Today in My History
2000:Moments to Remember
2001: ** On vacation **
2002: I'm Melting, Melting--Oh What a World
2003: How to Sabotage Yourself in 9 Easy Steps
2004: A Plague of Locust
2005: How Quickly We Forget
2006: I Did Not Have Sexual Relations with That Woman
2008: Homeland Security
Books Read in 2009
"A Thousand Splendid Suns"
Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks
VIDEO OF THE DAY / WEEK / WHATEVER
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THE TEA SET
14 May 2009
When I was a little girl, my mother had a tea set that was always kept in a closet where I couldn't get to it, but the two of us could, on special occasions, have special tea parties. The reason the set wasn't given to me to play with was because it had belonged to my mother when she was a little girl. She had spent a year in bed and my aunt, her oldest sister, who was an adult by the time my mother was born, brought her a tea set as a special gift.
(Actually she bought two tea sets, since my mother accidentally broke the first one when she insisted on putting it away herself so her older sister, who wasn't as "neat" as my mother, wouldn't mess it up!)
I remember having milk in a little pitcher and pouring it into little cups, and having little cookies to pass during the party, holding onto the impossibly tiny little handles of the cups as I drank sweetened milk or hot chocolate. I don't remember doing it often, but it stands out as a special memory from my childhood.
When I gave birth to Jeri, I was all excited about having "my" tea set so that I could have tea parties with her, the way my mother had tea parties with me.
But I didn't have the tea set. And my mother insisted she had given it to me long before. I searched the house high and low but never found the tea set, and felt guilty that in my slovenly, disorganized way I had lost this special memory. I never got to share that very special thing from my childhood with Jeri.
It was about a year ago when I was sitting in my mother's living room, looked up on top of a glass cabinet and saw the box
It's a very distinctive box, square with this embossed silver paper on it (and now somewhat brown with age). I should note that my mother has moved many times since Jeri was born, and apparently the tea set made the move with her each time.
"My TEA SET!" I shrieked.
Jeri was, of course, 40 before the tea set was rediscovered, so she is long past being able to share that magical time of sitting down with a tea set and having a tea party, but Brianna either was just born or was about to be born and I was just thrilled that at last the tea set was found and I could now give it to my granddaughter. But Laurel tells me that she has a tea set that had belonged to her grandmother, and she's not interested in my tea set. So the set won't be used by my granddaughter either.
My mother decided I should take the box home after Cousins Day and I got to open the box this morning, for the first time, perhaps since I was a child.
There lay all the pieces wrapped in now discolored tissue paper.
I started carefully unwrapping the pieces.
There are four cups with saucers, and two cups, with no saucers, that obviously were purchased at a different time, perhaps two cups left over from the first set Aunt Mel bought for my mother, when she dropped the box that held them.
I feel like I should do something with this tea set; I've wanted to have it again for so long. But there doesn't seem to be anything I can do with it except wrap it all up again, put it back in the box and put the box somewhere safe in a closet, where, when I die, the kids will probably take it and throw it away, with nobody around who is interested in sharing this part of my (and my mother's) childhood.
I could, of course, have a tea party with Jeri the next time she's in town, but I suspect it won't be quite the same as it might have been when she was 3!!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
MILES TO NOWHERE: 106 miles