S-s-stutter Muthafucka

(This post's title is a refrence to a line in Eminem's second verse in this song. And yes, it's appropriate.)

So this afternoon, I went to lunch with a couple co-workers to this popular little deli around the corner from our school. Two of us end up getting the same thing (a sandwich). Except when she's asked for her beverage, she orders coffee. And I order:

W-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-ater

Wait, what? Oh, you want the bottled water. OK.1

Despite the fact that, for the most part, I won't apologize for who I am, the reality is I'm as insecure as the next person. I can say without equivocation that I absolutely, positively, undoubtedly hate that I have a speech impediment. I'm embarrassed by it. It makes me feel abnormal. It makes mundane things like ordering bottled water feel like I'm climbing Kilimanjaro. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that it makes me feel "slow", or at least that's how I feel people perceive me when I do stutter.2

Logically, I know I shouldn't give a shit and just be myself; i get that. But it's always bugged me that I stutter, no matter how infrequent. It usually worsens when I'm nervous or I know I'll have trouble with something I need or want (in this case, the water). And while I certainly take comfort in knowing the people who know and love me best couldn't care less the way i talk, it's still bothersome inside; does wonders for my self-esteem. I don't think it's a stretch to say my "shyness" has more to do with my speech than just being somewhat socially reserved. Of course, the irony in that last sentence is that I'm an accomplished public speaker. Maybe people care less than I think and I'm just neurotic. Go figure.

Sure, I could spend a small fortune in speech therapy to work on this, but I won't. The bottom line is my speech troubles are, for better or worse, part of me. It makes me...um, me. And wish as I might that my speech impediment could somehow be magically cured, I know it ain't gonna happen. I just have to deal with it. But it doesn't mean i have to like it.

(For the record, I stuttered not once whilst composing this post in my head. Hooray for small favors.)

 

 

1. That cashier/customer exchange didn't actually happen. Truth be told, I don't think the guy could've understood me any better if I didn't stutter my way through the conversation (English isn't his primary language).

2. Family, friends, and co-workers excluded, of course.