FOR THE HUNDREDTH TIME: there’s food in your teeth!

I work with a woman who always has stuff in her teeth. She’s not gross or unclean – I’m thinking maybe there’s something about the way her teeth are set up that makes for a particularly welcoming spot for lingering lettuce . At any rate, I interact with this woman regularly and it seems I’m always telling her there’s something in her teeth, to the point where I now feel weird about it. She takes care of the lettuce when I give her the alert, but never seems particularly grateful that I told her. Should I stop pointing it out?

If you interact with her so often that you feel like you’re always telling her she has lettuce in her teeth, you must have somewhat of a cordial relationship with her. Maybe you could say, “I feel like I’m always telling you that there’s stuff in your teeth. Do you want me to stop?” She probably won’t say no, and then it’ll be out in the open. This way, you either have her permission to tell, and then you don’t have to be sheepish about it, and you can shorthand the whole exchange by just pointing to your teeth and making a face.

Either that or say, loudly, like you’re acting in a play, “My life has really changed since I started brushing my teeth after lunch. Now I don’t have lettuce stuck in my teeth all the time!”

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