I watched my mother puttering around her kitchen, only half listening to her stream of consciousness babble.
“… that Simpson boy down the street? At bunko last night, his mother told me that he got his teeth grilled.”
I perked up like a dog hearing a silent command whistle. There was a grammar gaffe floating on the ether needing attending.
She turned from her sink of sudsy dishes, blinking. Momentarily confused that I would interrupt her story, she frowned slightly before answering.
“You know when you have a bad tooth and a dentist uses gold caps..”
I stifled a laugh. “Are you sure that’s what she said? I don’t think you can used the word ‘grilled,’ in that definition, as a verb, like you would ‘capped’.”
A wet, Playtex gloved hand planted firmly on her hip, she held her lips in a tight, thin line. “She said he had a gold grill on his front teeth. That’s all it could be.”
“I’m not an expert in the urban lexicon, but I think that ‘grilled’ would be like saying, ‘he got his teeth braced’, instead of just ‘he got braces.’ Besides, a ‘grill’ is basically a retainer, typically gold or silver. It’s more decorative than a functional orthodontic device.”
Pulling off her neon yellow gauntlets, she threw them on the equally yellow Formica counter.
“You expect me to believe there is such a thing as cosmetic mouth accessories?”
“I couldn’t make up something like that.”
“A retainer? You mean it’s not permanent and can be taken out anytime you want?”
“Sure, and you can also get ones with colored rhinestone or diamond embellishments.”
I could see the cogs of her bedazzled brain churning. I had planted a seed that would grow like a weed, and I would be unable to eradicate it no matter how much I tried.
As soon as I left her house, my mother did her online research. The next time I saw her she blinded me with a brilliant, rose gold and ice-pink bejeweled smile.