You Can Call Me Elaine

April 3, 2011

For a few years now, I’ve been working part time for a super-wealthy man.  I’m not really his secretary, although I do type the occasional letter.  I’ve often joked that I’m his “office wife” — doing the stuff that he would probably have his wife do if he were married.

On Friday, I was telling some friends about the job and my most recent (recurring) assignment:  to find a particular brand of sock.  This assignment is one that I have failed at repeatedly over a period of at least six months.  Friday was the most recent failure, which led me to call a clothing store in New Orleans and plead for help from the manager because that is the place where the socks were last known to be sold.  The phone call ended with the manager asking me to mail him one of my boss’ socks so he could match it exactly.  (Thank you, Christian at Perlis!  You’re a life saver!)

So as I recounted this to my friends, they exclaimed, “You’re Elaine!”  and reminded me that in Season 6 of Seinfeld, Elaine worked for the wealthy and somewhat peculiar Mr. Pitt.  In one episode, Elaine was sent nearly over the edge as she struggled to find socks that Mr. Pitt liked.  (I can sooooo relate!)

Here’s the dialogue:

JERRY: Now, what is it that you do, exactly?

ELAINE: I attend to his personal affairs.

JERRY: Like what?

ELAINE: Well, like tomorrow for example, I have to uh…I have to buy him some socks.

JERRY: Really! Socks!

New scene – Elaine at Mr. Pitt’s. He’s trying on the socks she’s brought him.

ELAINE: So, what do you think?

PITT (pulling up the socks): No.

ELAINE: You don’t like them?

PITT: No, I don’t like them.

ELAINE: What’s wrong?

PITT: They’re too tight.

ELAINE: Too tight?

PITT: There’s no elastic, you need to pull too much <pulls them up more>.

ELAINE (examining the socks): I think they look good!

PITT: They’re cutting off the circulation.

ELAINE: Alright, well, I’ll just take them back. <The phone rings.>

PITT: Hello?

JERRY: Hi, Mr. Pitt! Is Elaine there?

PITT (hands the phone to Elaine): It’s for you.

ELAINE: Sorry. Hello?

JERRY: Hey Elaine, it’s me.

ELAINE: Jerry?

JERRY: We’re going to Atlantic City.

ELAINE: Really? When?

JERRY: Today, right now! Are you in?

ELAINE: One second, hang on. (To Mr. Pitt) Excuse me, Mr. Pitt? Would it be alright if I got you the socks tomorrow?

PITT: Tomorrow?


PITT: But I was hoping for my new socks today!

ELAINE: Well, it’s just one more day.

PITT: I’m sorry. I must have them today.

ELAINE (to Jerry): I can’t go.

JERRY: Why not?

ELAINE: Because I have to return the socks and get different ones.

PITT: Elaine!

ELAINE: I gotta go. <Hangs up.>

Cut back to Elaine at Mr. Pitt’s. There are pairs of socks everywhere. Pitt has on the latest pair.

PITT: It’s good, but…

ELAINE: But what??

PITT: Ultimately I don’t think they’ll stay up.

ELAINE (pulling up Pitt’s socks): No, no! They’ll stay up!

PITT: For a while, yes, but not in the long run.

ELAINE: But that’s why I got you the tighter ones! <Holds them up.>

PITT: Oh, forget about those! <Takes the socks from Elaine and throws them on the floor.> Why do you keep mentioning those?

ELAINE: What do you want!?

PITT: I want a decent sock that’s comfortable, that will stay on my foot!!

<Elaine curls up into a fetal position.>



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