How Do You Tell Your Coworker She Has Spinach in Her Teeth?

published Sep 21, 2016
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(Image credit: Samantha Bolton)

If you’ve ever had something in your teeth and no one told you, and then you went to the bathroom or happened to pass by a mirror and discovered a big chunk of spinach lodged in your incisors, you know: You always want someone to tell you it’s there. Right? Right. And that’s not so hard when it’s your best friend or your husband or your mom, but, it’s a bit more delicate when coworkers are involved.

Here’s how to do it, in six easy steps.

1. Adoration, with a Hint of Warning

My colleague. My friend. My dear, sweet Elizabeth. I want to tell you, as I do every day on our way back from lunch, that you look as beautiful as the day I met you. And it breaks my heart that there is one obstacle, at once miniscule and gargantuan, that prevents me from doing so today.

2. Immediate Reassurance

Please, no, don’t be alarmed. Nothing could ever diminish my affection for you. The expertly curated emojis sprinkled throughout your messages have given me the strength to endure each weekday’s languishing afternoon hours for the past six years. In fact, I should really be spending this time thanking you, for this and for countless other mitzvahs.

3. Fond Remembrance

Indeed, you were the only one who stood by me when my hubris ran wild, and I felt I could change out the water cooler jug all on my own. You hustled your way down to the supply room for additional paper towel rolls, and that really meant a lot, even though they ended up having to replace the carpet anyway.

4. Enumeration of Strengths

Like an angel from heaven, you overcame your fear of furry rodents to blindly toss food pellets in Denny’s cage while I was in Aruba last year. And that yoga class you took me to in 2012? It inspired me to almost start to maybe think about going again someday, you know, for my health; without our health we have nothing!

5. Appreciation of Taste

Our relationship has been a swirling butterfly effect of jubilation culminating in our recently concluded midday meal. I fondly recall your spinach salad with bulgur, pistachios, sweet cherries, feta, and lemon vinaigrette, all plated exquisitely within a Tupperware. I’m honored to call a woman of such sophisticated salad my friend.

And, with that salad, a fortuitous segue … well, I might as well just come right out and say it:

6. The Declaration

You have spinach in your teeth. Right — see? — right here. Yep, right there. Okay, got it. It’s gone now. All right, see ya!