Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mrs. Beasley co-hosts tea party and shares life lessons for girls who want it all!


Over the weekend, I decided to host a “tea party” for the girls in my family.  I also suggested a +1 guest….their favorite doll or stuffed animal.

I typically spend months planning holiday parties for adults, but this impromptu tea party came together in a matter of hours.   I made some calls, sent a few texts, and went to work setting up the tea party. 

As a kid, I had to be a little more creative in finding props.  I remember saving old perfume bottles and pretending they were people.  I didn’t grow up in a family, with every day dishes and special occasion china.  Our dishes were functional and cost effective to withstand the daily use of a family of six, which included three rough and tumble boys.  They rarely matched, were often broken, and spent a fair amount of time in the kitchen sink waiting to be washed.

I’m not a fan of gender bias and I believe everyone should embrace what they love, without stereotypes or social censures.  I am a career woman and my family is unconventional.  And my early days were spent as a single mom to my oldest son, as a college drop out, then drop in, pulling a 4.0 every semester until I earned my BA in Journalism.  I think I am what they used to call a “late bloomer.”

That said, I unabashedly admit that I love my feminine side.  I have a fascination for the Victorian era and can’t pass up dainty handkerchiefs, with trimmings of lace.  I love frilly tablecloths, vintage china, and my very favorite…1847 Rogers Brothers Silverplate in the grape pattern.  I love Lenox holiday cookie jars.  I’d love to have a set of Lenox holiday china (still working on that) and continue to troll a new favorite auction site (which comes by its name honestly as it really does have Everything But the House!)

Within 45 minutes, I had set a beautiful tea party in my dining room.  I had thought of everything, from teapots to festive Christmas napkins and Santa Claus placemats.  Everything except my own +1 for the party!  The choice was clear.  My favorite doll as a child was Mrs. Beasley.  A gift from Santa when I was very small, she was a wind up doll, dressed in blue and white polka dots, with a pair of glasses.  And her catch phrase…wait for it…”Would you like a cup of tea?”  Mrs. Beasley was a lost treasure.  She did not survive my childhood, but I have an equally loved replacement, given to me for Christmas many years later from a very special person, who did not share my childhood, but holds an unshakable bond in my heart just the same.  I love that doll and the fact that she arrived on Christmas in my twenties is of no consequence.  She sits in my Granny’s rocking chair alongside my Raggedy Ann doll in my bedroom.

I wasn’t sure who would come given the short notice.  I hoped that all of the quickly created name cards would be put to good use and that my first official tea party would be a success.

My little guests began arriving shortly before two and our time together flew by.  They were simply beautiful, from the youngest, who is two…to the oldest, who are grown.  As a mom of three sons, this was truly a treat for me. 

Mrs. Beasley and I served Friendship Tea and cookies, and we promised to make this an annual tradition.  My hope is to pass on a winning combination of “you can be anything you want” mentality with “it’s okay to be yourself exactly as you are.”  Because girls may play with dolls and host make believe tea parties…and still grow up to be smart, young women, who also love and excel in business.  The possibilities are endless and setting the table with a long stem rose does not preclude these amazing girls from taking on other challenges that involve a different kind of STEM.  To the girls in my family and around the world, you can be a princess and build a castle all at the same time….and live happily ever after.  You know the rest of the story.  Now go get ‘em!

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