The Tea Party Lady is not a person, in the strictest sense. The TPL, like the inner child, the inner bitch, and other sundry aspects of our personality, resides deep within a person, sometimes unrecognized until some event or trauma brings her to the fore.
In this post, I will try to acquaint you with your inner Tea Party Lady, her characteristics, her good side, and her dark side.
I call her Tea Party Lady, although she is not only found in women. Men can have this archetype within them too, although most men would probably prefer some other more masculine term, and many completely suppress their inner TPL, or limit themselves to the "manly" types of entertaining such as barbecuing, etc. I would only say this to the men - there's nothing sissy about the TPL. Overcome those stereotypes and let your inner TPL shine!
Properly recognized and nurtured, the TPL can be a wonderful asset to any personality. She'll take charge of any gathering, and make it a howling success. However, when forced to go underground or hide, she can become a right nasty bitch. Have you ever met a person who had to have the corners of their napkins folded "just so", or who, upon witnessing spilled tea becomes red in the face and smokes at the ears? This is an example of a TPL gone bad. Give her time and acceptance, however, and she will relax and become the gracious hostess she was meant to be.
The Tea Party Lady loves pretty things. She is happiest when allowed to "fuss", to make the environment as beautiful and harmonious as possible. Chaos is for another day, and another aspect of the personality. The TPL likes things to be neat and orderly, to be clean and sweet smelling. Flowers must be fresh, food arranged beautifully on trays, lighting and music both soft and soothing ... and when the guests arrive, if she has done her job well, she can sit back and enjoy the fruits of her labor. Fine china laid on lace tablecloth, tea or coffee poured in a graceful manner and all the guests happily nibbling on tasty dainties, she is happy knowing that she made all this possible.
The tea ritual is not the only setting where the Tea Party Lady can be found. Variations on the TPL can be found at nearly any holiday or special occasion. Her delight is in decorating, arranging, and organizing beautiful things for guests to enjoy. She will do these things for herself as well, but her true joy is in entertaining, in having guests over to ohh and ahh at the colors and smells and tastes she has prepared for them.
In this and following posts I honor my mom, grandmom, and all the other the Tea Party Ladies who taught me, who inspired me. And I've started adding TPL photos to the photo gallery. It seems appropriate, with Mother's Day looming large, a fitting homage to the greatest TPL's I knew, and acknowledgment of the TPL in all of us. May she reign forever!