Miss Alice came over for tea again last week.  That young lady has some very interesting ideas on how a tea party should be presented.  I, of course, laid out my best linens and had Grace polish Mrs. Rochester’s tea service.  I took extra care with the biscuits, since Alice will go about taking bites out of just any old biscuits.  I set out only the lavender-infused, iced biscuits I had made special for my little daydreamer’s visit.

In the middle of my charming story about how Uncle John left me all his money, Alice up and walked to my hat closet and started placing various hats and bonnets upon her fairly empty head. She had the audacity to even try on my Douppioni bonnet I save for Mr. Darcy’s visits.  Settling on one of Mr. Rochester’s beaver-skin top hats, she angled it on her pate and retook her seat.  Well, I was gobsmacked.  Her only explanation was that at the last tea party she attended, theirs was creative use of hats.  Oh, I see.  Well, do beg my pardon for not wearing a hat indoors but I was raised properly, apparently.

The entire visit she kept asking about rabbit.  I had to repeat myself ad infinitum that we were having cucumber sandwiches and strawberries and cream, as it was only eleven in the morning.  She just kept looking around as if she expected a rabbit to appear out of nowhere and run across my floor.

All in all, it was a bit of a chore to keep that one engaged for the full visit.  I am sure it had something to do with the vile she had in her coat pocket that said Drink Me.  Oh, I wasn’t snooping, I had just found a button in the East Wing a few days prior that looked like something she might enjoy so I thought I would surprise her and pop it in her pocket for her to find later.  I can’t be faulted if I carefully went though every pocket to find which one would best serve my needs… and then forgot the button.

Anyway, I am not quite sure when she will be back.  She went on about some nonsense involving cabbages and kings – I have such a hard time keeping up with the social language of the Londoners today.  I won’t hold my breath for her to return too soon but I certainly will not be putting out oysters again!  I have no idea what made her burst into tears the minute the plate was placed in front of her.

Far be it for me to make assumptions about others, but it seems that if she had her wits about her, she would have the decency to have a surname.