My next-door neighbor came over for afternoon tea yesterday. It was lovely and seemed such a small-town thing to do — heartwarming and congenial and a bit old fashioned. It was especially nice because I was able to show off my tea bag collection and use my author mugs. I still had a few mugs left from years ago, but when I recently broke a mug and needed to get new mugs of some sort, I unexpectedly discovered that my original mug order was still posted on the website, so all I had to do was reorder.
The mugs added to the general feeling of a small-town visit, probably because they don’t seem like blatant self-promoting, but a rather pleasant and personal touch.
I’m now sitting here at the computer with a cup tea, having just returned from a visit to the library a few blocks away. Another seemingly old-fashioned touch, this walk to the library, and a large part of my small-town experience.
Although some people around here make me leery (drug dealers, people who hang out in the alley behind my house, and a smattering of small time thieves), life in a small town suits me to a tea.
Admittedly, that’s not the way to write “to a T,” buy my spelling seems more in tune with the cozy “teatime” way I felt yesterday.
“To a T” does not, in fact, have anything to do with tea or golf tees or T-shirts or T-squares, but is a very old term, first used in 1693. To the best anyone can figure, the phrase came from a much older phrase, “to a tittle.” A tittle now means a speck, a tiny amount, or a small part of something but originally a tittle was a small part of a letter, like a dot or a stroke or a diacritical mark. So if something suits you to a T, it suits you to the smallest detail.
So technically, small town living does not suit me to a T since there’s the leery factor I mentioned above.
But it comes close — it’s only off by a tittle.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.