The Sisterhood of the Traveling Teas
By Carrie Pinkard
One rainy afternoon in May, four best friends stumbled upon a tea company that magically fit each of them perfectly. After sampling the teas, they couldn’t believe that one company could match each of their distinct personalities.
Wild, unstoppable Bridget found Wake the F**k Up. Shy and beautiful Lena paired with Calm The F**k Down. Tibby, the rebel, quickly identified with Fierce B*tch. And Carmen, the writer, knew at once she was made for Get Your Sh*t Together.
The girls had known each other since they were babies, but this was the first summer they would be spending time apart. On their last night together as a group, they performed a ritual to bless the teas and promised they would take turns mailing them to each other.
Over the summer, the four girls each received exactly the right blend of tea right when they needed it most.
Lena was with her grandparents in Greece when she met Kostos, a boy she was forbidden to fall in love with. Kostos’ grandfather had a deep feud with Lena’s grandfather about fish or some shit and they were banned from seeing each other. Just as Lena was about to give up, she received a package. It was a tin of Wake the F**k Up tea from Bridget. She brewed a cup and after taking a few resigned sips and looking forlornly out the window, she suddenly dropped it and let it shatter. She was wide awake. The nutrient-packed Yerba Mate in the tea jolted her to her senses. She had to find Kostos before he fell in love with some fish bitch at the fish market. She found him and they kissed passionately. Wake the F**k Up had saved her summer.
Bridget spent her summer training like a beast at soccer camp. She was the MVP of the group and constantly tried to make herself stand out for the sole purpose of impressing one of the male soccer coaches. At one point she poured her water bottle over her head in a seductive way that only Blake Lively could get away with (Most mere mortals would look like a drowned sewer rat if we tried this). Bridget became obsessed with the coach, believing that his affection would make her feel whole again after losing her mother. However, after she lost her virginity to him, she realized she felt worse than ever. She became depressed for the rest of soccer camp, until the Get Your Sh*t Together tea arrived in the mail from Carmen. Bridget brewed a cup and drank it while burrowed under her blankets. After she downed the last sip she suddenly hopped out of bed. She looked in the mirror and remembered who she was. She didn’t need the soccer coach to make her feel worthy. She had her dad, her best friends, and most importantly her renewed sense of self. Get Your Sh*t Together saved her summer.
Tibby was the only friend stuck at home for the summer. She spent her days working at a department store, sticking price tags on her forehead while making a documentary about the mundanity of her hometown. Tibby was full of angst almost all the time. She was angry at her friends for leaving her. She was angry at her mom for sticking her with babysitting her younger siblings. She lashed out often at her coworkers. This “screw the world” attitude continued until she got the Calm the F**k Down tea in the mail from Lena. The tea came right as she met Bailey, a 12-year-old girl with leukemia. Bailey’s positive attitude mixed with the calming ingredients in the tea changed Tibby’s perspective on life. The soothing rooibos blend led her to mellow out and realize the whole world wasn’t out to get her. Calm the F**k Down tea had saved her summer.
Carmen flew to visit her dad in South Carolina for the summer. However, when she arrived she discovered he had a new Stepford fiancee and soon-to-be stepchildren he never told her about. Carmen tried to deny her growing resentment toward her dad, even as he continuously blew off their plans to spend time together. Carmen, who’s Puerto Rican on her mom’s side, tried to speak Spanish with her dad like she used to, but her dad rejected her again. Carmen eventually let her anger boil over and threw a brick through her dad’s window while he ate dinner with his new family. She returned home without ever having an honest conversation with him. Suddenly, a package arrived. It was Fierce B*tch tea from Tibby. Carmen drank a cup and the spicy rose flavor made her realize she had the strength to tell her father how she felt. She called him and told him how much it hurt that he left her and her mother and started a new family. She told him she no longer felt included in his life. She ends up attending his wedding where they make up and begin repairing their relationship. Fierce B*tch saved her summer.