“Tea Time” Inspired by All Things Tea

I entered the tea room where Grandmother was undoubtedly already seated, awaiting my arrival. I could feel how my lady’s maid had laced my corset tighter than usual and it weakened my stance as I began to walk into the room. She sat there in her old-fashioned glamour and stubborn attitude, her smirk filling the room with contempt. I couldn’t predict what sort of criticism about me she would mention today. My hair? My frock? One never knew with Grandmother. It was better just to step in blindly and take the plunge. But today, I was not ready. Because I actually knew what she was going to discuss with me, for once. And I was not looking forward to it.
“Ah, Iris. There you are. I was beginning to think you had slept too late and kept your grandmother waiting.”
“Not at all, Granny. Here I am.”
Our butler served us tea, a strong black tea from China that just made its way in yesterday. When I am not occupied by dinners or writing letters, I enjoy stepping into the kitchens and catching the scent of a new tea arriving. The tea today smelled dark and earthy and reminded me of mornings, my mother and father, special occasions, and unfortunately also, long talks with Grandmother, that would often end in a complacent disposition from me, though I wasn’t satisfied at all.
“Iris, I wanted to speak with you about an important matter,” Grandmother said as she sipped her tea.
I nodded and ate a piece of my scone.
“You have been writing a very wealthy man, haven’t you? A Mr. Sampson.”
“Yes, Granny. He is awfully polite.”
“I am glad that I found him for you. When you take his name, you will receive much of the money he has inherited.”
I was very much aware of this, however, I was not fond of this Mr. Sampson whatsoever. He was arrogant, pushy, and smarmy in his letters. Yes, I suppose he flatters me and yearns to meet me, but his attitude makes me frustrated. I kept agreeing with Granny though, to please her.
“Yes,” was all I could muster.
“I do hope you invite him to the house. It’ll do you good to meet him sooner rather than later. You’re not getting any younger, my dear.”
I nodded and sipped the tea even though it was scalding.
She continued, “I think a June wedding would be pleasant, don’t you?”
“Granny?” I suddenly said, knowing I might regret it.
“Yes?”
“What if I was allowed to choose my own husband? Or, quite frankly, not choose anyone. Not yet, I mean. I have no desire to be anyone’s wife.”
Granny’s eyes widened and she set her tea down abruptly. “I beg your pardon.”
“I’m sorry but it’s true. I’d rather wait and make the decision for myself. Whether or not I want to settle down or travel the world. Shouldn’t I have the say in that?”
Her face was frozen in an expression of disbelief and anger. She shook her head at me. “Not yet, dear. Women cannot choose that yet.”
Sensing her discomfort, I politely excused myself, feeling her eyes burning into the back of my head as I walked away. I would regret this, I knew, but I had to speak my mind. One day she will come to see. Someday the world will too.

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One thought on ““Tea Time” Inspired by All Things Tea

  1. Pingback: All Things Tea « The Captured Word

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