Yes, I know “The Tea Party” is a beloved term in USA Politics for a Republican Political group — but do you know what? I think you need to remember the rest of the world’s associations with the phrase you have called yourselves and maybe rebrand accordingly.
I grew up in England and glimpsed in my grandmother’s walnut cabinet beautiful miniature china tea services which were cherished toys from her childhood. I longed for the day when I would be considered “well behaved” enough to be allowed to play with them with her.
Until that day arrived — plastic was the name of the game, tea parties were held in the garden, and tea was a mixture of soil and water — AKA mud which was dutifully “sipped” by our parents when they were invited. I think this was preferred to the indoor tea party where the only “water” available to substitute for tea came from the toilet!
Somewhere between the mud in the plastic and the beautiful Victorian Tea sets I was introduced to Alice in Wonderland and the wonderfully ludicrous Mad Hatters Tea Party. Tea Parties were never the same again; they were accompanied by outrageous dressing and playing/acting up.
With hindsight I am sure that this was a protection measure put in place by my grandmother to secure the safety of her precious tea sets, one that paid off as I am now packing then up again to move.
There were variations on a theme of course — I had to include teddy bears picnics so that my brother could join in. He had teddy bears, not dolls. This invariably led to food fights, or mud fights, mud pies were our speciality.
As we left childhood, our education led us to the “Boston Tea Party” where American colonists became frustrated at the new tax on tea and decided to get their own back by disguising themselves as Native American Indians, board three English ships in Boston harbour and unceremoniously dump over thirty crates of tea into the water — a symbolic, but slightly ridiculous, gesture.
All of which brings us up to date, with the political Tea Party of today — and the “Tea Baggers” as they are so affectionately called — and why anyone who has been brought up in England secretly has a giggle when they hear the words “Tea Party” as they cannot escape from the on-going sense of the ridiculous that is imprinted on our minds.