For my birthday, I acquired a copy of the miniseries about the pre-Raphaelites, Desperate Romantics
, and at once came to three conclusions.
1. I must have my friends come over to watch this!
2. Clearly, these viewings must be accompanied by tea parties!
3. And said tea parties should be accompanied by pre-Raphaelite appreciation activities!
There are three disks, so I’m thinking three teas. For the first, clearly we will flip through a book of pre-Raphaelite paintings and admire them. I was stumped on the second, but Emma suggested a dramatic reading of Christina Rosetti’s “Goblin Market,” which is perfect.
But we don’t know what to do for the third.
Me: Is it bad that most of our party plans have an educational component?
Emma: Have you met
We have also been trying to plan a speakeasy party. We have all sorts of good ideas - secret password to get in! bottles of gin in the bathtub surrounded by ice! a cheat sheet full of twenties slang for everyone to employ! My life will not be complete until I call at least three people “the cat’s pajamas.”
But we keep getting bogged down on the recommended reading list. We are both agreed on The Great Gatsby
- we may even agree on Tender Is the Night
- but Emma thinks we have to include Hemingway, and I can’t stand
Hemingway, and so.
Meanwhile, Caitlin and Rick swiveled their heads back and forth as they followed this argument. “You realize that you’re arguing about a reading list for a drunken bacchanalia
?” said Rick.
“Drunk is the best way to read Hemingway!” Emma rejoined.
THOUGHT. We could have drunken readings of Hemingway short stories at the party! Hemingway drinking games! Take a shot every time Hemingway says something egregiously sexist!
Anyway, all this thinking has led me to my brilliant idea: POETRY TEAS.
So far, my best idea is for the William Blake tea. Apparently, he used to have tea with St. Peter occasionally; his wife would greet friends at the door with “I’m afraid he’s having tea with St. Peter right now,” and they would be all “Oh, all right, I’ll come back later.”
So clearly we would read William Blake poems - I call dibs on “The Tyger” - and leave a chair open for St. Peter.
Emily Dickinson tea! Everyone dresses in white and brings flowers - or leaves - or some other thing from nature - and of course, the invitations must have lots of dashes -
Haiku party. Rather than read haiku, we shall place a single flowering branch in a vase, and write poems about it.
These ideas seem much more doable than my excellent but nonetheless a trifle ambitious ideas for themed teas
. (I still mean to have an Alice in Wonderland
tea someday, though. Think of the tarts!) So watch this space! Things may be getting quite poetical.