This is the best tea I have ever had in my life. In my life. In. My. Life. Seriously.
It’s too bad my first memories with it are associated with a sexually aggressive weirdo, but I guess that can’t be helped.
On a date recently (y’know, because when you’re single, you’re supposed to go out and meet new people or something), a lovely gentleman who shall go unnamed lured me back to his apartment with promises of treating me to the best tea I would ever have. This claim immediately inspired skepticism and curiosity in me. The best tea I’d ever have? Pfft. We’ll see about that. Half eager to prove him wrong and half hoping he was right, I accepted his offer and returned with him to his cozy San Francisco bachelor’s pad after a tasty dinner of tapas.
While waiting for the supposed “best tea I would ever have” to brew, I killed time by gently teasing him about the disarray of his apartment. Unfolded laundry on the couch? My, my. Someone wasn’t expecting company. And what are these? Brand new speakers with surround sound? Jeez. You’re sooo cool, guy.
He put up with my harmless goading, waving away my taunting by disarming me with unexpected compliments in return. Something about how I’m cute, pretty, and have beautiful big eyes. You know. Typical things boys say to make a girl blush that may or may not be 100% true. Whatever. They worked. I’m out of practice when it comes to this whole “dating” thing.
Touché, Tea Guy.
I was grateful for the break from small talk when the tea was finally ready to taste, but not so grateful to have his hand on my lower back while I sipped it. Thankfully, even his unwelcome sexual aggression was not enough to pull me away from enjoying the most amazing tea ever. Well. Not at first.
“Oh my God! What did you put in this? It’s so good!” I’m taking another sip, surprised at the flavor.
“Nothing. I told you. Best tea ever.” He’s laughing from beside me on his living room couch, watching me enjoy it.
“You swear you didn’t put sugar in here?” I’m smelling it, admiring the color of the brew, and glancing from my cup to him then back to my cup.
“Nope. No sugar.” He’s rubbing my back now with his thumb and, as I am someone who hasn’t experienced physical touch from a member of the opposite sex in such an intimate way for quite a while now, I’m feeling marginally uncomfortable and confused on how I should react. “You’re so cute,” he adds, intensifying the situation and further adding to my anxiety (which I can only assume he perceives as adorable awkwardness). He’s scooting in a little closer at this point, trying to continue the conversation by flattering me with compliments about my hair, my hands, my size, y’know — overtly flirtatious and clearly sexual things that make girls like me who haven’t been on dates in forever go all fuzzy inside. But while this is happening, all I’m thinking is: Oh god. He’s about to make his move. I’m not ready for this. Do something, Cheri. Do something.
“Er — do you have the time?!!” I squeak out. Yes. Good excuse. A little panicked in delivery, but well done nonetheless. Go Cheri.
“Uhm…” He hesitates. “Yeah. Hold on.” He removes his hand from my back to retrieve his phone from his back pocket and check the time for me.
You’ll be happy(?) to hear that I used the late hour to justify hightailing it out of there in a cab home. And while he tried to kiss me at the door, I turned away at the last moment, my cheek catching his lips instead. I’m not ready! Get away! Ahhh! I said my goodbye as pleasantly as I could with half-hearted promises of seeing him again soon, then made a mad dash towards the taxi.
So, okay. You caught me. I’m not some smooth-moving seductress who knows exactly how to act in every situation. I am, in fact, now incredibly ill-equipped when it comes to handling the advances of the opposite sex. I panic, I blush, I can’t help looking away, I laugh at everything like an idiot — what’s happened to me?! I used to be so good at this. I remember a time when it was me who played the confident and aggressive part. Me who made the first move. Me who took what I wanted when I wanted.
My, how times change.
I guess all that brainwashing really did a number on me, eh?
I have effectively been reduced to the bashful and easily-flattered mentality of a 12-year-old girl. Jesus.
My girlfriends reassure me (as it is their job to do, really) that it’s okay to be a little scared when it comes to dating again. They recount their own dating horror stories to soothe my panic, retelling similar experiences so hilarious they leave me laughing out foamy hurl. It helps me to know that as terrible as dating can be, the fact that it is so terrible is what makes it so much fun. Or, y’know, that’s what I like to tell myself.
Bad dates teach you things. Like patience. They teach you patience. And tolerance. They teach you that too. Because while you might not necessarily click with whoever it is you happen to be allowing to court you, you’re at least having a new experience and opening yourself up to the possibility of something more. Who knows? You might even learn something new along the way.
As for myself? I walked away with a generous appreciation for tapas (I’ve never had them before!), as well as a strong craving for Harney & Son’s Fine Teas, now my new favorite tea brand. I loved the tea I had on this date so much that when I arrived safe and sound back at my own apartment, I ordered a crapload of the stuff online.
I might have a problem.
That’s 30 silk satchets of Hot Cinnamon Spice (my lord, so tasty), and two cubes of assorted teas with around 18 different types of tea bags in each container. Tea party at my place, anyone? I can’t get cracked out on this stuff all by myself. Just kidding. Yes I can. It’s all mine and you can’t have any.
If you’re looking for a new tea to try, let it be Hot Cinnamon Spice by Harney & Sons Fine Teas. You will not regret it. You’re welcome in advance. And you’re welcome from Tea Guy as well who introduced me to it since I plan to never see him ever again, and he’ll never get a chance to say it himself. Sorry, Tea Guy. You were cool and everything, and you definitely have great taste in tea. But you moved just a little too fast for me.
Such a shame.
We could have enjoyed so many cups of Hot Cinnamon Spice together.
Sigh. The art of wooing is a rocky road to travel.
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