Monday, January 08, 2007

From the Heart -- To my sister who I love very much

As I clean up the remnants of my first tea party, my thoughts wander to you. Since I am baby sister, many of my firsts have been in your shadow. So this event causes me to consider the number of times I have wanted to grow into being the woman I always saw in you. Independent, feminine and one who was dedicated to making every day become something new, different and interesting all the while respecting and holding true the romance of the past.

As a young child, I remember watching you as you magically created beautiful Barbie furniture from thread spools and scraps of lace and fabric from Mom’s projects. And I, too, thought it made perfect sense that Mom’s stiletto made as good a Barbie car as anything else you could find. So, by the time I was old enough for Barbie, Mattel provided her accessories. Lace, fabric, glue and scissors were no longer required, so it wasn’t as fun. My interest leaned towards race cars, trains and whatever else I could get my hands on that seemed boyish and cool.

I recall as I began planning this tea party thinking of the ones that you have held and told me about. I imagined the invitations you would make with doilies and calligraphy. I see scissors and glue; and possibly even glitter. Each envelope thoughtfully addressed and mailed out weeks in advance.

My invitations went out via

Determined to somehow stay true to tradition, I selected a menu of finger sandwiches and scones. I scoured the Internet for the best recipes I could find for egg salad and cucumber sandwiches. I borrowed a food processor to make the scones from scratch. And then, my guests informed me of their special low carb diets and before I knew it, tradition was again to be abandoned and finger sandwiches would be replaced with deviled eggs, ham rolls and cucumber and sour cream salad.

Finally, the day came and my guests, in the spirit of a “tea party”, arrived bearing hats and gloves. I pulled out Aunt Evelyn’s full length gloves and a Talbot’s hat I bought several years ago. And then found myself serving Constant Comment tea in little china tea cups to guests sitting prim and cross-legged with their hats and gloves. The weather was beautiful and the gazebo in the courtyard beckoned us all outside. While I was preparing water for another pot of tea, a guest discovered my Origami book and paper. So, when I went outside with a fresh pot of tea, I found all of my guests had abandoned their gloves and were making Origami designs.

We laughed, drank tea and ate guilt-free bite-sized snacks. Various teas were tasted and future events were planned. We were the secret society of the ya-ya sisterhood and life was great.

And so as I wash up the last of my delicate little tea cups, feeling all mature and feminine, I reflect and wonder what you did at your tea parties. I wonder if I did it right and what you would have thought of it. But mostly, I wonder what it would have been like if you were present and wish most of all that you had been.

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