Springtime Tea Trauma

Springtime Tea Trauma

A Story by Roland Petrov
"

A springtime tempest in a tea cup inspired by a young boy who came with his grandma to my former tea store which is now a handbag shop. He wanted a colorful tea book for his birthday.

"

My parents were at work, I was on spring vacation, and my uncle was here. I was excited to show off my tea making skills and prepare a fine cup for the family's adult connoisseur.

When I was still seven, Grandma took me to a tearoom, and I saw this gorgeous book about tea with colorful photographs from exotic places; it was captivating, and I had to have it. Grandma looked a little concerned about me, but I persuaded her to get me that book for my upcoming birthday.

I found out when I was eight that tea calms me down. My teacher said I was doing much better, and my mom started giving me tea money every month. When I was nine, I decided to buy a tea cup just for me. I asked my mom to take me to the tearoom, but when we got there it was a handbag shop. Mom said not to worry, and she took me to a second hand store. There were lots of vintage cup and saucer sets there, but most had flowers all over them, and though I like flowers a lot, I didn't want anything too girly. Then I saw this beautiful Salisbury bone china set, with a green color that made me think of pea soup made from fresh peas, and that's the one I bought, and I've had my tea in it ever since. I particularly enjoy the cup in springtime when green springs back into action and the first peas are harvested. For my thirteenth birthday, I've decided that I'll get three more cup and saucer sets so that I'll have one for each of the four seasons.

For my uncle, I decided to brew a single estate tea from the Kandy area of Sri Lanka. My dad told me that Uncle was very particular about his tea and that I should let him make it. No way! I figured he'd be surprised that I even knew about single estate teas; in fact, I was betting that he drank blends.

I always take my afternoon tea in the breakfast nook of the kitchen as the window there looks out onto the garden. The daffodils outside the window had come and gone, but some tulips were blooming, red and yellow ones. I told Uncle that I was going to make our tea and that I'd invite him to join me in the nook. Uncle said he'd heard all about my tea skills from my dad, and he was looking forward to it.

I called Uncle to tea and fixed my own cup while I was waiting for him. I poured him his cup after he sat down, and he immediately bent toward the cup and sniffed. He looked up and smiled at me, nodding in approval. I picked up the little crystal bowl with the sugar cubes.

"Sugar?"

He just glared at me, saying nothing, so I put down the sugar bowl and picked up the little white ceramic jug.

"Milk?"

I simply couldn't have been prepared for what happened next. Uncle exclaimed, in a hurtful tone, "Boy, you're not worthy!", and with that he picked up his cup and left the kitchen, closing the door less than politely on the way out.

I reached for my green Salisbury and picked it up, but my hand was shaking so badly that I had to put it back down. I was in a bit of a dilemma: tea calms me down, but this time I had to calm down before I could drink it. I get nervous easily.

I closed my eyes and concentrated on my breathing. In my quietude I heard the high pitched sing-song call of a male warbler trying to attract a mate. When he took a break, I thought I heard a faint background noise. I listened intently. Bees were buzzing. It must have been warmer outside than I'd thought. It's a nice spring day when the bees are out. Then suddenly I held my breath. Could it be? I waited, and there it was again: the call of a cuckoo staking out its territory. It was my first cuckoo call of the season!

The kitchen door opened quietly, but it was enough to break my reverie, and I opened my eyes. My uncle had come back in, and he gently placed his cup next to mine. His tea, like mine, was untouched.

I could tell that he'd been crying.

© 2016 Roland Petrov



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Featured Review

Hello from a fellow tea enthusiast!! If I may call myself that haha. I live in a city called Calcutta which is very close to Assam (Indias biggest tea state) and in my family tea is a big thing too, so naturally growing up I was exposed to various kinds of tea, I came to love it even more in my college days away from home because it was so rare to find a nice good homely cuppa! Your story, is very sweet in that it really is relevant if one likes tea I suppose, because even for me, tea is something associated with calm relaxation and I almost always have to have a good cuppa with either good music or complete solitude and with a great view! I really like how you can make one story so culturally diverse like with your explanations about Sri Lankas Kandy estate and the people who have blends as compared to single estate teas (haha). ALSO that teacup that looked like fresh pea soup!! I think I know what I am going to go hunting for at the vintage store now *wink wink*. On the whole your story was very interesting and entertaining from beginning to end! Although I will admit that the reaction of the uncle crying did make me wonder whether something much more morose had happened although inwardly I understood that the milk sugar and tea was a catastrophe (my eyes literally widened cause I thought WHY?!). I guess if the ending was a little less dramatic it would have driven the point home to me more clearly, however the angle you have adopted, may even help you take the story forward to maybe suggest a manic obsessive problem the Uncle may have had which in turn led to rage issues? However THANK YOU for this awesome read!! I will come back to this many more times, fondly :)
Regards
Lee

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lee Bakes

1 Year Ago

Yes, I see that. Im sorry, now that I re read my comment, I figure that I was unable to express what.. read more
Roland Petrov

