Since I'm a California native, I have a fairly generic, universal "She talks like everyone else who doesn't have an accent" kind of accent. Nothing special, nothing unique... just your basic Webster's Dictionary Pronunciation way of talking. (Lame, right? Yawn.) I'd love to spice it up with a little zip or a little zing but unfortunately, I'd have to be from somewhere else for that to happen.
Now that I'm in Northern New York, I feel like I'm awash with accents. And they're all very nasal. And they bug the shit out of me, while amusing me at the same time. And this brings me to a really, really bad habit that I have: I mimic accents. Not as in "while you're talking to me, I will suddenly develop your accent and continue the conversation that way", but more like "I find the way you talk funny and I'm going to repeat certain words you say immediately after you say them in your accent. And then I'm going to laugh."
I know. I know. It's rude. It's obnoxious. And I can't seem to stop myself from doing it. It just pops out of my mouth. I don't think about it before hand, it's not even a conscious decision that I make... It just happens. I will hear myself doing it (while I'm doing it... not exactly helpful, BRAIN), and in my head I'm bellowing, "NOOOOOOoooooooooooo...." in slow-motion, like a pissed-off, rampaging Mad Cow who was just shot by a tranquilizer dart and was falling to her knees in the dust (which, actually, probably wouldn't be a bad thing at that moment... it might make me shut up) but the whole time, I'm shooting words through my nose with long vowel sounds and snickering like Beavis and Butthead. "Heh heh heh ... heh heh heh ... the fag is row-lin' in?"
I'm such an asshole.
My first husband was from Baltimore, and I was merciless... merciless in my mimicry. (I mean, DUDE... the guy said "wooder" instead of "water." Really. He was asking for it. Am I right?)
Karma smacked me around a little with that one, however, because even though all three of my kids were born in California to a mother from California, lived in California their entire freaking lives and only went to Maryland once when they were teen-agers, they all talk like their father.
I love them dearly, but to be honest, it kind of annoys me.
Hubby Numero Dos is from Northern New York and I swear he's so nasal that his nose vibrates when he speaks.
(I may or may not occasionally taunt him by saying, "Hawnk... hawnk... hawnnnkkkkk" when he talks. That's my impression of a Goose with a New York accent, in case you didn't realize that at first. Not that I'm saying I actually do that. Because that would be really mean, right? So yeah. No. I probably shouldn't admit to doing that.)
Which leads me, finally, to this:
The other day I was having a conversation with a person who was visiting my neighbor. She was outside smoking while I was outside walking the dogs and, being me, I started talking to her. She asked me about my dogs, which led to basic chit-chat about this, that and the other thing. While I was yacking away, I noticed her lips twitching, kind of like she was trying not to laugh. I ignored it at first because really, why would she be laughing at me? I wasn't being funny. Right?
After I had carried on at length about God only knows what (I am the Queen of Lengthy Conversations About Absolutely Nothing With People I Don't Know) she interrupted me with, "Where are you from?"
Me: *pause pause* "Ummm.... California?"
(Why do I always answer that question like I'm asking them? Why?? I knowwww I'm from California! I hate that I do that. *cue self loathing*)
Her: *laughing* "Like, oh my GAWWDDDD! Haaaahahahahahahahahaaaa!!"
Me: *blink* *blink*
Me: *nervous giggle*
Her: *wiping tears* "I'm sorry... the way you talk just cracks me up."
I am soooo Karma's bitch.