One of the implicit points in my “findom” post was that the work I put into it is a service to Jalan. One of our aphorisms as a couple is that, “Service comes in many forms.” We take this to be bi-directional. It’s asymmetric — the things I do to serve her and the services she provides me are dramatically different in form — but still reciprocal.
This perspective is especially important with my illness. There are very few physical services I can still provide that I used to (cooking, a share of the chores, help with moving heavy things).
One I still push myself to consistently provide is making her tea. Jalan is a late and slow riser most mornings. When she starts to stir, there is still a period of, typically, 30-90 minutes before she’s fully awake. One of her early rules for me regarded the making of morning tea.
For her birthday the first year we were together, I bought her a Chatsford teapot (style, not brand name, as far as I can tell) and started making loose leaf tea. Her preferred tea is somewhat-cooled, decaffeinated Earl Grey, which is not that easy to find as loose-leaf, but yay, Internet. So I went from teabags to looseleaf tea on my initiative, which any tea-drinker would expect to be well received. We used that at her previous home, before she moved full-time into my home shortly before we were married.
Currently, we do not live alone and so spend quite a lot of our time in our bedroom, which is essentially a second master in the room over the garage. This is especially relevant as I’m not allowed to unlock and remove the cuffs in the morning myself barring emergency. So I do not have kitchen access in the early mornings. We do, though, have an electric kettle.
It took awhile, and dedication on my part with encouragement from Jalan, but now I make the tea just to her taste. I don’t care for most true teas myself, so she had to help with the trial and error. I ordered samples of all of the loose-leaf decaf Earl Greys I could find, and settled on a nice coarsely-cut one that she preferred.
I also experimented with quantity of tea, quantity of Splenda (2 packets in a regular mug, 3 in one of the larger cappuccino mugs), and steeping time (as well as things like warming the pot) until she told me I had it just right. Pretty much the only problem I run into now is when I forget and run my mini-Keurig or the microwave at the same time and trip the breaker!
I’ve also got the process down to minimal mess, by way of tricks such as a small coffee filter in the pot’s filter basket, making it easier to remove the old leaves without clogging the bathroom sink. (Yes, I know, this also leaches some of the flavor oils.)
And when she fully wakes, her cooled tea is in a mug on her bedside, with more in the pot if she wants some later.
I may not be able to do many things that require being out of bed or chair, but consistently doing this one thing is important to both of us.