Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ph-Ph-Ph-Phases

The boy loves to make fun of my “phases”, as he likes to refer to them.  I will, occasionally, become incredibly obsessed with something seemingly out of nowhere.  For example, about a decade ago, I decided that I wanted to be super fancy and start casually drinking wine at home…alone.  So, I went to Kohl’s to buy a set of wine glasses.  Next stop, the liquor store.  Thus far in my life, I had only ever had Arbor Mist.  If you’ve ever had this particular brand, then you know that I was no fine wine connoisseur.  I liked it because it didn’t taste like wine.  It tasted sweet and fruity, but with bubbles (bonus!).  So when I got to the wine section of the booze shop, I didn’t even know where to begin.  I bought a bottle of merlot, I honestly can’t remember the brand, I seem to remember it may have had fancy, scrolly leaves on the bottle.  I bought because it said it was bold and fruity.  It wasn’t expensive but I felt it was a step up from Arbor Mist…and it wasn’t in a box.  I just have this prejudice against boxed wine, no grounds or basis for it.  So I get home, wait until the appropriate hour (I reasoned that it should at least be dark outside) and then realized that “fancier” wines don’t have a twist off top.  After a handful of attempts at pulling the cork out with a paring knife, I resigned myself to the fact that my newfound elegance would have to wait until I could procure a corkscrew.  Let me just interject here, I am not a drinker.  I have never been a drinker.  I just don’t care for the taste.  Even the smell of beer makes me feel queasy.  I believe I picked up a bright red shiny corkscrew the next day, probably at Walgreens or the grocery store and was eager to fancy up my nighttime routine with a relaxing glass of red as I watched Pimp My Ride on MTV.  First sip, I thought I had make a mistake.  Did I accidentally purchase a large expensive bottle of limited edition, imported vinegar?  That phase was very short lived.

I go through recurring phases.  Reading books, where I will voraciously shred through four or five novels of mostly mystery and horror over the course of a few weekends.  Playing The Sims.  This is a dangerous one.  I can lose hours of my life in front of my 32” LCD computer screen clicking and motherloding my way through generations of Sims (have you heard of the Asylum Challenge??).  Binge watching Netflix.  Breaking Bad never seemed interesting to me until there was such hype around the finale.  So I started watching it on Netflix after the series concluded and when I got through the final eight episodes of season five, it seemed so…anti-climactic.  And then I realized, that wasn’t the final-final end.  Then I was on a frantic search for a way to view those last eight episodes.  I found that if I added a free extension to Chrome, I could log onto my Netflix account as though I were in the United Kingdom.  And THEY had the final episodes!  I had to watch it in my computer room but I didn’t have to wait, and that was all that mattered in that moment.
My most recent phase is tea.  More specifically, loose leaf tea brewing.  I went through a tea phase not too long ago.  I ordered boxes, and when I say boxes, I mean a box of eight boxes, of different Celestial Seasonings and Lipton and Bigelow.  Green tea, herbal tea, black tea, white tea.  Who knew there was so many varieties of tea offered in convenient, single serving tea bags!?  I had a special shelf on the kitchen wall to house my boxes of tea.  And don’t even get me started on my quest to find the perfect organic, unpasteurized local honey.  That phase lasted quite a while but, like all of my phases, eventually saw its end.  Until two weeks ago.
I was shopping at a local health food store, looking for a nice peppermint tea, when I spotted the fancy glass containers of the self-serve loose leaf teas.  Exotic sounding names that I’d never heard of; Rooibos, Mate̒, Pu-erh.  Oooooohhh.  I spied some blueberry rooibos, carefully lifted it down from its shelf, removed the top and inhaled the aroma.  It smelled so yummy!  I measured out a couple of ounces into a bag, grabbed a tea ball off the shelf and wandered up to the checkout.  When I got home, I put the kettle on, washed and dried the metal tea ball, loaded it up with some tea and waited for the whistle.  It did not disappoint.  While in the midst of my previous tea phase, I was heavy handed with the honey.  I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t need any sweetener at all with this loose leaf tea.  And so it began.
I found Teavana online.  What a treasure trove that place is!  I immediately found a coupon code for $40 off $100 and had no problem filling my quota.  As I added luxurious sounding blends such as Blueberry Bliss Rooibos and Raspberry Riot Lemon Mate̒ I clicked the magic button to check out and was delighted to see that I would also be receiving a sample of their most popular blend.  My order arrived, complete with my super fancy new mug and Perfectea brewing system.  I was hooked.  I am unashamed to admit that, at the mall today, I dropped $66 on a beautiful glass jar full of three pounds of natural rock sugar (some of their teas do need a bit of sweetening) and 8 oz. of their holiday blend, White Chocolate Peppermint, which I was able to sample in the store and immediately fell head over heels for.  By the way, you know that I am heavy into this phase if it drove me to enter THE MALL…I haven’t been in a mall to actually shop for myself in years (I don’t count popping in for a Sephora trip, that’s in and out).  Please excuse me while I brew myself some fanciness.  Pinkies up!


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