Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"This is not the time for joking," M. says as she stuffs a finger into her mouth. "You have no idea how much pain I'm in!"

The wire on the end of her braces is poking the back of M.'s gums and it "hurts real bad" so she shoves wax in her gob to make the pain go away.

Me: "Your pants are unzipped."

M: "What?!" M. is wearing a white t-shirt with brown 'Shakira Shakira' kid-sized cargo pants. Zippers are everywhere. The zipper going across one of her legs is widely agape so I notion towards it and M. quickly unzips ALL of the zippers on her legs for spite.

(She's classy.)

M. takes out the Psychology Today magazine and hands it to me. But what is this? What has M. placed atop of the mag for my unsuspecting eyes. Why, it's a shiny gold token worth "3 Payne Points!"

"What are Payne Points?" I ask.

"Don't be jealous," M. winks with an all-knowing smirk. "My orthodontist gives them to me. I get 1 point if I show up on time to an appointment, 1 point if I brush my teeth, and 1 point if I wear his shirt."

"You wear his shirt?!" I ask.

M: "Yeah, it says 'Payne Orthodontists' on the front. It's a blue T-shirt. There is a glass case in his office with all sorts of neat things I can buy with my Paine Points, like an iPod and an iPhone and... you know, all sorts of stuff."

The acronym for Payne Points is P.P.

M. is hoping to soon trade her P.P. for an iTouch.


M. loudly chews apart a mini chocolate candy egg while talking. The over-worked, wet smacking sound of her full lips is only outdone by the brutal glimpses of chocolate, metal, and tongue I see in between chomps.

Me: "Are you supposed to be eating chocolate?"

M: "Shhhh! No."

Me: "Is it because of your braces?"

M: "No, it's because it's chocolate."

M. unwraps another mini chocolate egg and plops it into her mouth. "You have no idea how much pain I'm in."

M. is not aware of this blog. It's weird to work with her all day, taking mental notes of conversations on the sly, jotting down little reminders, etc., and then sitting down to put a little blurb together for the internet. There is so much to digest. Case in point, today I made the mistake of asking what kind of pants M. is wearing because for the life of me, I have no idea how to describe them. I mean, are they just pants?

Picture it- M. and her cube mate are huddled around a computer, deep in shoe talk. They are engrossed in fashion, chocolate, and the thrill of free overnight shipping. From the innocent space in my cubicle, I peek my little head out and gently interrupt with a meek query: "What would you call those pants, M?"

M: (snapping her neck to give me the coldest stare in the history of the universe). "What, Jake?"

Cube Mate: "What kind of a question is that, Jake?"

Me: "Well, I mean... are they slacks, or cargo pants, or... what would you call them?"

(Silence and cold, deadly blank stares.)

Me: (looking at Cube Mate.) "Well, you are wearing blue jeans, right? So you would call those blue jeans, but is there a name for what M. is wearing?"

M: "Jake! What!?"

Cube Mate: "They are her Shakira Shakira pants, Jake."

Me: "Shakira Shakira? Like the singer?"

Cube Mate: "Yes, Jake. Like the singer."

Me: "But, are they really called that? Do I have to say Shakira twice?"

There is a brief pause until M. stands up unexpectedly and bursts into song: "Whenever, whatever!" She shakes and jerks with her elbows in the air, that eerie Dolly Parton voice shatters through my skull like an alien tractor going down in flames.

They giggle as if the whole thing is a laugh riot. Cube Mate tells me they are cargo pants. M. adds that she got them from the children's section because she thought they looked cute. She said they were meant to appear baggy on a child, but they fit her perfectly.

That's fair, I guess. Shakira Shakira pants.

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