Little girls all dressed up in mummy’s gowns and bangle bracelets, sipping tea like little ladies, daintily nibbling at finger sandwiches and cookies. “Could you please pass the grey poupon?” they would ask each other in British accents.
This is how I envisioned the tea party, when I said to Erma several weeks ago, “We are going to have a tea party, and we’re going to invite all your friends.”
She obliged me.
Thus I spent my afternoons, evenings, and weekends in the hot pursuit of thrift store dress-up garments, recipes for tea sandwiches, and the perfect tea party tablecloth.
I bought tea cups and ordered bakery cookies. We had a photo shoot of Erma all dressed up so that I could make the invitation. We went to the grocery store and “we” picked out deli meats, fancy cheese, and cut fruit.
On the morning of the tea party, I have to admit, Erma was almost as excited as I was. She was a bit underfoot while I was putting together the tea sandwiches and pinwheels, so I sent her to the front window to wait for the guest who was bold enough to accept our invitation. “She’ll be here any minute,” I told her, and by “any,” I meant in the range of half an hour to an hour.
I placed my mother’s china on the table, arranged it all just so.
In a whirlwind of less than 20 minutes time, my tea party was over. The girls decided they were done and wanted to put on their bathing suits and play in the sprinklers.
I never even got to say, “Would you please pass the grey poupon?”
And now I’ll be eating leftover cold cuts for lunch for the rest of the month.
Totally, totally worth it.
Also, pinwheels are really, really hard to make with Sara Lee Soft n’ Smooth honey wheat bread. Let that be a lesson to you.