Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tea for one

Meet Oracles.

Oracles is my teacup tea mug.

He came from a crafts show. (I bet you guessed that already.) I love him. His face is just the face a person makes when one really needs to brew a cup of tea.

He's mammoth. I rely on that about him, because I don't have time to brew a regular-sized tea as often as I make that face.

This gives you an idea of his scale:

See that purple teacup? See how Oracles is about to eat it?

Oh, I'm just kidding. That's a teacup from E's fairy tea service. (Do I amuse you? Because I really entertain myself.)

This is better:

That there is a teacup from our wedding china. I'm pretty sure it's so regulation-sized that even the Queen would approve of a spot of tea in it.

So, here's his story. I was at a craft show with my daughters and my mother, and I was really there for my mother because it wasn't just any craft show, it was a yarn-loaded craft show and she's a compulsive knitter. So she's getting all misty-eyed over things like roving and alpaca shavings and I'm distracting myself in the way of ooh, pretty pottery!

I see this mug and I know it's supposed to be mine in the way that sometimes I need things to be pretty and different beyond just functional and just look at Oracles (yes, that's his name, yes I name everything; why don't you?) -- he's very soulful, for a mug.

I call out to my mom: "Mom. Mom! MOM!! Hey, MOM!" but she doesn't hear me because there are wooden looms! for the roving! and also because it's been about 15 years since either Matthew or I have lived with her and she forgets to answer to that appellation so I try again: "HEY, LINDA!" and she looks up, a booth over, from her lanolin-induced reverie and walks back.

"Hey," I say. "I think I should get this." I say this because, just look at Oracles. We've established how soulful he is, but he's also $30. I never mind paying more for something that's handmade and artisanal and supporting a working craftsperson, but $30 is $30 and shhh... I'm not lacking for tea cups. So I need my mother to be motherly and support me in my instinct that Oracles is destined to come home with me. I need her to look me in the eye, think "go on, my daughter with an impractical soft spot for beauty, buy that crazy mug because I know you're communing with him already" and say out loud simply, "I think you're right. You should get it."

Instead, wordlessly, she looks at Oracles, and then hands her credit card to the happy potter who probably thought he couldn't sell a $30 mug to anyone. But this isn't anyone, this is anyone's MOM.

And that's the thing about my mom: though we have our many (many, many, many, manymanymany) differences, she supports the soft spots of my heart.

Today is her birthday, and what I'd like for you to do is to shout a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY into the universe for her. 

Go on.

Shout, already.


Just don't shout "Happy Birthday, Mom" -- not only because she isn't your mom, but because she wouldn't hear you, anyway.
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Emily said...


Oracles is perfect. I like him best with the fairy tea cup, but I don't think he looks like he's about to eat it. I think he looks like somebody has finally, at long last, given him a much needed cup of tea. In fact, his expression is so perfect just *looking* at that picture has me rushing toward the kitchen, the kettle, and tea.

This Heavenly Life said...

Happy Birthday, Linda!

Robin, you DO amuse me :) The fairy teacup is perfectly suited for Oracles' mouth. And I agree with Em -- he needs a sip.

You might make it Irish for him...

LazyBones said...


I've been meaning to ask you to pass on some news to your mom: the blanket she knit for Finn is now Lea's absolute favorite! I don't know WHAT kind of wool (?) she used for it, but it radiates heat, like it's making heat somehow all by itself. That is a huge plus in our snowy clime, where my southern husband follows the strategy of my parents, keeping the heat just warm enough to keep us technically alive. We love that blanket!

Uncle Matt said...

I hasten to add that I discovered back when you still lived in Niagara Falls that Mom didn't answer unless we called her Linda. That means it's been at least 17 years.

Happy birthday, Linda! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for your kind birthday wishes. I've learned to celebrate being whatever the age I become, despite the knee issues, the eye issues, because I am here to celebrate another year...and to be amused by my daughter. FYI, my policy is that if she invites me to visit so I can attend this fabulous yarn fest, she should have a gift (or two) to compensate her for giving up a Sunday once a year to indulge her mother. And, you forgot to mention the need to vacate that particular pottery booth pretty quickly because L was trying to climb the shelves and that could have been far more costly than one fun mug!

Angela J Reeves said...


As irrational as it is, this is what finally unstuck my tears today, the 18th anniversary of my father's death. I'm so happy for you that you have your mom to buy you mugs. Thank you for helping me unlock what needed to be unlocked. /hug

neeroc said...

As an obsessive knitter and sniffer of wool myself, I can see that your mom is good people. And? All the knitting Linda's I know (most of whom I call Linder for some forgotten reason now) are AWESOME. This just proves my point. Happy Birthday Linda!