Everyone loves to be invited around to someone’s house for a meal. It means you don’t have to think about cooking (which, if you read regularly, you know I hate the thinking bit of cooking) and you get the double bonus of not having to do the dishes. My first job in England was working with university students and I would often have someone say to me, “Oh, you must come around to tea.” In my rookie days, I just assumed this meant that they wanted me to come to their house and drink tea with them. And that wouldn’t be a particularly odd request in England, right? The thing is, I’m not a tea drinker, so I’d be all, ‘Oh yeah. Let’s do that some time,” but would never get my diary out because I’d think….
This British person is going to get their fancy teapots out and they’re going to don one of their flair-y fascinators and they’re going to want me to drink tea and enjoy it. Schno, thanks!
(I am aware that some of you dream of doing this with a British person. I am also aware that my British readers will laugh in this face of that dream.)
But then, THEN, months, maybe years later I learnt that tea can mean dinner (or supper, depending on whether you live above or below the Mason Dixon) and I was ticked. How many free meals had I missed out on because I actually thought these people just wanted me to drink tea? How many nights had I arbitrarily planned meals that could have been carefully chosen and prepared for me. It truly depresses me to even consider it.
……I’m still thinking about it.
……I bet my hands would be softer, my pockets would be fuller, and my presently too small waist would now be curvier if I had only known.