The beginning of Lent proved to be a huge challenge and strain on my mind and especially my taste buds. They missed the sweet delight of a cold glass of tea. They didn’t just miss it. They craved it. I never helped their cause for a day without sweet tea either.
Before Lent started, I made a full picture of “lightly” sweetened tea, an abomination I intentionally created for the sake of better health.
What was I thinking?
Better health and sweet tea are not synonymous and should never be equated. They are appropriate opposites. Good and evil, perhaps. But health advocates laud the benefits of tea, whether green, black, oolong, Darjeeling, whatever. All tea is good. All tea is good with sugar. Not all tea is good with A LOT of sugar. Just black tea, or more specifically (which I only learned because I squinted really hard and read the -fine- print on my favorite blue box of team) black and orange Pekoe tea. Pekoe? Pe-ko-eh? Pee-kooh? Peck-o? Sure! They all sound great to me.
I have tried many types of tea and like them all, but that doesn’t make me a tea snob or afficianado. I just like drinking it. If it has an amber tint, I’ll drink it, maybe just once, but I’ll drink it.
Back to my fridge. In a gallon pitcher that knows me just as well as I know it, the tea sits, aging more and more each tea. The only thing that happens to aged tea is that it grows mold. Remember that later.
Daily, I’d open the already somewhat barren fridge. The full pitcher always gives the impression of a more robust fridge. It makes it more efficient or something. Maybe that’s the freezer. Tea doesn’t belong there either. I tried and forgot about it. Defrosted tea sounds as bad as it really is. Plus it makes a mess on the counter. Water everywhere.
I stared at the pitcher longingly for two weeks. It was hardly an intentional tease, but there it was, sitting there, taunting me. I even knew it was bland, -almost- tasteles. But of poor quality as sweet tea goes.
The gallon did something else each day I looked at it multiple times. It reminded me of my task, my undertaking, my devotion to abstaining something that, as I have mentioned repeatedly, defines me. It still continue to stand for me as it stood, proud and aware in my fridge. My hand ventured into the fridge. My fingers repeatedly writhed and stretched, wanting to graze the poorly removed label. The label never quite came off the side of the pitcher, sticky residue in tact after repeated washing.