I‘ve been holding off on writing this post for some time now… it’s such a personal thing, such a key and important moment in any relationship, maybe the most important moment… I’ve gone to and fro, debating whether I could really talk about such a thing on a public forum, but this blog is, at it’s heart about Dom and I’s relationship and I think it’s important to be honest and open with our readers so here goes…Today I’m going to talk about that moment when you first make tea at your partner’s parents house.
I remember my first time like it was yesterday. 10 years together… 10 years of waiting patiently in the background, desperately hoping to hear that little click that signifies a stirring in the water, the first sign that something amazing is about to happen, that life is about to get so much better. Dom’s parents realised early on in our relationship that I was clearly a man of few words and only one letter… T! The supplies were, by most small countries standards, abundant. However, try as they might, clearly were not familiar with the little-known course between desert tea and early evening tea, known solely as… well… tea!
We’ve spent quite a lot of time at the Shaw house during our long relationship and for years I waited, my offers to make the tea always met with the response “oh no, I’ll do it, you sit down!” No matter how hard I insisted the same response was always elicited, and each time the silky goodness of this drink of kings was tainted by the bitter aftertaste of guilt. I had made them get up off the sofa and take time out of their busy lives to make tea just for me and it just felt wrong. But what could be done? Somehow I needed to become part of the family.
Now I’m not saying I proposed to Dominique just so I could get more regular access to tea, that would be ridiculous. There was at least a 60:40 tea to love ratio… ok maybe 65:35 but that’s still pretty good right? And who knows, after the wedding maybe I’ll even let my new wife have the odd cup from my private pot, but one step at a time, we’re already getting married, let’s not rush things!
Anyway, one day I sat on the sofa, counting down the hours until my next cup and in the meantime trying out the nicotine patch principle by strapping a teabag to my arm and I realised something… No-one was going to make tea! Everyone was knackered, no-one could be bothered getting up for anything and they had just put The Lord of the Rings into the DVD player… a film well known for lasting over six and a half years. Things were looking desperate… I wasn’t going to make it… something had to be done.
As the whole Shaw clan settled down I snuck out. My mind was made up… desperate times called for desperate measures and it was time to make the greatest commitment to another human one can possibly make. With Frodo and Sam barely having exchanged an amorous advance yet I returned bearing a tray of tea big enough for everyone present. There was a moment of silence, an intake of breath… and then, all of a sudden, with a small cheer for that arrival of the sacred teapot, I was one of the family.
Now, as I sit here tipping back some of Yorkshire’s finest I know what you’re thinking: by making such a grand gesture surely now the wedding pails in comparison! Is there even any point in booking ourselves a church now?? Well I have only one thing to say to that…
“More tea vicar?”