Power to the Pot
Come here. Lean a little closer. Shhh. I have a secret. Don’t tell everyone, but … it’s kind of fun being a teapot!
Several years ago, some lady came out with a book called If Teacups Could Talk. I thought to myself, “What do you mean if?” Everyone knows teacups can talk, but meaning no offense, who cares if teacups can talk? Bunch of amateurs. Now teapots, we are the ones who have something to say.
Teacups are like commoners, but a teapot is like the Queen. Think about it. You go to a tea party and everybody gets a teacup, but there’s usually only one teapot on the table. And oh, the stories I can tell!
I have the best day job in the world. All I have to do is sit there and look pretty until I’m called up for “work,” and then I’m usually sitting smack-dab in the middle of a tea party, which is always fun. Why?
First, my owner, Leslie, warms me up before she uses me. She rinses me out with a bit of warm water, and it’s like I’ve gone for a brief swim at some nice Caribbean beach. Makes me feel all ticklish inside just to think about it.
Then, Leslie fills me with warm water to get me ready to serve. I always like that part best because it feels like I’m taking a nice, relaxing bath. If only I could get her to add a few bath salts, but I understand why she doesn’t.
Last, she pours in the boiling water and adds the tea bags. Now not everyone is cut out to handle boiling water, but I am. I really strut my stuff then, letting those tea bags know who’s boss while they toss around inside me.
“Hey, Earl Grey? What do you think you’re doing? Untangle yourself and get back on your side. She’ll want you out of here in about four minutes!”
Misbehaving tea bags are another story, and I don’t have time to get into that today.
Once the tea bags are out, Leslie makes sure I don’t have any drips — kind of like a lady checking for lipstick smears — and takes me to the table. The things I have seen and heard at the tea table … You’d be surprised. Really, you would.
Sometimes, it’s all sweetness and light. Maybe it’s a bunch of middle-aged friends getting together to reminisce about their high school days, back before they met Miss Clairol and had to sign up for Zumba classes, if you get my drift.
Other times, a young bride or mother-to-be is the guest at tea, and I really, really enjoy those parties.
You hear the best gossip, though, at the ordinary tea parties where it’s just a few close friends getting together for a gabfest.
You want to know what I heard not long ago? You won’t believe this.
Leslie was hosting a tea party for three of her girlfriends, and her friend Sharon was there. The other two friends were Diane and Grace, as I recall.
Now I love my owner, but Lord help her, Leslie often speaks before she thinks. So Sharon was sharing a sweet memory and casually mentioned an old friend named Julie. Leslie pipes up with, “Julie? Julie? I don’t remember you having any friend named Julie.”
I was watching all this play out from right there in the middle of the dining room table, keep in mind.
And then Leslie says, “Oh, wait a minute! Julie! Wasn’t she the one whose body they found in a trunk at the airport? The smell got so bad that someone complained, and that’s how police found her body?”
You could almost hear the air whooshing out of the room.
“Yes,” Sharon had replied, looking a little amused and yet sad all at the same time. “She's the one.”
I remember wishing I could speak aloud at the tea so I could say, “Exactly how many dead-body-found-at-the-airport friends do you think Sharon has, Leslie?”
Fortunately, my owner realized her faux pas and soon got the conversation back on track.
I never get an invitation in the mail as the other guests do, yet I must say I enjoy attending tea parties. You never know what you’ll overhear, and as a writer, I’m always looking for a good story idea.
(What? You didn’t think teapots had hobbies just like anyone else?)
And although my job is simply to hold the tea, I have to tell you that I don’t mind admitting I sip a little of the brew myself once the others are served. Oolongs are my favorite, but at tea parties, I inevitably get asked to hold some fruity tea like strawberry or peach. Mango is my favorite of the fruit teas, in case any of you are wondering what I'd like for Christmas.
When the tea party is over, I enjoy watching Leslie clean up and put everything back in order.
I’ve heard some “experts” say not to use dishwashing detergent in a teapot, but I personally think that’s a bunch of bunk. In America, you just don’t feel clean unless you’ve had a bath or a shower, and since I’m serving food, for Heaven’s sake, I think it’s more than fine when Leslie swirls a few of her Dawn soapsuds around inside me. Mmm. I’m getting that ticklish feeling again just thinking about it.
So remember: teacups may be more well-known for their speaking abilities, but I say, power to the pot. (“The” pot, not “pot,” of course. Teapots have standards just like anyone else.)
And the next time you go to a tea party, you might want to be a little more careful with your conversation. You never know who might be listening!