My Expectations of You…Your Expectations of Me

If I visit your site or you leave comments here on my blog, I have my mind made up on what the sound of your voice is like.

I can hear your speaking as I read your written posts, your comments and your emails.

If I listen hard enough I can even hear the tone.

It’s kind of weird that my mind is so made up on whether or not you have an accent, smack your gum, talk loudly in public or speak in a whisper when on the phone.

But…IN MY MIND…it’s set.

This is the main reason I did not go to Blogher this year.  For those of you who do not know what Blogher is, it’s a convention for women bloggers who come from all over the country to meet up, share ideas and get advice on all things blogging.  It’s a huge event anticipated by many people. 

This year it is in San Francisco and it starts today.

The convention is only 70 miles from my house and going would not have been a hardship.  In fact when I started blogging earlier this year I was all “gung ho” to be going there, meeting everyone and enjoying the weekend.

My friend Loran was going to go with me but abruptly, I decided I didn’t want to attend.

The reason?

I have these perceptions of how all of you are.  How you walk, you talk, you smile.  Basically how you carry yourself.

To actually change those perceptions would kill me.  I hate change, ask anyone who knows me well.

If you have an East Coast accent and all this time I have pegged you as Southern (cause you live in Mississippi) it would throw me so far off the wagon I might not come back.

I know, how shallow of me, right?

It reminds me of reading the Harry Potter book series.  I developed such ideas of how I thought everyone would sound, talk and act, I ended up despising the movies.  The actors did not fit into my previous expectations of character portrayal.  I died a slow death.

So the thought of meeting so many people I know only from the internet and the safety of my living room was a fleeting proposal.

You all probably have your perceptions of me too.  Wouldn’t you be disappointed if I didn’t speak in the darling, sweet voice you imagine me to have?

Does anyone else feel this way?


Also a bit of business……

I am passing the torch over to Krysta at  Evil Chef Mom who will be hosting the next  Potato Ho-Down On August 20th.  Please send your entries over to her.  Thanks!

Post a Comment


  1. HoneyB 1

    Oh no!!! You probably have me sounding like a NY’er in the city when I live as far away from the city as possible! lol. I actually probably sound more like a Canuk! LOL

  2. Philly 2

    Been told on a few occasions about my philly accent.Call me sometimes, we will compare voices.


  3. I am a southerner living in Connecticut. How’s that work for ya?

  4. Lori 4

    You are totally right, I definitely have strong ideas about what my blog friends are like in real life.
    Hmmm, I wonder how you picture someone who grew up in Hawaii? :)

  5. I never think I have an accent, especially compared to other New Jersians, until I post a video and everyone says I do.

    If they think I have a Jersey accent, they should hear my mother!! LOL

  6. I know what you mean. I absolutely have a very clear picture of what people are like. When I met Kaytabug the other day, she was not at all like I had pictured. First off, the picture I remembered seeing of her must have been someone else on another blog and it is killing me trying to figure out who! I thought she would have kind of a deep, sarcastic voice, but her voice was average pitch and sweet. Even though she had said how tall she was, I wasn’t prepared for how short I am, LOL! I wasn’t disappointed though, because she was better than the mental image I’d built up. I just hope I wasn’t a total disappointment to her!

    BTW, I don’t know why, but half the time when I’m reading your blog, I hear you talking in a moderate East Coast accent. It’s not super pronounced, but it’s there. And your voice is just a bit quavery–in a nice way. And you laugh a lot. You must laugh a lot. You’ve got a nice mouth and smile that seem to be made for laughing.

  7. Oh man- I feel the exactly the same way. I even decide what telemarketers look like, based on their voice. It’s strange. I have to ask- how do you picture me?

  8. melly~ 8

    so funny. do we all do this?
    but i have to say, most of us can handle the change. you might need to seek medical attention. there are some wonderful drugs on the market for exactly this sort of crazy.
    better living through pharmetucicals. amen.

  9. John 9

    “If I visit your site or you leave comments here on my blog, I have my mind made up on what the sound of your voice is like.”

