“How do you like your tea, John?”
“How do I like my tea?” I asked myself. “I’ve no idea,” I answered in my head. Somehow I knew that saying, “I like it iced with a twist of lemon,” would not be the correct answer.
“Why don’t you surprise me,” I said to the questioner.
My answer was not within the realm of the expected and so the muddle proceeded. I needed to say something intelligible. I’d seen my Aunt and Uncle put milk in their tea, which seems to me as strange as pouring coffee over your corn flakes.
“How about some milk?” I said.
“Sugar?” was the next question.
Sugar sounded good. “Yes please.”
“One or two?”
I began to wonder if the inquisition would ever end. One sugar sounded good; two reeked of self-indulgence and might suggest that I was just a beginning tea drinker, like a child sneaking coffee from the adult table only to load it down with sweetener.
“I think one should be enough.”
I was relieved when my host nodded his head and made for the kitchen.
The scene has repeated itself more than once. In fact it seems to occur with alarming regularity. There is tea for breakfast, tea at mid-morning, tea during and after lunch, tea in the mid-afternoon and tea after Tea (another word for “dinner”).
Tea is generally a beverage I normally turn to only as a last resort, when the coffee has run out and there is no better way to imbibe my caffeine. I am at heart not a tea drinker. But, I’m working at it.
The first tea with milk and one sugar wasn’t all that bad, so I’ve repeated the formula and am fast becoming known as a milk and one sugar tea drinker. Still, after too many it hurts my guts.
Recently, in the home of one of our new members I was offered a choice of tea or coffee. “I’ll have tea please, with milk and one sugar.”
“That’s funny,” she said, “coming from America I’d have expected you to ask for coffee.”