By: Sophie Taylor
From: Teapot Collector Mysteries
Book 1: Tempest in a Teapot
Publication Date: June 3rd, 2014
Author: Victoria Hamilton writing as Amanda Cooper
The best for who? Not me! The dream of a lifetime gone in one short meeting. When I told one of the partners that exact thing he laughed in my face and said, "Honey, you're only 29. Your lifetime hasn't even begun." Why do older people always say that? It doesn't make any sense, because the dream of your lifetime is what it is at any point. An eighty year old could say the same thing to him, at fifty.
And it's certainly not best for the staff! It breaks my heart that the team I built over three years of 20 hour days and little sleep, the people I came to know and love - single moms, kids working their way through college, even a back-in-the-workforce retiree - are all out of a job now. I feel responsible for them, but beyond helping them find jobs in other restaurants and making sure they have severance, there's nothing I can do.
Anyway, now I don't know what to do with myself. I won't starve. My family has money, and I have that to fall back on, and yes, I know I'm lucky.
But now I wander the almost-spring streets of the city, waiting for warmth, waiting for an idea, waiting for a direction. My mom wants me to join her at the beach house in Florida. One of my older brothers says to come to LA , where he works in an investment house, to stay with him. My other older brother grudgingly says I could come and stay with him in Seattle. My father doesn't really say much of anything, the talk long squeezed out of him by my chatty mother.
But none of those things appeal to me. I'm going to hang out in NYC until after the coffee and tea festival in March, and then I'll figure out my life from there. I told my Nana, in lovely Gracious Grove, New York, that I'd go to the festival and get some ideas on new trends in tea and the food that goes with it. I already have a VIP ticket, which gets me in early.
See, Nana, with her best friend and my honorary godmother Laverne Hodge, runs the most adorable tearoom in Gracious Grove, New York: Auntie Rose's Victorian Tea House. It's quaint and a little cutesy for my taste, but the one thing she has always done that I respect is make sure her food is the absolute best tearoom fare you will find in the state. It's kind of standard stuff: scones, muffins, cookies, Finger Lake sandwiches (Ha ha! Everyone in GiGi, as locals call the town, loves that joke.) but top quality and delicious. So I'll go and get some hints at the coffee and tea festival for Nana and then... I just don't know. I'm not cut out for life as a celebutante, as some of the girls I knew from my parents' circle became, running from club to party to yacht to fashion show. No judgment, it's just not me.
So... my question is... how do you approach forming a new dream once you lose the only one you ever had? I don't have the backing or the funding or the energy (right now) to start planning a new restaurant. That may come, but not for a while.
So... where do I go from here?
The Teapot Collector Mysteries are written by Amanda Cooper, who is really Victoria Hamilton, nationally bestselling author of the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, aka Donna Lea Simpson, bestselling author of romance and historical mystery novels!