    I hope I sound deep and have a good bass to my voice.

  10. Cass 10

    I COMPLETELY agree and I do the exact same thing. AndreAnna and I have been very good friends over the internet for 9 months now and the other day I went to pick up the phone to call her and I was AFRAID to call her. Not because we wouldn’t have anything to say but because what if she sounded NOTHING like I imagined….would I have to change my AndreAnna blog/im voice too? Would her “real life” voice become the new voice of her blog. It would be like getting a new George Jetson voice in the middle of the Jetson’s which is clearly insane.

  11. When someone comments on my site, I imagine, this egg shaped head with no hair and a blank face, typing away at the computer. Unless, I have visited their site and they have posted a picture. I love pics, they put a face on my egg.
    I would hate to know how you “hear” me. If I knew, I might have to call you just to set things straight. Haha

  12. I USED to feel that way … before I organized a party about five years ago with 250 of my closest online friends from all over the US and Canada. Then I learned that they were even BETTER than what I had created in my head. Now I relish the opportunity to meet people that I chat with / read online. I think it just adds another layer of my friendship when I’m reading them and I know FIRST HAND how their eyebrows would arch when I say something in a comment – haha

  13. I get overall impressions of people from their blogs without getting as specific as voices and faces. Subconciously, I might. I have yet to meet any of the bloggers I read regularly, so I don’t know yet if there will be a jolt of “You’re not what I imagined.”

  14. Steph 14

    I’ve never really noticed it, but I do the very same thing. I’ve been pretty surprised when some people post videos and you can hear their voice. Some were just what I was expecting, others were nothing like it at all!

  15. I did not go to BlogHer for different reasons, most notably that my asthma isn’t going to be happy in a room full of 2000 perfumed bloggers. And as you know, I hate being symtomatic in public. Aside from that, I got the review from several bloggers at Bossy’s shindig, and it didn’t sound critical.

    I really don’t have issues with meeting bloggers though and having my expectations dashed. I enjoyed meeting the ladies from Seattle at Bossy’s get-togther and I adored meeting the Baroness. And I’ve often thought it would be easy to drop by your winery! But I don’t have any huge yen to meet 10,000 bloggers in one weekend!

  16. As a matter of fact, when I began reading your blog there weren’t photos of you, so the first one you posted was not the Noble Pig I had assigned to this blog. You weren’t blond. Since then you’ve posted several in all different scenarios and I can now see THAT person when I read your posts. That’s the reason I put a photo of myself on my blog– I was a slice of french toast for so long, and I didn’t want anyone to be stunned when my face showed up a year or two done the road. Not to say that I’m not stunning them now.. ha ha.
    Clever post, this one’s going to resonate with the whole blog community!

  17. misty 17

    I am not attending BlogHer for different reasons, but honestly I do agree that it would have been awkwardly uncomfortable to see that people aren’t quite what I thought.

  18. Trisha 18

    Hmmmm. I guess I never really thought about how I imagine the people who I meet in the blogosphere. Maybe the fact that my voice has had its major problems and didn’t sound “like me” for a long time keeps me from imagining the voices of others? I do like to imagine how the bloggers live – in situations other than the ones they blog about. Does that count?

  19. I also have my bloggers well imagined. I guess it would really be like going to see a movie after reading a book, to actually see or hear some of them. I’m ok with this no-faces, no-voices thing, it adds a bit of mistery! Or is that, or everybody is really ugly and don’t want to show themselves…

  20. Dragon 20

    Ah, darling, I do the exact same thing as you. The only difference is that I look forward to seeing if I was right. :)

    My dad taught me to not let the first impression be my only guide with people. I’m glad I listened because some of my best friends were people I was so-so about when I first met them.

    I know what you’re talking about is different but in a way it’s not. How do you know that the reality isn’t better than what you’ve come up with in your mind?

