The Suitcase Lady


June 28, 2011, 9:37 pm

I believe that the perfect celebration of the Fourth of July would be a nationwide series of tea parties. I am not referring to the far right political party but the genuine item, a tea party with a pot of tea (hot or iced), triangles of cucumber sandwiches, fresh strawberries and bite sized sweets.

America is in desperate need of reeducation in civility, and nothing is more civilizing than a lovely tea party.

I’ve had many tea parties for the younger members in our family, and I’ve enjoyed every one immensely. But tea party etiquette must be carefully explained beforehand:

  • No shouting
  • Lots of  “please” and “thank yous” as in ” Would you please pass the petit fours?”
  • Happy, interesting conversation with everyone having equal opportunities to speak

After these ground rules are established, it is not necessary to say, “no bullying or name calling”. It’s obvious.

Our tea parties often are  held in the small woods next to our house, and we sit on a blanket spread out over the pine needles. We have been so successful at tea party manners that chipmunks have run over our blanket and birds have flown close by. Loud, squabbling children would never have the privilege of having animal guests.

Respect for and delight in others, awareness of our surroundings and enjoyment of good food adds up to a gracious experience for everyone.

It’s time to get out the teapot and think of someone other than ourselves. That used to be the American way and was referred to as “the common good”. I long for its return.

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