Fingerbowl Tea

finger bowlI wonder if other people look back on their lives and chuckle about the funny things they did when they were younger (or older).

I remember once working as a waitress in an ice cream shop in downtown Boston across from the Tremont Street subway station (Brigham’s).  A classy guy came in a few times and then asked me for a date.  Of course, I said “yes.”

The evening of the date I wore my best clothing and made sure my makeup was just right.  We went to a fancy Chinese restaurant somewhere in Government Center and after our meal, the waiter brought us each a small, soup-bowl type dish that had flower petals floating on top of the liquid. Ever wanting to impress that I, too was classy,  I picked up the bowl with both hands and sipped the liquid.  My date was horrified,

“That’s a finger-bowl to use to clean your fingers.”

Needless to say my efforts at looking high class backfired and he never asked me for another date.

Whenever I thought of that embarrassing moment in later life I blushed inwardly.  Then, one day I was reading the biography of Sylvia Plath and discovered, she also drank from the finger bowl at a Chinese restaurant.

I am never ashamed anymore.  If Sylvia Plath owned up to doing something dumb like that I’m really in good company.