    Personally, I’m willing to bet you’re even more adorable in person. :)

  21. I do know what you mean! Especially when books are turned into movies–that always throws me a little.

  22. Yes. I am with you on that… Plus the event doesn’t really ‘float my boat’!!

    Now, a spa trip, that would float my boat! Or, a scrapbook event, or you know, stuff that I would like to do to get away from the Casa…

  23. I don’t even wanna know the picture in your head of me LMAO

  24. dawn 24

    I like what Planet Hotflash woman said…I don’t want to know what you picture my sweet fat butt looking like. Ha ha.
    I’m a Cali native living in the depths of humidity on cape cod, ma. Thank goodness I have no accent. But I am chubby and cute!

  25. Funny. So do you have me pegged as a NEW YAWKA? Maybe with a Brooklyn accent?

    Well dear, don’t hate me, but I’m a JOISY boy. Although I’m told that my accent (I never thought I had one) is a mix of NY & NJ.

    I imagine what places will look like more than what people will sounds like. But I DO hear ya.

    Have a GREAT weekend!

  26. Marcy 26

    I do that too Noble. When I see pictures of the peeps on their blogs I then try to place voices with the names and faces, lol.
    I think you would talk softly and nice and polite, lol:) am I close?

  27. Julena Jo 27

    Meeting people from the Internet is a great kick. I’ve been chatting online for many years and have never been disappointed when I’ve met a person. One gets to know them from the “inside out,” and the externals have always been right on target for those I’ve met in person.

  28. Hello there~
    Very thought provoking post today…interesting question.
    I don’t know if I consciously hear others voices…I have a hard enough time with all of the chatter in my own head.
    I am originally from Denver, transplanted to Houston – out to Cali and back to Tejas again – been told that I don’t have any accent…live with a Brit, so sometimes speak in his vernaculur.
    Bravo for being the master of rhetoric!! :)

  29. Oh oh oh! I want to know how you envision me! Do I have an accent?? This blog is hilarious because I totally envision people too. And if they don’t have a picture up, I have made up in my mind what they look like. I wonder what you sound like!

    link to

  30. Great post…made me think!

  31. SO that’s what BlogHer means? Huh … I am learning something new every day. I quite agree with you about the whole reality/virtual relationship thingy (and I always have issues when books go to film) … and yet … hmmmm … (…trails off pondering and musing and begins twirling — IT’S FRIDAY!)

  32. krysta 32

    I do this too… it’s kinda of like imagining the dj at the radio station… never what you really expect. i, too, pictured you blonde like some other people who had left comments. why is that?

  33. Lex the mom 33

    I have a hard time doing things like this. In my mind I am constantly reminding myself that I can’t possibly know how they are by the fervor & wiles of their font. I imagine, but nothing is concrete for me.

    It’s also something I don’t try to do, so that if the time ever comes – I’m not disappointed.

    I imagine your voice being a little deeper, lower octave – but still sweet (Catherine Keener in a sweet role). I don’t hear you sounding like Michael Clarke Duncan, but we never know…

  34. Egghead 34

    Well I probably sound like that African tribe that clicks when they speak or better yet Mr. Bean. But I hear ya! It’s weird how we have an impression of someone by what they write.

  35. Deborah 35

    So I totally know what you are talking about. I don’t necessarily get voices in my head, but I have pictures of what people look like and how old they are. When some anonymous blogger finally posts a picture of themselves and they look totally different than what I expected, it totally throws me off.

  36. Alisa 36

    I am right there with you. Like I always say, I like living in denial. You do imagine me as a blond supermodel right?

  37. Yes, I can relate, but I would still love to meet many of the people I have connected with through my blog. I remember when I met Marilyn of “Simmer Til Done” and we both felt strangely shocked by the actual person in front of us as opposed to the person that existed in our heads… for about five minutes. Then we got over it. Marilyn decided that our blogs are only about 95% us and the rest is a surprise. A wonderful surprise.

  38. Please tell me you don’t envision me as southern white trash. i wouldn’t blame you, if you did.

  39. Laura 39

    I’m with Alisa on this one. And while we’re at it, can you please envision me without bags under my eyes, i.e., as someone whose children sleep? ;)

  40. Viticulture Vern 40

    G’day mate!

