When I was growing up, my mom used to take me to a British tea shoppe forty minutes away from our home. I’m guessing it was her way of trying to raise me with some sense of her culture, but I was not cultured by any means, which meant I was in constant opposition of the woman who ran the shop. She was an “elbows off the table, child!” type of person, so you can imagine we got along smashingly…
As such, I’ve always had a bitter taste for tea. Now that I’m an independent woman, in control of where I can put my elbows, I’ve been relaxing my opposition of tea.
Especially when I think of Lewis Carroll.
I loved Carrol’s interpretation of the world through Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, because it reminds me a lot of how children initially observe their surroundings and try to put everything into a larger context. They are paraded by adults through constant stimuli, all of which often seems new and disconnected!
As an adult, the book allows you to go back to the excitement of throwing all logic going out the window and appreciating the randomness that is left.
In his tale, there’s an iconic moment where Alice runs into the Mad Hatter, who is having tea with the March Hare and the Dormouse. I loved it because ALL THE RULES of tea time are flamboyantly and willfully ignored. Take that, mean tea shoppe lady!
If tea must be endured, that’s the kind of tea time that my kids will be growing up around.
In the Mystic Village, there is a tiny tea shoppe that brings Carroll’s vison to life. It was the perfect blend of my mother’s insistence of “proper tea,” (although since the loose leaf tea leaves had already been removed before it got to her, she’ll probably argue that it wasn’t proper after all) and my need for not being pressured to pour things a certain way.
We took Granny to celebrate her birthday!
Naturally, I was the Mad Hatter.
And my merry tea time team: