An older British gentleman, my husband's acquaintance, came to see us one evening several years ago. After dinner, when I asked him if he would like a cup of tea with dessert, he hesitated. I understand that Americans have a dreadful reputation in England for making tea so I described how I would prepare it for him. He acquiesced. Then I made a cup for myself. I used to be too impatient to wait for the tea to cool so that it wouldn’t burn my tongue—fancy that, an impatient American—and I put an ice cube in it. I thought it might amuse our guest to see my little idiosyncrasy, so I showed it to him.
He was more than amused. He pulled a white handkerchief from his pocket, chuckling, and tied a knot in it to remind himself to write about the incident in his journal when he returned to his hotel. Apparently, he kept a record of all the oddball things Americans do to share with his cronies back home.
I was absurdly pleased to have made the list.