I don't know when or how it started to happen. Words that are one syllable have been drawing out into three, or four.
"Ohh way-eh-ell." [Oh well.]
"Thaa-yat looks soooo ba-yad." [That looks so bad.]
"Aww ma-yen." [Aww man.]
To the point where everyone I meet giggles and repeats whatever charming thing I'd say to them.
"Eat a bayag of diiii-ucks." [Eat a bag of dicks.]
But at 29, something I'd been denying my entire life suddenly appeared. I developed a bizarrely thick Southern accent that would insert itself into my daily speech without warning.
This is especially pronounced by the fact that I am Asian-American.
It's worth mentioning: English wasn't my first language. I didn't learn a lick of English until I was nearly four. And most of that was from television.
So I had always assumed my accent, if any, was broadly American. I talked like Sesame Street puppets. Like Nickelodeon cartoons. Clearly, I would be immune to the influence of the lazy tongue, the elongated syllables.
One of my more spendy hobbies is traveling, venturing to different parts of the South, island hopping, practicing my French language skills, but this strange affliction has started to kill my usually large sense of wanderlust.
Georgia, and the thick Southern country accent, are associated with backwards, uninformed and unintelligible stereotypes. I'm really not sure if I can feel worldly, if everyone I talk to might think I'm dumb as bricks.
But at the same time, it's deeply satisfying. Sometimes I'll be chattering away, not even realizing I've slowly started sliding until I am already halfway in, and since I've gone so far, I might as well just really dig into it. Take that leisurely, deliciously slow pace and really stretch out every single word.
"Fuuuhk yoo four-ehv-urr." [Fuck you forever.]
Hmm. Now that I think harder on it, maybe it's how I soften rude things I say. Swears are cuter when drawled out, real long, right?