While in California I was giving a presentation to a group from western states. After my general talk, I had a Q&A session. This went on for a half hour or so. The questions were pleasant. Many of the topic discussions continued that afternoon. Over dinner, I was answering a question when I noticed a lady just staring at me. When I looked at her, she said, "I just love the way you talk, you know, your accent." A friend beside her added, "Your southern accent is just wonderful."
At that point, I wondered if they had heard anything I had said. Or were they just listening to my "accent". Was this a strength or a detriment? I have never thought of myself as a "pretty face" much less a just a "wonderful accent". Of all the things my Daddy taught me, using my accent to my advantage was not one of them.
But like I often tell my children - it's a package deal. In life we often are not given a choice. We just dance with one who brung us. In this case it is a slow waltz through the oleanders.