How did I not know?

My wife and I have been married for 29 years. When you’ve lived together that long with another person, you start to think you’ve seen and heard it all. You start to feel like you’ve come to know your wife and kids, their likes, preferences, better than you know yourself. 

However, I found out this week that I’m still learning. 

My wife and I went grocery shopping. It was our typical weekly grocery visit. I’ve made tons of these visits over the years with my wife and on my own. Since I’ve been drinking more hot tea of late in my attempt to give up caffeinated soda, I grabbed a box of Lipton Tea. When I threw the box in the cart, my wife pulled it back out and handed it to me and looked at me like I had lost my mind.

“We’re a Tetley family. How did you not know that?” 

Now my wife is the most mild-mannered woman you’ll ever meet. She helps old ladies bag their groceries, she picks up stray cats and dogs on her way home from work, she gives to the needy, she’s the closest thing I’ll ever come to seeing a live saint. I swear, though, I heard her drop a Bart Simpson “D’oh” at the end of her comment, implying that I was a moron.

Um, what are you talking about Honey? 

When did we decide that?

I soon learned that we’re a Tetley Tea Family and we’ve always been that way. When I asked what the difference was, I was told that’s just the way it is, Tetley is better. Hmm, okay, that’s good to know. I can’t say I would notice a bit of difference between the two teas, as far as I’m concerned they taste the same, so it certainly didn’t matter to me.

I chalked it up as a learning experience, sort of like the same way I learned a few months ago which peanut butter “we” preferred. I mistakenly had thought that all peanut butters tasted the same. I went grocery shopping by myself, and I picked up a large jar of Jif Peanut Butter. I have no idea why I chose Jif over Skippy, Smucker’s, Peter Pan or a million other brands. I suspect the bright red, blue, and green label jumped out at me.

Boy, was I ever wrong!

As soon as I walked in the door, I was on thin ice. Now the only kid still living at home at the time was our youngest, but all three of my kids were soon appalled at my poor taste and chimed in on my silliness. “We like Skippy Dad!”

I mentioned that two of them didn’t even live at home anymore, but I was shouted down for my poor taste. 

You had your say

When I got up the courage and asked my wife about when we had voted on our tea choices — I certainly must have missed that day — my wife reminded me I was given the privilege years ago of choosing our soda selection. I chose Pepsi or Diet Pepsi. Our kids, though, have rebelled, long preferring Coke. I’ve since given up drinking Diet Pepsi, but I would still like to win one of these battles.

Ha, ha, just my luck, my kids have turned on me. Oh, the joys of being a part of a family. One word of caution: Tip-toe lightly.

64 thoughts on “How did I not know?

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    1. If you’ve ever watched Alton Brown’s episode on tea, you’ll soon be converted to drinking loose tea leaves … We’re open minded about experimenting with different brands, maybe we’re just not tea connoisseurs? 🤔


    1. I never drank coffee for the longest time. I didn’t initially like the aftertaste. I’ve only been drinking it for the past ten years. Unlike most people, I like it very mild. I’m very particular too. I’m giving up soda — I used to drink a ton — so I’m trying to make sure I don’t go crazy now on coffee! The challenges of adulthood!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t like soda (pop in Canada) so I don’t drink that, but coffee I drink like an Italian. Not espresso, but strong and flavourful. 🙂

        Interestingly I grew up without tea, and the only time tea was offered was when someone was sick. It took me well into adulthood, post-children, to enjoy a cup of tea regularly. Now? I have one every afternoon (black tea with a bit of milk) and later sometimes I drink an herbal cup.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I agree with Ab — that line — “we’re a Tetley family” is a slogan-in-the-making, Brian! Thanks for the fun morning giggle…whilst I have my preferred cup of tea…green tea…a little too matcha-y for my liking…but I’ll pick up another brand next time. Does Tetley do green tea, she wondered….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I have some fruity teas that I alone drink, but I was shocked to see they weren’t caffeinated! I was buying the regular tea to help to curb my caffeine fix since I’m trying to give up sodas. And you’re right, lots of green tea alternatives. I’m assuming because of the green tea advantages over regular black tea. Listen to me … talking like I’m a tea expert. Now that is a laugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved this one Brian! It really brought a chuckle to my morning-coffee snob self. Oh so life, on so many levels! I’m with you —it’s JIF for me. There may be joy in a loving relationship, but sometimes there’s a greater joy in living alone and picking one’s preferences. It’s a trade-off, I guess, huh? Life lessons in sharing, compromise, acceptance and allowance, and acquiesce. God bless all of you married folk!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, don’t let my blog fool ya Julia. Tea and peanut butter are two things that I don’t really have an opinion, but there are other things where my own personal preference really does matter and we buy two different brands! Ha, ha! Oh, the craziness of life!!!!


  3. Black tea is black tea in my opinion Brian- especially the common grocery store brands. I would go so far as to say that many are also produced in the same facilities and the same bags just end up in a different conveyor line and brand box. It’s like name brand versus generic- no difference at all!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly!!!! That’s exactly what I told my wife. Now I just assumed that, but it’s nice to hear it from someone better versed on teas than myself. My wife just wanted to tease me. She’s preferential to Tetley because it’s what she remembers when she used to visit her grandmother. They would have Tetley Tea and coffee cake, talk, and then hug when she was done. So of course, we’re a Tetley family. Ha, ha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s really sweet Brian and of course the grandma memories take precedence over any discussion of new brands. My family was always a Lipton family as a child- I carried that for awhile but then discovered all the fabulous teas out there and left Lipton behind 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  4. While I couldn’t help but chuckle at reading this, there is some easy recognition to be had. Your children will probably always buy Tetley tea because “that’s what mom bought” and make foods the same way because “that’s how mom made it”. Personally, my favorite black tea for hot tea is whichever bag is the least expensive. Peanut butter is one of the rare things I won’t buy generic of, but between the brand names, again, whichever one is the least expensive. Living alone means not having to be shamed for the groceries I choose!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes LA. I mentioned elsewhere that we were buying the tea because I mainly have bought more fruitier versions and I noticed that they were caffeine-free. I’m giving up soda and want something in the middle of the day that’s not coffee. I’ve always thought that most black teas were generally alike. I’m not a big fan of green tea … but honestly I haven’t tried it much outside of my grandmother and who knows what else she put in hers. Anyway, yes, yes, I’m very much a tea novice!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t like green tea, but there are some lovely black teas. But if you’re going to start thinking, try the better brands…it’s noticeable taste difference…even twining or bigelow are good


  5. Thanks for the morning laugh, Brian! I’m with Ab and Vick on the “We’re a Tetley family. How did you not know that?” That’s too funny! I love that after nearly 30 years together, there is still some novelty and mystery in your relationships. Hopefully the next new discovery doesn’t involve your family turning on you and saying “D’oh” in unison! 😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Aww, thank you Erin. Our relationship is like anyone’s, some days my wife loves me, some days she wants to shoot me (even though I have no idea why she would feel that way!) Yes, playful teasing I think is important to help survive the not so great days. I’m lucky, feel grateful. Thank you, means a lot!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Because I go shopping with Mrs. Chess, I have the advantage of pretty much knowing what kind of “house we are” when it comes to the brands of products. That being said, she has “enacted” changes in products over the years where I won’t learn of it until it hits the cart. It’s just the two of us, so I suppose her logic is she is the tie-breaker anyway lol. I’ve always supported her decision-making, but sometimes I don’t find out about the change until it “shows up.”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, yes, no matter whether it’s coffee or tea, it’s got to be boiling hot. Not just hot, boiling hot. I can’t stand tepid coffee or tea. My mother used to put ice in her coffee, I think she’s crazy. Yes, I probably burn my tongue more than most people, but I like it very hot.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. My childhood home was filled with brands that were “superior” to others. Marriage introduced me to a few new brands and we compromised on Tide rather than Cheer. (My mom considered Tide “lowbrow.”) 😅 My husband has sensitive skin it keeps away rashes so I had to acquiesce. The pandemic introduced me to Santa Cruz dark peanut butter, because the supply chain kept our regular brand away. It’s delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well, you know – I’ll try to be gentle here, but your wife is right Lipton tea is just wrong and I think she handled that more gentle than some might have.

    We’re a Tetley tea family too (I rarely drink coffee at home). Now when I can find it, I do like the Yorkshire tea, but it’s hard to find around here.


  9. Lol I’m a Skippy person too, but lately I’ve just been going for local brands that offer pure peanut butter. Much more versatile in how I can use them, despite the added inconvenience of mixing the oils whenever they’ve been sitting out too long. Coffee over tea though. For some reason, I can’t handle the weird aftertaste of tea.

    Liked by 1 person

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