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Mr Goodvoice’s yardstick

I just realized that I married my wife for her voice. Can that be true?

Even when she’s angry at me and tries to speak sharply, she can’t quite manage it. Her voice is a permanent thing of beauty. And it isn’t something cultivated or trained. She was born with it.

The colors and textures in her voice are, I realize, a permanent magnet for me. As ridiculous as it sounds, I see now that I rejected possible friends and lovers because I could not abide the sounds coming off their vocal chords.

Knowing this teaches me something about myself. First, until now I never gave a thought to this deal-breaking rule I was unconsciously applying to everyone. A person could have an unfortunate nose, ears or Adam’s Apple without being banished, but an ugly voice is just more than I can bear.

I confess I feel a bit sheepish admitting this, but there it is. We can’t be friends if I can’t stand your voice.

It’s tone, it’s pitch and it is especially sensitivity to language I’m talking about. Some people use language like a sledgehammer when a scalpel is required. Some people only have the one sledgehammer where a whole toolbox is required, it seems to me.

I know it’s weird to go abroad in the world with a secret yardstick, but that’s not only something I have done, it’s something I still do and probably won’t ever stop doing.


I apologize to all those unsuspecting people I have judged so unjustly. I’m sure they are all and sundry good souls who have no wish to offend, especially by something so innocuous as their manner of speaking.

So, only those of you who happen to stumble across this confession will even know of my blameworthy predilection, but I feel better for having confessed.

Now, back to business.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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