Tea and the Snoopy Neighbor

Curiosity is natural. Good manners have to be taught. Nature versus nurture. This was never more evident than in the incident I endured a few years ago involving tea and the snoopy neighbor.

Next time, I’ll forgo that homemade cookie offering and stick with the McVitie’s! (ETS image)
Next time, I’ll forgo that homemade cookie offering and stick with the McVitie’s! (ETS image)

We were the new guys on the block, so of course we evoked a reaction in some of our new neighbors akin to Pandora just having to take a look in that forbidden box. One of those new neighbors was a woman about five or six years older than I, so when she came to call I naturally expected the sort of manners that I and others of my generation were taught, things such as respecting the privacy of your host and not wondering off all over their house. She came bearing freshly baked cookies, so it would have been rude not to invite her in. That was most likely the whole goal in the first place.

Once through the door, instead of staying with me in the kitchen where a pot of tea had just been steeped and was awaiting the pour, she embarked on a self-guided tour of our home. My first thought: “Hey, this isn’t the White House!” My second thought: “My tea is getting cold.” And then I thought: “Yikes! I didn’t make the bed.” And finally: “Who cares? My tea is now cold.” (It’s good to have one’s priorities straight.)

Her curiosity was finally sated after poking through every room both upstairs and down and finding nothing the least bit suspicious looking. I was then able to “herd” her back into the kitchen, offer her a cup of cold tea (which she refused with an exclamation of “Ugh! How can anyone drink that stuff?”), and then have a cupful myself (re-warmed in the microwave — yes, I was that desperate!). Finally, after gulping that cuppa, I was able to get across to this new neighbor that she had overstayed her welcome (almost as soon as she had arrived).

When the door had closed behind her, I headed back to the teapot for another re-warmed cupful. Under the circumstances, even re-warmed tea was a mood soother!

Oh, and those cookies were really tasty (just thought you might be wondering) but next time I’ll stick with the McVitie’s Biscuits!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© 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.

5 thoughts on “Tea and the Snoopy Neighbor

  1. PS MacMurray

    Your composure is admirable. Were you not tempted to “accidentally” pour the tea on her shoes, perhaps? A thought crosses my mind: What if it was a bet? Someone in town said, “I dare you to nonchalantly walk throughout the new neighbors’ house,” and this woman volunteered and won the bet. Did she ever return?

    1. A.C. Cargill

      No, she was just snoopy! And I had to see her almost daily since she lived a couple of houses away and spent a lot of time in her garden. As for pouring tea on her shoes, I couldn’t bring myself to waste it.

      1. PS MacMurray

        Indeed, it would have been a waste. Forgive me for even entertaining the thought, though it felt quite satisfying for a moment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s