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.

Wouldn't you?



Cynthia Buell Thomas, July, 2019

◄ Operation

Less 'Me' and More 'US' ►


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Wed 3rd Jul 2019 23:01

I was hooked Cynthia, and saw the tongs line as it came up of course, which was a nice addendum to add. The poem reminds me of the vulnerability of etiquette as it used to be . I think today (here I go) we have such a mix of upbringings to cater for that almost anything goes, especially fed by the celebrity culture if you can call it that.

Nice tale. Ray

Devon Brock

Wed 3rd Jul 2019 11:10

Fantastic storytelling, Cynthia.


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