I will preface this story with, I am from the Midwest. We have no accents. Which means I find any accent interesting, and enjoyable. I LOVE accents. I do. In fact at the top of my list of favorite American accents is that of those who inhabit the great state of Minnesota, I love it, and could listen to it all day. A close second, is a Southern accent, but not just any southern accent, I have a preference for Northern Louisiana. Third is Boston. So, if you are from any of those areas of our great country, you have my ear all day if you need it.
I will also add here, that I have a game I play called "let me guess, where are you from". I love to guess what part of the country people are from by accents. I am also very good at it. I can usually break it down to a very specific region most of the time. I have on rare occasions been VERY wrong, and it is an embarrassment indeed.
The bad news here is, I can pick up on accents easily, and if I spend too much time with someone from an given country or region I end up with their accent. My Husband is probably glad he is in the National Guard, because if we would have ever done a stint in Germany, or Italy I would be a mess.
Well upon visiting Fort Bragg many years ago B.C. (before children). My husband, a recent graduate from OCS, thought it would be a nice treat to take me to the Officer's Club for brunch. I was excited, because I had never been to an Officer's Club. I will also add here, I had been entertaining myself for the prior 3 days with a Southern accent. (I am easily entertained, what can I say). So, we enter the brunch, and we are seated and order our bloody Marys and head to the brunch tables.
I was a bit flummoxed when I saw what appeared to be a large silver dish filled with cream of wheat, of all things. So without looking around to take inventory of who is in the area, I say to DH with my Southern accent "Darlin' cream of wheat for brunch?"
Well who would have thought, but the General was right behind me.
He said "Darlin' I do not know what area of the South you were raised in, but I am shocked that you do not recognize grits."
At this time DH is staring at me, with one of those faces our Husbands save for us when we are naughty.
I can not recall answering the General.
I did realize quickly that I had been using my accent. I had no idea how to answer him.
So DH and I forced smiles, and DH had to cover for me with some sort of tale, we found the smoked salmon, and our table.
Guess who was seated directly at our right.
Yep, the General. So I was stuck speaking in my accent the entire brunch, because I did not want him to think I was making fun of "the accent". And, I was not about to explain my adoration of the Southern accent, or my ability to pick up on them. Because, frankly he would have thought I was just PLAIN ole NUTS.
I have not used a pretend accent in a military facility since.