After Jill Wrenson-Babcock raised a glass of champagne at a baby shower, everyone else at the party could only think one thing: “Is Jill’s voice actually like that?”
“That can’t be her real voice,” said new friend Meaghan Quist. “Maybe she has some sort of medical issue,” added Quist. “Actually, I hope it’s a medical issue. Is that wrong?”
“Her voice has made me uncomfortable for years,” admitted college friend Julie Thurston. “But I never felt like I could say something until I heard that other women also had issues with that tinny whine that just bores right into your soul like a red hot soul poker,” said Thurston.
“For three years, I just thought she was doing some kind of wacky character voice,” she added. “Three years.”
“During puberty, girls’ voices deepen as the larynx drops and enlarges, and the vocal folds lengthen and thicken,” says acquaintance Eugenia Stephanides, a nurse practitioner. “Unless you’re Jill, in which case apparently none of that happens.”
“She does Botox, so I wouldn’t put it past her to have botched some kind of surgery,” said Margaret, Jill’s best friend’s gluten coach. “I don’t know if that’s a thing,” she added. “But if it were, how much do you think you could sue for if you actually sounded like that?”
“There’s room in this world for all kinds of voices,” said Ms. Wrenson-Babcock in a high-pitched screech that caused several passersby to call 911 and report an “eagle on the loose.” “And if people can’t accept me for who I am, then that’s their problem, not mine.”
As Ms. Wrenson-Babcock spoke, two or three restless neighborhood dogs appeared at her back door, whining and moving in nervous circles.
“People are just jealous,” she added, while cleaning up a pile of shattered glass.