  41. Lennie 41

    I have been fortunate to do a few “internet meetings” with people over the past few years, with folks from the internet cooking group where I used to hang out constantly. I was never disappointed, always pleasantly surprised. And it made them seem “so real” afterwards, when reading their posts.
    As for books and movies, I have been down that road SO many times. I always think the book is better than the movie, even when it’s a good movie!

  42. I know what you mean about the characters in books. They are never the same in your head as they are cast in the movie. As far as Harry Potter goes, I was very off in what I thought Delores Umbridge would look and sound like!

  43. Rayrena 43

    I totally agree! It’s like when you listen to a song and you make up a story about the lyrics. Then you hear an interview and the writer just blows your concept of the song. Funny, as a young girl listening to Culture Club, the songs meant one thing. Then as an adult knowing that Boy George was gay gave the songs a whole new twist. Not in a bad way, it just expanded my ideas of love and relationships.

    What I find really interesting is having friends that you know really well who blog. I can see from comments on their blogs how other people have “built identities” for them in their heads. Quite funny:)

  44. dlyn 44

    I have met a lot of people in real life who I first met on the internet and not once have had them pegged correctly. Even seeing photos of them or hearing their voices on the phone prepared me for the whole package. I guess I have too much imagination. So yes Cathy-who is 5 ft 11 and 135 lbs with long flowing dark hair in impeccable condition, framing your perfect complection. If you were saying this out loud to me in your tones both cultured and dulcet – I would reply that I know exactly what you mean.

  45. Chuck 45

    I agree with the concept that when you read a book, the characters and voices are there in your head. It is always disappointing when the movie character speaks incorrectly (as the voice in my head was correct!). 30 minutes to pool &happy hour!

  46. Terrie 46

    BUT…what if you went and discovered that you were dead-on about some of your bloggers? Wouldn’t that be gratifying? I often form a mental and/or auditory image of someone, but it’s a hoot to find out if I was on the money or not! But then, I love surprises.

  47. Now you have gone and destroyed my preconception of you. I thought you were the kind of person who welcomed change. To discover you don’t just rattles my windows. I always wanted to say that.

  48. kj 48

    Oh I hate those Harry Potter movies too, for exactly that reason. My version is so much better.

  49. What if we were even better than you expected? Kinder, funnier, maybe even more soft spoken yet used our blog as an outlet to not be so quiet? You might be pleasantly surprised.

  50. I am a Philly girl living in the bible belt. Picture that accent amongst all these church-going southerners.

    No seriously, I am sweet, speak with a soft tone and drink beer.

    Did you know its 4 way friday? call #1 and then call me. we can do a three way. You know you have always wanted to do one.


  51. I always imagine the writers are mute. I can hear the children loud and clear.

  52. i love that approach. makes total sense. who wants to be disappointed when we have other realities to worry about! the imagination is a wonderful thing; like me smacking my gum right now as I type.

    great topic of post!!! and thanks so much for the comment on the show!!! it was Great!!!!! I’m still on a high!

  53. blair 53

    I do the same exact thing… for most blogs. For some reason I am able to not do this for some.
    Hmm… now that I think about it, I think I start off with a notion that disappears over time (like 3+ years).

    I am afraid to know what your perception of my voice might be… though in my archives I think I do have an audio post (but I don’t think it sounds like me).

    Your voice is disappearing since I have read your posts for a while… but for a while there, it sounded like some of the women I know from Junior League, the ones I don’t know but whom I suspect might have a personality (I hope you don’t find that insulting as I think it is a great compliment since I aspire to be a Junior League member with a personality).

    WARNING: Don’t look for my audio post if you like Tuscan architecture!

  54. I know what you mean. I found out a fellow blogger lives just around the corner from me – we haven’t gotten together yet – but I am a little nervous about it! I’m afraid she’ll say, “Oh my God, you look nothing like I pictured!” and it will be in the bad way, not the good way!

  55. pam 55

    I am as amazing as you imagine me to be. Hee hee.

