After coming out on the unscathed side of 'Hurricane Sandy', I almost feel bad about having a First World Problems whine-fest. With all the time I had off this week, I should be writing about all the books I was able to finish recently, but that's not quite ready yet. I've had this post on the back burner since last week, however, so here it is:
As you all know, one of my favorite activities is drinking tea. I find the taste is enhanced when it's served in a pretty teacup. Is the taste actually better? I mean, does the shape affect the heat distribution or the pathway to the taste buds, making it a better experience, or it is just aesthetically pleasing? I'm inclined to believe the former, since there's a specific design of glass for nearly every type of wine and liquor. The principal must apply to tea.
I'm generally satisfied having my tea at home, but it's always a treat when I get to go out to a tea shop, especially when it's specifically tea-related and not an oh-by-the-way-here's-some-tea-if-you-don't-want-coffee joint. One of the reasons I love this is the chance to try, not just different kinds of tea and cakes, but different teacups as well. To me, it's one of those non-necessities of life that just make life a tiny bit more tolerable. And, if you're paying royally, you might as well feel like a princess.
A non-tea comparison would be going for a manicure. If you have two decent-working hands, you can easily give yourself a mani/pedi. You go out to a salon so that you can sit back and get the full treatment. In my case the little massage makes it worth forking over those hard-earned dollars from time to time.
Generally, when I go out to tea, I do feel like I'm treated well. When there's an exception, I'll rant about it here. If it's really excellent service, I will try to be effusive in my praise - I want to be a positive person. So what terrible experience have I had recently? None, thankfully. I've just noticed something in my more frequented places that's slowly been getting on my nerves, and that's The Inferiority of the Teacups. Why am I given cups that are chipped if I didn't order the Disney's Beauty and the Beast special? Then there's the fadey cups - one too many lips have sipped from these guys. And, probably the worst, are the Just Plain Boring cups that I could find in any diner.
What gives? I don't mind the cups not matching the saucer, as long as it's done in a mildly charming way, and I don't need pristine Royal Doulton for heaven's sake, but a little effort would go miles toward improvement.
I like shabby chic. I do. I have to: my apartment is the poster child for shabby, with the occasional chic thrown in. Zenobia makes sure no furniture is fresh and scratch-free. My teacups, though, tend to be in lovely shape. This is despite the fact that I use them often. The ones that fade to blahness either get replaced, reused, or kept out of the way when I have company. Why? Because hospitality calls for this. You give whatever your best is - unless said company is too clumsy for comfort, or a child who can't help himself. Either way, my apartment is not a business - nobody receives a bill at the end of a visit to my home. When I go out to tea, though, I tend to have to shell out a lot. The least that can be done is a pretty teacup!