Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pretty Porcelain

I am NOT  a morning gal. I'm THAT person who is unreasonably and inherently angry in the morning. My body morphs into a green ogre and throws things or rudely ignores anyone around it. Seriously, I've swung at friends, my sister, AND my mother, just because they woke me up.

Most people don't believe me when I tell them this. "Oh Ashley, stop exaggerating! You're so prissy and nice, how could you ever do that?"

Oh believe me, I DO do that, and I have actively TRIED to improve myself and outlook on life first thing in the morning. My husband is a morning person, he can spring forth from our bed, run to the kitchen to make breakfast, and prance and bounce along getting ready, just feeling happy to be alive.

[Insert: jealous grimacing face here]

I wish I could do that, and I've tried! Problem? I'm doomed from the beginning. I'll attempt to spring forth from my slumbers and warm quilts, like a parading bunny, but then trip, or run into things, or can't move some of my limbs (I truly believe that I have mild sleep paralysis or the issue could be due to extremely low blood pressure).

Regardless, I have issues before I even rise. I've tried lying in bed, to wake up a bit. This usually works if I am well rested and wake up on my own accord, though if my alarm clock wakes me up with the rattling sound of Big Ben reverberating in my ears, I'm more inclined to fall back to sleep.

Like I said, issues.

My temper also tends to be shorter before I walk out the door to whichever destination I'm marching. My husband has learned to not ask me questions that are not ABSOLUTELY necessary or talk to me in general, unless it's "how many eggs do you want?" I don't mind answering that one.

SO, the wrestling with myself continues, and eventually I wake up, my blood is pumping, and I am ready to start the day about two hours after my initial awakening.

One thing that helps me though is tea. I. Love. Tea.

Not just black, but green, white, ginseng, and a variety of herbals. Honestly, my pantry became so over-ridden with tea boxes, that they've had to spill over to my cabinets and cute boxes in which I'm supposed to keep things like writing tools or baking ingredients. Nope, Ashley has tea in every nook and cranny available. I like variety, I can't help it!

Having tea while running out the door is such a shame, but it helps me at least wake up. Not so much the caffeine, I don't think. It's something about the smooth warmth and underlying bitter tastes.

As you can image, running out the door with a spilling, reusable tea mug is depressing, when said person carrying said spilling tea mug fantasizes and romanticizes about Victorian and Edwardian tea times. The frilly, flowy dresses, many a time sans corset, to accommodate all of the lovely treats and flowing teas.

My small, truly close group of girlfriends and I have each other over for tea every chance we get. We get a text and breakout all of our best porcelain and throw together small snacks. Often, before strenuous exercise sessions, I'll serve French press espresso, as the shot of caffeine helps the body perform better and longer.

Going to a cute or fancy tea room is my idea of how to spend a Saturday afternoon, as opposed to getting ready to go clubbing. I have an old soul, what can I say?

In fact, my soul has always been old. Once a year, when I was young, my grandmother's church always hosted a Ladies Tea in early May. I remember helping her plan out our table, as she has collection after collection of beautiful tea sets and cups.

I couldn't sleep the whole week before the tea, I was so excited. When the day came, you'd think it were Christmas! These two instances are the only times I can remember springing forth from my bed. I honestly don't think I fully sleep when I'm nervous or excited about something the next day, because most of the day I end up feeling giddy and happy-tired-drunk, then the crash hits later.

Anyway, so I would get dressed in the spring-y-est dress I could find, or branch out and break the rules with white capris and a matching yellow top with bumblebees on them, and wait at the door like a puppy waiting to go for a ride in the car.

My mother would finally emerge from her powdering and we'd be on our way. I always felt like a grown-up. There were so many elegantly dressed ladies, caddies and trays and tins of tea with sugar cubes and creams of all sorts on every table. AND THE FOOD!

As an advocate for beautiful desserts, you can imagine my fervor, running to and fro, not sure which to try first. Then we would sit and listen to a testimony or scripture or a charity project and someone would sing or do a skit. It was so much fun.

Nowadays, my ladies and I attempt to recreate these girlish adventures we all had at one point or another, as the nostalgia and prettiness of a simple tea cup is enough to lift the spirits of in-some-way-floundering early twenty-something-year-olds.

My point, is that on mornings like this one, when I've awoken to a husband who has already left for work, and there is a lack of homework for me to do, I make myself tea with pretty porcelain. It is enough to snap me out of my ogreish mood and ready me for a night shift at my own place of employment.


There is just something about miss-matched porcelain that makes me smile. The teapot is Japanese and the cup is French, given to me by my grandmother, and the sugar and creamer are from a Target line, that my dad bought for me over Christmas. These pieces make me think of them too, which also doesn't help the nostalgic feeling dissipate.

I live my life in extremes I think, to stay in balance. I am a Libra, after all. I have childhood memories like these which fill me with warm giddy and I also have memories of skinning deer and playing in mud-holes that fill me with the same warmth.


Country girl to the core, I guess.


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