It was Christmas morning and I was just 5 years old. Under the tree, I saw it -- the blue tea set with the white florets around the trim that was on my list for Santa! It was just a plastic replica of English-style Waterford china, but I loved it as if it were real.
Knowing how much Daddy loved coffee, I wanted the set so I could have coffee with him. I always wanted to be near my dad, Gerard Fischetti, because he was special -- a handsome gentleman who sang to me and was always there to protect me.
That morning I thought I'd surprise him. With teacups in hand, I dashed to the kitchen. I could smell Savarin-brand coffee brewing. It was the only kind my dad drank. When we grew up in the 1960s, my sisters and I called our dad the "El Exigente," the demanding character in Savarin's TV commercials.
At 5, I wasn't allowed to touch anything hot on the stove, but I broke the family rule and reached for the coffeepot.
I carefully poured the coffee, and added a bit of milk and sugar the way Daddy liked it. Then I poured myself a drop of coffee (since I was told I was too young to drink coffee) and added a lot of milk, so Daddy and I could have a "tea party." (Dad didn't drink tea.)
I cautiously carried a tray with our cups and saucers to the living room, where Dad relaxed in his favorite soft brown chair smoking a cigarette. I remember announcing, "Daddy your coffee is served," as if I were an English butler.
Always the gentleman, Dad thanked me.
"How nice, young lady, thank you," he said reaching for his cup. The cup was way too small for Dad's hand, but just the right for mine.
We sipped our drinks. Unfortunately, the cups gave our drinks a bitter plastic taste, but Dad didn't seem to mind. He finished his, smiled, and placed the cup on tray.
"That hit the spot," he said, quickly adding, "One cup is plenty, I'm full." He never drank just one cup of coffee, but this was his way of tactfully turning down a second without hurting my feelings.
I didn't even finish my cup because of that plastic taste.
That morning I learned from Dad's politeness that sometimes we need to be nice and act in good taste -- even if it just doesn't really taste good.
Reader Susan Marie Davniero lives in Lindenhurst.