we bought a teapot.
So we got this floral china teapot together, very traditional and maybe even slightly kitschy, and everyone who saw it couldn’t believe we got that teapot and would go, Whaaaat I can’t believe you got that teapot. It didn’t really matter to us because, look, it was our teapot. We were the ones using it.
The truth is, neither of us had expected to like it either, and we hadn’t intended to buy it the time that we did, but we did. These things happen, don’t they? You go out to the shops, planning to get your jeans altered, and you end up buying a teapot.
That teapot was pretty decent. It did what teapots were meant to do (ie pot tea) and didn’t give us much trouble as we hadn’t expected it to do much else (eg make toast). Sometimes we would accidentally bang it against something, making it chip or crack. From some angles, you couldn’t see the chips and cracks. You couldn’t tell at all that it was damaged.
I always felt them though, when I picked the teapot up.
The day the teapot fell and the handle broke we were both stunned and were all, OH CRAP - NOPE, WAIT - we can fix it! So we grabbed the glue and fixed it. Easy. But the teapot was leaking through its now numerous cracks and we couldn’t use it without spilling tea everywhere. But then we figured if we held the teapot a certain way, we could sort of block the cracks with our palms and stop the tea from leaking as we poured it. It was a team effort, and certainly it looked ridiculous as the both of us held the teapot together when pouring tea, but it was working and frankly, it was different and therefore ours. We owned the difference. It made us Us.
But then it felt like you stopped trying to contain the spills. You’d pour the tea, ignoring the small pools forming on the table from the tiny streams dribbling out of the teapot. I pointed it out, but it didn’t matter to you. So I wiped up the spills, thinking it’s okay, I’ll do the pouring from now on.
And it was just me. Just me with my hands on the cracks, pouring the tea into both our cups. You just sat there and drank the tea. You were never there when I poured it. You waited til I had poured it myself, after I had wiped up whatever had spilled because my team mate wasn’t there to help me hold the stupid teapot together, and we drank our tea and talked like nothing was wrong.
I kept thinking it was okay that I was the only one feeling the chips and cracks, that I keep doing this and you’d help me out one of these days, and that, really, the point is that we’re still having tea together and why does it matter who’s doing the pouring?
I know you weren’t expecting it the day I threw the teapot away. I told you that I had been planning to, but you didn’t believe me. I decided to just leave it out there first. Maybe I’d change my mind. Maybe you’d pick it up and be all, Would you like some tea? But it was so damn hard for you to do that one simple thing. All you had to do was pick it up and ask me. Because some days I needed you to ask me and I wanted you to make me a cup and listen to me talk and make me feel better. But no. We only had tea when you felt like having tea.
So I threw it away. I cut myself somehow as I threw it away and it hurt but the moment I did it I felt so relieved, like this huge burden was lifted off of me, and I knew it was the right thing to do. Yeesh. Who knew such an unassuming, everyday thing that millions of other people use without any trouble could be the source of so much grief? It wasn’t supposed to be this hard, goddamnit. And it hadn’t been when we’d gone through it together. We’d made it work, remember? It had even been fun, because it had been Us.
I still think about that teapot. I can still feel the bit where it nicked me, the red ridges of the still-healing cut. Anyway, I’m fine making tea in a mug for now. I love how everyone’d get together and have their own mugs and it’ll be just a motley of mismatched china and all the different colours and patterns just made me feel happier. And some days it feels good to curl up in a blanket with my own mug, all warm and comfy.
I’ll get another teapot one day, I’m sure, but who knows how far away that day is. We’ll see. I’ve gone out to the shops again, with absolutely no intention of getting one, but you know how these things work.
*let’s be real, guys. this isn’t really about a teapot, is it?