I’m sitting at my desk, putting on my makeup. Although I have three hours before the tea party begins, I don’t like rushing, especially on Sundays. This time of social distancing has been hard on everyone, but I’m here to recommend the concept of virtual get-togethers.
While this time of social distancing can be stressful, here’s a good thing: if you want to do something with your little grandchildren virtually, you can do it in ways you wouldn’t do if they were with you in the flesh. For example, if you want to add a little extra flavor to your “tea” such as a splash (or two, or three!) of spiced rum, you can do that. They will not notice that your breath burns their little nostrils as would be the case with an in-person event. And probably you will feel slightly less silly when they remind you to hold out your pinky finger like a proper lady. In fact, I’m sure that’s how all proper ladies made it through such silliness. They spiked that tea!
Anyway, that’s how I’m going to get through it. And can I drink iced tea, instead of hot tea? As in Long Island Iced Tea? That seems more appropriate as the spring weather starts acting as it should. And as it’s the weekend, after all.
When my daughters were little we used to have tea parties all the time. I never even thought of spiking my tea back then. But my life was about different stuff then. My oldest daughter took the role of Ms. Jones during those tea parties; my younger daughter was Ms. Smith, only the older daughter couldn’t say Ms. Smith and instead called her sister “Smith Smith” during those dramas. As the girls grew a little older, they began inviting their friends for the tea parties. We never served tea, but instead served hot chocolate with marshmallows.
I could always tell the quality of home life our little guests had by observing their tea party behaviors. All of them would grab one of the stuffed animals from the toybox to place on their laps while they drank their tea; some of them would be loving toward those animals and some would be quite rough and short with the compliant, silent bunnies, bears, or chibbles. One little girl would jump up from her chair every 2 or 3 minutes, stomp over to the telephone hanging on the kitchen wall and vociferously declare, “I’m calling my attorney!”
I feel certain the tea party this afternoon will be far more boring. But as I mentioned earlier, I’ve got it covered. I’ve set the table on the patio with a new table cloth; I’ve watered the potted hydrangeas. I’ve set out some old cups and saucers that belonged to my husband’s grandmother. I found a teapot to match. I’m about to go find hats for me and Rhonda. Lord, I hope I have something that will look all southern and girlie. I really don’t think my granddaughter will be impressed with a fishing hat or my rumpled old hat with the faded Corona Beer logo on it. I have some nice crunchy gingersnaps I can lay out, but I’d better put out some salted nuts too, for good measure.
Rhonda, great sport that she is, has accepted the invitation to join us, and even J is planning to attend. I don’t know if my son-in-law will be there, but it will be nice to see him and to learn how he manages to get through such a festive virtual event with family. Separated by distance, we are still enjoying our family time, any way we can.