  56. Well I hope you’ll still like me when I start doing video posts! I think you can probably guess my Aussie accent ;)

  57. You have a point. One thing about the internet – the physical reality isn’t there. What does that say about internet dating??? ;-)

  58. giz 58

    Strange how perceptions become reality and then your world rocks when “the” reality doesn’t match up with your reality.

    Perfect example of how different we are – I’ve read the whole Harry Potter series and oddly – all (nearly) the characters matched my expectations. Malfoy was just as obnoxious in the movie as he was in the book.

  59. Flea 59

    Do you hear me with a slight southern accent, mixed with and east coast bit? Because that would be all wrong. Or right. I understand you reservations only to a degree. I don’t hear voices in my head. :)

  60. Yeah, I feel the same way. Why spoil everything… This week, I have a slightly southern accent to my speech, but will lose it next week when I get back in Wisconsin for a 2-week visit. At least, I think I probably will. we’ll see…

  61. I guess we all do that, in some way. But unlike you I’m always excited to see what or how people will be. Like hearing someone on the phone first and then meeting them, it can be pretty ugly at times. But I just love it!

    P.S. I’m Canadian but don’t say “eh” all the time! ;-)

  62. I wouldn’t want you to blow a fuse. I ken tawk as thhhick as sirup, or fuggetttaboutit. I think my southern accent is there all the time now because I can’t hear it. When I go to California it fades back some, and sometimes goes away. BUT I JES CAINT HEAH it no mo.
    yep me too. But I think your cute, I’d sit still and shut up to sit by your pool and drink fancy drinks and eat whatever’s cookin, yes sir, I think I could do that. Until the second drink,..

  63. grace 63

    i know exactly what you mean. i have an idea about what everyone looks like (even if they have a picture posted, sometimes i form my own image anyway) and sounds like and acts like. it’s good fun. i hope my voice in your head is a sultry southern drawl. :)

  64. Harmony 64

    YES! I feel the same way…but my curiosity is way too strong, if I could know…I would SO find out!!!

  65. Madmad 65

    Great post! I feel exactly the same! (Also? All the people that you become friendly with? Everybody gets all shy, and it’s not the same as you thought it would be. Or that was my experience, anyway.) (Also, part 2 – my dad kept recommended you to me, and I ignored him because, hey, what would he know? And darn, I HATE when I’m wrong. Great blog!)

  66. laura 66

    um…so i guess this means that if i were to blow into your town say friday or saturday to watch my cheerleader daughter and squad perform at some high school cheer camp event that meeting you for coffee would be a no go?
    btw i don’t think i have an accent…definitely not a western pennsylvania accent. and it is only an ugly rumor that i can walk and chew gum at the same time.

  67. Kiki 67

    I’m hangoverophobic… and have only been blogging since January so it seemed silly for me. Still I am following everyone’s blogher updates.

  68. Tipper 68

    I’ve never thought about it-but you’re right I do have a “voice” in my head for each of the blogs I visit. My Appalachian accent wouldn’t disappoint you-surely that’s what you have in you mind when you visit my blog. For you I have Lucy’s (Lucille Ball)voice in my head. Yep Lucy-only with a PhD.

  69. Kari 69

    That is so funny! I never really thought about it, but, I guess I, too, have a particular persona in mind about my blogging friends. I guess that’s why I love when bloggers have their photo posted on their sites – I like to have a face to put with the person that I’m reading about.

  70. Misty 70

    Cathy, you crack me up. I totally agree with you about perception. I would hate to meet some people & ruin what I have in my mind. I do that all the time with my clients. Some of them I never meet. But when I do meet them I have this mental picture & they totally ruin it!

  71. I know what you mean. I don’t imagine voices, just more a general sense of what it would be like to be around that person IRL.

    I’m meeting a blogging friend (my first meet up) in a couple of weeks and I’m kind of nervous about it – from both ends. What if I am not who she thought/hoped I am, what if she’s very different in person and the whole meeting is awkward? But, I’m committed – maybe more of a social experiment than anything.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting