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Interrupting Tea Time Is Undignified

Anyone with any sense or sensibility (that reference was for my fellow Jane Austen fans) will know better than to interrupt tea time. As the British say, “It just isn’t done.”

You tread dangerously when interrupting a tea drinker enjoying Scottish Shortbread! (Photo source: The English Tea Store)
You tread dangerously when interrupting a tea drinker enjoying Scottish Shortbread! (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

I’ve talked about tea time manners before, things like pinky-pointing or overly loud slurping (done for its own sake, not so you get the full tea flavor) or snitching the last scone without asking. But they are nothing compared with interrupting tea time for anything but the most dire of reasons. This is not so much a matter of manners as it is about dignity — uh, I mean digniTEA!

First, Some Good Reasons to Interrupt

  • The house is on fire — Just be sure it really is, since only such a serious matter should interrupt another serious matter (tea time!) and this is certainly nothing to joke about.
  • One of your kids is in harm’s way — Whether it’s a serious illness, a tussle amongst siblings that threatens to turn into all out war, or something equally dastardly, interrupting tea time is allowable here.
  • That nasty weather is turning nastier — From hurricane force winds that just went from Cat 3 to Cat 4, to a mass of tornadoes turning your neighbors’ houses into matchsticks, to drought conditions that mean even the water to steep up your tea can be hard to come by, yes these are all good reasons to interrupt tea time.
  • Unwelcome guests — The In-laws showed up unexpectedly at the front door, so you and the rest of the family have to run and hide. (Substitute any person or persons you don’t particularly care to have just drop in on you here.)
  • Welcome guests — The Lottery Winner Notification Committee just showed up at the door to tell you you’re the big winner of that super mega jackpot. Be sure to have handy your shopping list of teas, teawares, and tea time treats you’ll be stocking up on with all of that prize loot!
  • Running out of something essential — This could be the worst interruption of all, and there’s actually no excuse for this if you have planned sufficiently ahead here. From tea to milk to sweetener to treats, just stay stocked up.

What Are Not Good Reasons to Interrupt

Well, let’s make it simple. If it’s not on the above list, it is not a good reason to interrupt. Period. End of statement.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled tea time. And sorry for the interruption!

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

2 responses to “Interrupting Tea Time Is Undignified”

  1. […] Interrupting Tea Time Is Undignified, By A.C. Cargill […]

  2. I love this!! I would write more but I’m just going to pour my tea which has been brewing (northern custom)

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