We all have our weaknesses; they are part of what we are, says Tric Kearney.
If I were to ask my family if I have any, I suspect after many hours of deep thought, they might say I can never admit to being wrong.
Of course, they would be wrong as the only real weakness I have is my excessive love of a cup of tea.
When I say ‘tea’ I mean one particular brand only, and when I say ‘excessive love’ I mean up to 12 cups a day, which may or may not be the whole truth.
From my first morning gulp, to my late night sip, I relish each mouthful.
Over many years I have sat with friends as we shared moments of shock, horror, joy, grief, and sadness, always with a cup of tea in hand.
Many’s the day was made brighter, and trouble a little lighter over tea and a chat.
But times have changed.
My four children refuse to drink tea and friends who I could rely on in the past, have moved to the dark side… coffee.
While I request a simple tea, they request cappuccinos, espressos or lattes, some even ask for a cup of boiling water which I can’t get my head around at all.
For years my children thought I was perfect, but then they grew up.
As they did, they formed their own opinion on many things, one of which happened to be tea and how often they think I should drink it.
The other day my daughter asked, in not the friendliest tone: “How many cups do you drink a day Mum?”
I paused as if counting.
“About five?” I said, keeping a straight face.
“You drink about 10,” she admonished, which was still a little low so I didn’t argue.
“So what? It’s good for me.”
“You’re addicted,” she said.
Instead of ignoring her, I got all huffy and before I knew it I’d shouted, “No I’m not. In fact, I’m going off tea for Lent.”
That stopped her in her tracks as it did me when what I had said filtered back to my conscious mind.
“You’re giving up tea for Lent? I don’t believe you.”
“Well, I am,” I replied.
“You’ll never do it. You couldn’t even cut back the last time you tried.”
“Oh ye of little faith,” I said shaking my head and leaving the room to cry at my stupidity.
Later, as I boiled the kettle, I wondered what on earth I’d been thinking? I’d tried to cut back one year and had failed miserably.
Lent is 40 days and 40 nights, (I’m not sure why they always include the 40 nights, perhaps it’s to ensure there is no breaking out after dark).
I’m barely capable of making it one hour between cups, but I’d said it aloud so there was no going back.
My children have made the huge sacrifice of going off biscuits while insisting that bars and cake are not included.
We are only in the early days of Lent and I’ve had to modify the rules already to allow me four cups a day as we were fearful of the mental health impact a full detox might have.
Unfortunately, my four cups and rather weak resolve are only getting me to mid-morning.
I’ve tried a fortune of alternative drinks, but nothing satisfies my thirst.
Amazingly enough, the evening is proving to be no problem.
It would appear that one glass of wine is just as good as a cup of tea.
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