Real Dating Site Story: Telephone Hang-Ups

When I was a kid I always wanted to be a singer. Long before I signed up for a dating site and long before I met Carla, the love of my life, I was getting booed off the stage while singing Soundgarden songs for my 5th grade talent show.

Unbeknownst to me, some voices just aren’t recordable. When my voice comes out over speakers, it sounds like a mouse chocking on rotted cheese after huffing helium. Yeah, it’s that bad. I’ve been conscious about it since the first time I heard it played back to me recorded.

I was singing up a storm at my friend’s birthday party when I was 15, and his mother recorded the event on video. I was anxious to watch. I wanted vindication for all the booing and all the naysayers I put up with. But I didn’t get it. What I got was a rude wakeup call that not only couldn’t I sing, but I even hated to hear myself speak.

I carried this for years and was apprehensive about speaking around people who didn’t know me. I carried it with me to the online dating world where I met Carla.

It didn’t really think about it at first. After meeting via the dating site and speaking to her through the messengers and the fuzzy-sounding video conferencing, my voice insecurities weren’t really an issue.

After a few weeks, however, she had made the comment I sounded sort of like Mike Tyson on the video chat. I knew the reason. Although I’m 6 feet tall and weigh 180 pounds, my baby voice is my curse.

Later, she asked if she could have my phone number to call me. Of course, I couldn’t say no, so I had to do my best to come across “manly.” From what she knew about me on the dating site, I was a man’s man – a beer-drinking, steak-eating, piss-in-the-wind kind of guy. She liked this about me. So I couldn’t let her hear the Chihuahua I had living in my throat.

When she called, I did the best I could to put on a deep voice. I spoke low and slow, hoping it would resonate with a deep tone.

Well, she didn’t think I sounded like Mike Tyson anymore. So that’s a good thing. But she was convinced for three weeks that I was a creepazoid serial killer with my weird “hey baby” comments and heavy breathing.

I’ve since explained and she got a good laugh out of it. But now I’m insecure about my normal voice and my fake voice!