I had just sung at a wedding.
'O Promise Me' - such a favourite!
I had done well and enjoyed fulsome praises.
A right little prima dona.
The reception was in the church hall
And I was kindly included.
I wore a pretty new dress bought in a store!
My choice – with baby-sitting money!
I was grown-up - seventeen - full of myself.
The hall was buzzing with friendly people
Chat and laughter.
I so milked the occasion
With fine manners and decorous conversation.
I was 'in my element'.
Mum would have been chuffed to see me
With 'my best foot forward'.
I sat at one of the laden tables
And a smiling lady came by with a silver tray
A pretty teapot, china teacups
Silver spoons and SUGAR CUBES with PINCERS!
I just sighed with delight.
'How will you have your tea, my dear?'
'STRAIGHT, please. Uh … No … NEAT! Uhhhh ….'
Something was not right!
'Uuuhhh … without milk or sugar!'
She smiled, and leaned into my burning ear,
'I think the word you're looking for is 'CLEAR'.'
'Yes! Thank you!
Daddy likes his rye right from the bottle.
In a glass, of course. Not drinking from the bottle!'
I had made the brain tap with those stupid words!
I felt I had to explain
But everything was going from bad to worse!
What must she think of me!
A seventeen-year-old LUSH with a drunkard dad!
I was utterly horrified.
'I could tell.' she said quietly. 'And I agree with him.
It's the best way to enjoy a Canadian rye.'
She was so gracious, 'So – my dear – CLEAR!'
And she continued with other guests.
I shall remember her – forever!
Oh, by the way, 'tongs' not 'pincers. 'Sugar tongs!'
Mum set me straight when I got home.
And – yes, I was sharing only the good parts of the day.
Cynthia Buell Thomas, July, 2019