1 Year Ago

The crying to tongue lashing ratio sounds about right! Hey, thanks so much for such a nice and witty.. read more
Lee Bakes

1 Year Ago

Pleasure, Master Wine ! (pun intended) :D



Reviews

This story is ripe with childish joy. The love the exclamatory excitement throughout. Unfortunately, this story doesn't seem to be your uncle's cup of tea.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Roland Petrov

1 Year Ago

Thanks for reading! Uncle certainly over reacted to his tea not being served the way he perceived th.. read more
Hello from a fellow tea enthusiast!! If I may call myself that haha. I live in a city called Calcutta which is very close to Assam (Indias biggest tea state) and in my family tea is a big thing too, so naturally growing up I was exposed to various kinds of tea, I came to love it even more in my college days away from home because it was so rare to find a nice good homely cuppa! Your story, is very sweet in that it really is relevant if one likes tea I suppose, because even for me, tea is something associated with calm relaxation and I almost always have to have a good cuppa with either good music or complete solitude and with a great view! I really like how you can make one story so culturally diverse like with your explanations about Sri Lankas Kandy estate and the people who have blends as compared to single estate teas (haha). ALSO that teacup that looked like fresh pea soup!! I think I know what I am going to go hunting for at the vintage store now *wink wink*. On the whole your story was very interesting and entertaining from beginning to end! Although I will admit that the reaction of the uncle crying did make me wonder whether something much more morose had happened although inwardly I understood that the milk sugar and tea was a catastrophe (my eyes literally widened cause I thought WHY?!). I guess if the ending was a little less dramatic it would have driven the point home to me more clearly, however the angle you have adopted, may even help you take the story forward to maybe suggest a manic obsessive problem the Uncle may have had which in turn led to rage issues? However THANK YOU for this awesome read!! I will come back to this many more times, fondly :)
Regards
Lee

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lee Bakes

1 Year Ago

Yes, I see that. Im sorry, now that I re read my comment, I figure that I was unable to express what.. read more
Roland Petrov

1 Year Ago

The crying to tongue lashing ratio sounds about right! Hey, thanks so much for such a nice and witty.. read more
Lee Bakes

1 Year Ago

Pleasure, Master Wine ! (pun intended) :D
Although I sometimes drink tea, I've never become such a big fan as you. It's not a big part of the culture around here, but is growing. My youngest son and some of his friends would love to come visit you for tea, I'm sure. I can't understand your uncle's behavior. It seems extreme, but I know there are many who hold such views about all sorts of things. I knew a guy who wouldn't buy a badly-needed motorcycle part because the seller was a cross-dresser. "Most illogical, " Spock would say. Excellent writing, Roland.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Roland Petrov

1 Year Ago

Thanks so much, Samuel. In this story, I portray Uncle as a tea fanatic, and fanaticism never ends w.. read more
shoot! I'm definitely loosing it, Roland. I could've sworn I'd left a review first time I read this. unless you've deleted it! kidding.
interesting idea to write about the English national beverage. I love the way you ended the story. intriguing at first but, being clever an' all, I think I figuered it out :)

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Roland Petrov

1 Year Ago

You wouldn't put sugar and milk into green tea with mint either, would you now! I'm sure this type o.. read more
Woody

1 Year Ago

our tea is so much different from yours. ever had Tunisian tea? stronger, always with sugar. never w.. read more
Woody

1 Year Ago

I meant bland, of course.
Oh, Roland, it brought back many memories of the previous headquarter! I remember this heart-warming, well-crafted piece on one of my favourite beverages (that has more than once been the topic of my writing). I also recall coining the term Tearista and getting the chef's approval! Reading it again—though knowing what was to follow—entertained me just as much as it had back then. By the by, I also try to have my cuppa by a ‘window with a view’.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Roland Petrov

1 Year Ago

Life's too short not to have one's cuppa by a window with a view (or in my case, outdoors in the cac.. read more
My favorite past time is looking at tea cups in second hand shops and garage sales.
My grandmother gave me spare change and made me count it out loud when I found a cup I'd like to buy. She wanted me to try and bargain for it, but I was shy as a mouse.

This also reminds me of all my times of trying to keep calm in the midst of similar interactions with women in my family. Tender feelings of wanting approval and the sting of anxiety.

I loved this.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Roland Petrov

4 Months Ago

Could it be that I failed to acknowledge this nice comment? I haven't been active on this site for a.. read more
Hey, Roland, that uncle is a serious tea drinker! I hope the child isn't too hurt.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

mattavelli

1 Year Ago

I figured the uncle had experienced some trauma which he associated with tea... maybe tortured with .. read more
Roland Petrov

1 Year Ago

"Tortured with hot honey" is a line I'm going to steal!
mattavelli

1 Year Ago

Sure, just don't put it in the tea!! :p

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Added on February 11, 2016
Last Updated on March 7, 2016
Tags: spring, tea

Author

Roland Petrov
Roland Petrov

Desert Hot Springs, CA



About
Every type of school I went to was in a different country on a different continent: primary school in England, junior high in Ethiopia, high school in Lebanon, and university in the United States. I'v.. more..

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