|Sure, it looks pretty now. But wait till it is filled with tea.|
I don’t like tea. I like the notion of tea. Not the beverage. At intervals of my life
I’ve given tea a fair shot.
-My coffee-guzzling parents, for some odd reason, served tea post-Sunday afternoon nap, pre-evening worship service. They drank their coffee black, but loaded up their tea cups with cream and sugar. So did I. We all dunked our Rippin’ Good cookies in the tea. We all looked morosely into our half-filled cups of sugary, milky, sodden-cookie crumbed tea. And then my father would say, “Time to get ready for church!” and we would dump the tepid messes down the sink. And then we would do it all over again the next week.
-My best friend in 8th grade gave me a box of Bigelow’s Assorted Teas all wrapped up in fancy paper for my birthday one year, along with a little teacup. I was captivated. It was the prettiest wrapped gift I’d ever gotten. Its beauty, and my loyalty to our friendship, sustained me through the entire box of tea. When it was gone my mother asked if I would like to put more tea on my Christmas list. I burst into tears.
-Several college friends from New Jersey were attached to their tea routines by an Orange Pekoe and Earl Grey lifeline. I learned that I could be a quite fabulous actress when my East Coast Cool Factor was at stake. I sat through numerous dorm room tea gatherings, smiling and agreeing to second cups, which I swigged with a hatred usually reserved for rodents and algebra.
And now I am an adult. A coffee-loving adult at peace with her tea enmity. An aficionado who clips articles about the health benefits of coffee. A coffee patriot who has tried to ignore all the raves about how women my age should drink green tea, or ginseng tea, or chamomile or hibiscus or lily of the valley tea. They promise me youth, vitality, and an efficient digestive system.
Once again I make my wistful way past the coffee delights and slump in front of the tea display.
Thirty minutes and thirty dollars later I have a tea to fight colds, one to reduce blood pressure, one to increase antioxidants, and one to make me relax.
Exhausted, I head home, and put on a pot of coffee.