of the Lazy Literatus

V-Day Tea Day with Mum

I think I’ve mentioned my mother’s in town for a couple of months, right?

Unlike some thirtysomething males, I actually like having my mother around. No, not because she buys the food. In fact, I insist that she not do so. However, there are times when she offers that even I can’t refuse. This time, she offered on Valentine’s Day.

I usually don’t mind being single. Contrary to my usual whining, I like my me-time. Who better to keep me company than…well…me? Valentine’s Day, though? It serves as a glaring – and oft omnipresent – reminder that there’s more to life than just me. I don’t like that sort of reminder.

Mum woke me up at the crack of 9AM on V-Day proper. Did I mention I had the day off of work? Oh, well I did. Of all the days I wanted to work, it was this one. Unfortunately, I had nothing to keep me busy, and I had no other plans save for being idle and sulking. Mum had other plans.

“I was thinking we could go have Indian food,” she said.

I mumbled something unintelligible from the pillow.

“I’m buying.”

That woke me right up.

I was showered and ready in thirty minutes. Then a pang of guilt hit me.

“How ‘bout we grab tea after lunch at Smith’s?” I suggested. “My treat.”

“Wonderful idea!” she beamed.

We gorged on various tandoori-ish offerings at our favorite local haunt called Abhiruchi. Best Indian lunch specials in town. Well, as far as I was concerned, it was the only Indian lunch special in town. I practically had to be rolled out of there. All-you-can-eat Indian food is dangerous to those with no impulse control.

Afterwards, we trekked to the Pearl side of Portland and into Smith Teamaker HQ. Mum ordered a pot of Peppermint, I settled on a two-person pot of Bai Hao Oolong. Okay, my request was probably more…uh…specific than that.

smith pots

“Two-person pot of Bai Hao, 180 degrees, two-minute steep, save the leaves,” I requested.

I’m a tea snob, sue me.

As I sipped from my note perfect pot of oolong, we discussed future plans. She rattled off about her future occupational endeavors, as I segued to my bits about a future book I was writing and World Tea Expo. (I’ll get to that in a later post.)We effectively killed two hours, which is par for course with me and Smith’s.

Upon departing, we journeyed a bit through downtown Portland before hitting the freeway. While meandering down a side street, I saw a man holding up a sign.


And that pretty much summed up my single person’s viewpoint on Valentine’s Day.

If you’re single, it’s not about sulking in your oneness, but doing something special for someone you care about. In my case, Mum bought me lunch, and I bought her tea. And we were both better (and fuller) for it.

Oh, and Smith’s…I’ll pay my tab next week. I swear.


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  1. Good morning Sir, I am from the Office of the Attorney and we are suing you for tea snobbishness.
    Under the laws of the tea fraternity, this crime could lead you to become tea drunk for several days,

  2. Margo Hutchinson

    It was a fun day and I did get flowers from the hubby, but spending time with the kids is fun! And I did not work that day.

    Peppermint tea in the afternoon is delightful!

  3. It has gotten to the point that the Indian restaurant that I frequent knows me by name, knows my favorite chutneys, and of course knows to come back every few minutes to bring me more chai 😛

  4. Indian food? One of my favorite foods in the world. Perhaps we can share a curry with you one day.
    As to Valentine’s, spending it with the woman you love most, even if she is your mother is not such a bad thing really, is it. I bet there are plenty of Valentine dates that are just fleeting encounters over pricey meals. That’s not love, that’s just keeping up appearances.
    Mom, however is a keeper 🙂

    • Pretty much the point I was trying to get across. It’s about spending it (and doing things nice) for those to care about. It doesn’t have to be about the single “you”.

      And future curry time, yes!

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