I’d like to break from my usual musings of romantic mishaps and misfortunes to offer you a closer look into my daily life. I work in an office and share a “quad” with a very interesting character, who, at first glance, seems like your run of the mill middle aged woman who you wouldn’t expect to have any real impact on your life.  Well, my friends, allow me to introduce Pena. 

Week 1:

I switched seats to get away from a loud, inconsiderate and all around annoying quad mate. I mean he would take all of his calls on speakerphone. Who does that?! I had to explicitly tell him to pick up his goddamn receiver. The fact that I even had to tell him that really astonishes me. 

When I got to my new quad I was relieved that I was going to sit next to what seemed like a mild mannered older woman, a guy who literally whispered when he spoke, and a girl my age who did not speak unless spoken to (that’s a whole other story). I felt like I could finally be productive in my new home. 

Until I heard the smacking of Pena’s gum.

I could hear the smacking and snapping inside my brain. I could also see her enormous jowls up and down and all around like she was a cow left out to graze out of the corner of my eye. 
My jaw locked and I cringed. I could feel the rage boiling up inside me. I’m not sure how many people suffer from this, but I personally hate, loathe and despise when people make any sort of sound with their mouths if they’re not talking especially if you’re eating or chewing gum. 

“Close your fucking mouth!!” I wanted to yell so many times.

What had I done? Speakerphone guy wasnt looking so bad now. 

I sat and stared at Pena many times and just ran through the various ways in my mind I could to express to her how disgusting his habit was. The only thing I could think of was a visble look of disgust on my face and noise canceling headphones. These saved me (and come to think of it Pena, too) on so many occasions. 

This was like deja vú. I had sat next to a lip smacking, open mouthed chewer before and when she left the company I thought my nightmare was over. Apparently not. Apparently, Pena was put on this earth to carry out the remainder of my nightmare and continue the legacy of my previous quad mate. 

This was only the beginning, and my life with Pena had only begun. 

Stayed tuned for the next installment of “Life with Pena” where I confront her on her vile chewing habits. 


Shoes Over Booze