Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pet Names

Once Miss Sylvia got to know me, I was given the pet name "Honey". Everyone had a pet name. The Judge was "Pretty". One of the attorneys was "Sweet Thing", another one was "Pretty Boy." I never was sure if it was her way of remembering everyone and keeping us all straight. Or, her own way of subconsciously letting us know what she thought of each us. But whatever the reasoning, once you were anointed with a moniker, it stuck and she never forgot. Years after someone left, she would ask me, "Do you ever here from 'Pretty Boy'?"

One morning Miss Sylvia came in the office. I could tell she was excited about something. "You'll never guess what came in the mail today." "What?" "This box of candy. And, it's from 'Sweet Thing'. He remembered my birthday." Sure enough she placed a box of Godiva Chocolates on my desk. "Well sir, have you ever seen such? Look at them," she said as she opened the box to proudly show me the confections. "This here paper shows what's in each piece." It was all I could do not to laugh - not at her (although she was pretty funny) but just to watch her enjoy such a gift.

She went on, "And look, each piece is a special shape." "Have you tried one, yet?" I asked seeing that none were missing from the box. "Lord no, they're too pretty to eat. Why, I looked at the box they came in and he even sent them straight from the factory!" "I think you should try one." "Maybe I could try just one." So she carefully selected a scallop shaped shell piece. As she put it in her mouth her eyes rolled back in her head. "Lord have mercy this is good. I've never had anything such as this. Have a piece," she said as she offered me the box. "No mam, I just ate. But I have tasted them before and they are wonderful."

"Well I figure if I go home and put this box by my bed, I can have one piece a night for two weeks." "That's if your kids don't get into them." "I'll kill 'em. I will just shoot 'em right then and there." Knowing Miss Sylvia had a gun and knew how to use it, I feared for her children's safety (even though they were all over 21). She stood there with her gray hair pulled tight in a bun and her wire glasses on, looked at me with that twinkle in her eyes and said, "Now isn't that boy really a sweet thing to have sent this me. I named him right. I knew it the first I laid eyes on him."

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