engaged.  Tacks is a jewelry store.]

Click here to see the post where I introduced Anna's Diary.


  1. Invisibility is a mixed blessing--sometimes I long to be invisible and sometimes I wish I were less so, if that makes any sense.

    The thought of flying only makes me think of motion sickness--I have horrible inner ear issues. Man, sometimes I wish I weren't so literal.

  2. I never enter a room, or situation, without figuring out how I can leave it gracefully. I often feel invisible, so invisibility appeals. Either way is an exit. 

  3. I never thought about flying that way.  You're right.  That could be a perfect way to get away.  

  4. Anne,
    One of the things that I noticed about Joe the last few years was that he was making a deliberate effort to "speak up"   I loved when he would talk to Domani in that "strong voice".  Like Domani was even the least bit fooled that  Daddy meant business.  
    I agree, Joe found the perfect complement in you. :) 

  5. Hmm, disappearing is a little different than being invisible.     Perhaps biking on a beautiful Sunday morning is your way of disappearing.   

  6. Oh, flying!  It has its perks, because as soon as you feel too many people are looking your way, you can just lift off and fly away.  (Though that might draw a bit of attention which could be unfortunate)

  7. Joe was just like you and Jen. I would always have to ask him "what?" and he would always say I should listen more closely. I did learn to listen more closely from him, but your post also makes me realize another way that each of you (you, Jen, and Joe) found the perfect complement in a spouse. So very interesting.

  8. I would definitely prefer to be invisible.  it could some in so handy at times.  Why, just this morning, I was wishing desperately that I could just disappear altogether.  [darn!  I wanted to make those last two words really small like you did above but I ca't figure out how to do that....use your imagination, please]

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