Friday evening at our friends' house. The scattered remains of a wonderful supper lay scattered about the table. The laughs and shrieks of our kids playing in the backyard drift through the screen door.
Hostess: Would you like some tea?
Erin: Sure. You don't have jasmine, do you? I haven't been able to find any for a while.
Our hosts exchange a look.
Host: We do, but... we're pretty sure it made us sick.
They bought this new jasmine tea a few days back and brewed it for lunch the next day. Shortly after, they experienced gut-wrenching pain. At the time, they assumed they had come down with the flu. By suppertime that night, both were feeling a bit better, but neither felt up to a full meal. Our hostess made herself a second cup of tea, at which point the wrenching pain returned.
As they tell the story, my inner voices are having a debate.
Inner Voice One: Oh god. We know how this is going to end.
Inner Voice Two: What do you mean?
Inner Voice One: They're going to say Erin can try the tea if she likes. They may even offer her the box. They are very very nice people.
Inner Voice Two: She wouldn't take it, would she?
Inner Voice One: Think for a moment about how much Erin loves jasmine tea.
Erin loves jasmine tea. Its aroma, its colour, its flavour. I remember early in our marriage, Erin ordered by mail these exquisite tiny balls of dried jasmine leaves. Drop one into your cup of steaming water, and it slowly unfurls into a delicate flower.
Inner Voice One: She's going to take it. Just watch.
Our hostess is just finishing her tale.
Hostess: ...so we can't say for sure that it was the tea that made us sick.
Host: It was delicious, but I'm not taking any chances. You can take the box, if you like.
Inner Voice One: Wait for it... Wait for it...
Erin: I'd love to! Thanks!
Inner Voice One: Told you.