Dear Teahouse Forum
I never thought I’d write to you. I didn’t think something like this could happen to me, and to be honest, I didn’t believe most of the letters in your fine magazine were true. Until now.
I recently came home early from work to find my wife drinking tea with her friend, “Marlene,” who had just returned from a trip to London.
“Look at these teacups Marlene brought back!” my wife said. I looked at Marlene’s teacups. “Do you like Marlene’s teacups?” she asked.
“I like them,” I said. And I did. She had nice teacups.
“That’s good,” said Marlene, “because they’re yours, now.” She laughed, liltingly. “If you want them.” She had picked up a slight, alluring British accent in her time there.
“She’s giving them to us as a gift,” my wife explained, unnecessarily.
“I need more Earl Grey,” Marlene said, and went to the tea kettle sitting on the stove. “I can never get enough of this.”
I noticed my wife looking at me. I sensed she wanted to tell or ask me something, but she was hesitant. Holding back. I kept looking at Marlene’s teacups. There were only two.
“Would you like me to pour you some?” Marlene said. Just like that. Pour. (I found myself thinking it was odd that she had picked up a Derbyshire accent in London.)
I looked nervously at my wife. “Is it okay if she pours my tea?” I asked, unsure of myself.
“Of course!” she said, exuberantly. Too exuberantly. It seemed that something must be going on, but I couldn’t tell what.
“I’m sorry I only brought two teacups,” Marlene said. “It’s all they had at this remarkable antique shop I found in the Strand.”
I told her it was okay, and got my favorite teacup down from our cupboard.
“Ooh,” she said, when she saw my five-inch cup. I knew it was bigger than most guys’. I was quite proud of it. She poured hot tea for me and then we sat down at the table.
My wife looked at me expectantly. “I want you to touch one of Marlene’s teacups,” she said, imploringly. I couldn’t believe my ears! But I didn’t immediately reach out, afraid I had misheard. “Go on! Try it! Check out their curves. They’re very comfortable to hold.”
Marlene looked at me invitingly. She nodded her head encouragingly.
So I did it. My hand trembling with excitement, I gently lifted one of her teacups.
“Isn’t it nice?” my wife said.
It was nice.
“Doesn’t it feel good in your hand?”
And Marlene? She just smiled, proud of her teacups.