About two weeks ago I went out to eat with friends. We were celebrating the beginning of a new semester. It was a good evening and we each chose a new dish to try. We talked and laughed a lot. While we were waiting for our food to arrive the waitress brought our drinks. I and one of my friends had ordered hot tea to drink. When the tea cups arrived we were given a selection of teas to choose from. I started out with a nice Earl Grey. It is one of my favorite teas. As I unwrapped my tea bag I noticed that it was rather unusual. It was round and had two strings running up to a rectanglar paper. The strings were two short making the bag awkward. The whole contraption kept falling into my cup. I looked over and sure enough my friend was having troubles of her own. We commented on the unusual bag but the conversation quickly swirled away to other topics. I continued to study my sodden tea bag and then I looked that the unopened tea bags. I started reading them and was enlightened. Look, I exclaimed and began to demonstrate how to lengthen the string. Next I showed my friends how the paper would tear in the middle which allowed me to pull on the strings of the tea bag. When I did that, the tea bag squeezed itself. No mess or fuss like there usually is. As I did I said that I had read the directions on the tea bag. At this point someone asked, “Who reads the directions on a tea bag?” It was a valid question; who does read the directions on a tea bag? They are so familiar that one hardly ever gives them a second thought. You just use them. Everyone at the table began to ooh and awww over this really remarkable thing. It was totally hillarious. There we were, grown women oohing over a tea bag in the middle of a resturant. We got a really good laugh out of it and enjoyed several good cups of tea. Later though I thought about that question. Life is a lot like a tea bag sometimes. It is so familiar and simple that we just do it. Then we read the directions and the common place simple thing turns out to be really amazing and life also works better. I think that perhaps we would all be better off if we took the time to read the directions on our “tea bags” more often.