Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tea with a friend always tastes better

A simple glance at the grocery store aisle will tell you that there are about 5,639 different types of tea out there. You might find it interesting that all true tea comes from one single plant, and different varieties are created by different ways of processing the leaves. Herbal blends are not actually teas by definition.

This is all well and good, but when it comes to hot water you pour over some sort of withered up leaf, the outcome is usually the same: A hot beverage served best when with a friend.

I am no stranger to a mug of tea with honey when I’m feeling under the weather or a cup of chamomile when I just want to calm down. And I’m not the only one who “self-medicates” with tea. There are even fancy brands out there that cleverly put their cause in their name. Immuni-Tea, for example, keeps you healthy. Longevi-Tea keeps you around. Fertili-Tea, as the name states, creates a world of chaos in your home filled with tiny shoes and pacifiers.

But besides those simple names, I believe there are other “teas” in your life. And while they may not line the shelves, they certainly have an impact on you.

Most lives I know start with diaperabili-tea and end in finali-tea. Somewhere in between the two is usually a bit of maturi-tea.

But there are more than just those. For the ladies, there’s feminini-tea, which would probably be a sweet blend of roses and powder, smooth as silk and certainly served piping hot. For the men, perhaps masculini-tea, a mixture of sweat and elbow grease, grass clippings and fishing. Yum!

For mothers such as myself, I imagine insani-tea, which in my case would taste like reheated macaroni and cheese that I eat out of a plastic container standing next to the microwave, or maybe a handful of cold, crunchy fries that I stole out of my kid’s fast food bag because the person at the drive thru forgot my sandwich as we rushed to some practice and I wonder how many cups of stupidi-tea that person drank before coming to work.

If you truly could drink yourself to whatever you want to be, I’d surely find myself buying case after case of tranquili-tea and simplici-tea. Of course, I’d have to keep the tea bags in my car where I spend most of my maternal life.

And when it comes to writing these columns, at times I could use a good steaming mug of creativi-tea.

My favorite new blend of tea, however, would have to be communi-tea. Because it is within a group of friends and peers that we seem to be the most at peace. My own friends warm me like nothing from the finest china ever could, and it is from those friends and neighbors that I have gained the more knowledgabili-tea than from anywhere else.

I recently gave a talk for a group of lovely ladies and as part of the program, we all shared our response to the following sentence: “A friend once told me…” The answers, in their loveabili-tea, speak for themselves.

A friend once told me… your smile keeps us all happy.

A friend once told me…to take life with a grain of salt and wear clean underwear.

A friend once told me…be good this week. I answered, “Why? I’m retired now.”

A friend once told me…you learn more if you just keep quiet.

A friend once told me…something to keep in confidence and I did and I have. And now I don’t remember what it was.

A friend once told me…I was widowed two years ago and have no intention of dating or remarrying. But the young man at work told me I should stuff my cats when they die and place them around my house. Then when I bring men home, if they are OK with them, he’s a good one.

I friend once told me…there are only so many things you can share at a tea party.

To all the ladies out there, may your cups be filled with beau-tea, quali-tea, and vitali-tea. And may it all be served with a close friend and full of laughabili-tea.

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