Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dear Friends and Fellow Tea Lovers

Dear Friends and Fellow Tea Lovers,

I just wanted to take a second to let all of you know how much I appreciated and enjoyed your company at my “Teabagging Party” last night. Considering I’ve been doing these for YEARS, it was really exciting to see such an unprecedented turn out. I mean, I’ve always felt that doing your taxes is an activity that leaves one very thirsty – and what better way to reward your thirst (and the completion of a complicated filing job well done!) than with nature’s tastiest treat – a cup of hot tea? Remember last year, when Ethel brought an assortment of animal figurines she had collected from Red Rose tea boxes back in the 80’s and passed them around to share? What a hoot! And I’m not just referring to the tiny owl statuette which was my favorite! I didn’t think we’d be able to top that kind of excitement this year – or even match it seeing as poor Ethel passed away shortly after the last party. Poor woman – and her no good children just rifled through her things like they were at a rummage sale, didn’t they? I hear they just threw all those Red Rose animal statuettes and her autographed Harlequin novels in the trash calling them “useless junk.” Humph! Makes me glad I never had children to break my heart when I die. I digress…

This year’s teabagging party… My, oh, my – where do I start? I had mentioned to Ed, my neighbor that I was having my annual teabagging party and though he usually just nods his head politely and buries his face in his Soldier of Fortune magazine, he seemed really interested! In fact, he looked left and right and leaned into me and said, “Wow Ruth, I didn’t know you were one of us.” Heavens to Betsy, he said that! I didn’t even know he liked tea let alone felt so strongly about it. I tried to ask him whether he preferred loose leaf, herbal, and (the million dollar question!) which Celestial Seasons flavor he couldn’t live without, but before I could finish, he mumbled something about Glenn Beck, put his hand on my shoulder and said, “We’ll be there – in solidarity.” I wasn’t sure who this “we” he referred to was seeing as he lives alone and generally keeps to himself, but I was happy to hear he was interested in attending – the more the merrier! Though it is generally rude to invite yourself to a party, is it not? Things have changed so much since the good old days...

A couple hours later as I was raking crab crass out of the back yard (quite a workout for an old lady!) Steven, one of the handsome boys who live behind me, was listening to the loud “boom boom” dance music and tending to his garden (can you believe it? Two men living together with such a nice garden and not a woman in sight! And you should see the size of their cucumbers!). He and his roommate are always so sweet and polite to me, giving me veggies from their garden (though I suspect he has quite a sweet tooth what with that "Twinkie" shirt he's always wearing)... Anyhow, I mentioned to him that I was excited about my upcoming teabagging party and he looked positively shocked to hear about it! Apparently he and his roommate have hosted several teabagging parties just in the last few months at their home! I was so surprised to find I was surrounded by tea drinkers! “Ruthie girl! You’re a freaky lady, I love it!” is what he said to me! I don’t understand the terminology of young people these days, but he seemed so enthusiastic, that of course I invited him and his roommate. “We will be there with balls on!” he said and started laughing. When I corrected him and said, “I think you meant ‘bells on,’” he put his hand on my shoulder, winked and walked back into the house.

All of you are well aware of what happened next, and frankly all I can do is apologize. I’m still stunned. Why Ed and his friends were dressed in camouflage and brought along extra copies of the NRA newsletter to hand out, I’m still not sure. Regardless, they were not very festive – in fact they were very hostile and kept talking about “teabagging Obama, the fascist.” One of them kept mentioning his involvement in the Michigan Militia – and I don’t think he meant a militia of tea drinkers! When Steven and his roommate Billy showed up with cans of whip cream and prophylactics saying, “We’re ready for teabagging!” I thought my heart would stop! They must’ve come to my house from a pool hall, because Billy asked me if I wanted an "8 ball" – he must’ve taken one as a souvenir after a winning game, I’d imagine. I politely declined (it would look so out of place on my mantle with my Precious Moments figurines), though it is a pretty creative choice for a hostess gift, isn’t it? When Billy responded to Ed that he’d love to teabag Obama, Ed pounced on him screaming, “You are what’s wrong with this country!” I didn’t know what to think! Then when Ed took a can of whip cream to the head, I knew it was time to call it a night! The nerve! They completely ruined our party. And none of them even brought any tea along to share with the others! Such rudeness!

I thought it would be fun to have some new faces, but I was wrong – next year it’ll be just us ladies again with our tea and that’s final! If it’s not too “over the top” maybe we can share pictures of our cats in jaunty hats – I hear some of the ladies at the American Legion did this after a Mary Kay party last year and they’re still talking about it! We’ll see…

Again thank you for coming, and I hope you understand that I’m just as confused and horrified as you all are – what is this country coming to?

Your friend in tea,

Ruth Johnson


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