A group picture of the Medfield High School senior girls, who spent the afternoon chatting and recalling fond memories over tea with the Hannah Adams Woman's Club.
By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
Each year, Medfield High School’s senior girls are invited to attend a tea party hosted by the Hannah Adams Woman's Club. This year, the girls arrived approximately at one in the afternoon and made their way to the host’s house, usually accompanied by a few friends. They came in dresses, the perfect attire for an afternoon tea party.
From the second they arrived, the girls were greeted by a line of members of the club. After shaking hands and spending a few minutes chatting with familiar faces, the girls walked to the refreshment table, where they were asked the important question: “Tea or punch?”
The first tea held in 1971 had a similar dress code. Girls were asked to wear dresses and heels, and greeted their hosts with the same politeness as they do today. Perhaps the biggest difference was that back then, all of the girls were required to wear hats and gloves. The tea has become a time honored tradition since that first iteration.
For the senior girls, the tea represents possibly the last opportunity to be together and just chat as a full group. In just three months, many of the girls will leave for college, others will go straight to work, and some will take a gap year to decide what they want to do.
Alyssa Shen is going to George Washington University in September. For she and other high school students, it will be the first time that they are not expected to keep the rigid 7:30-to-2:07 schedule. “I look forward to having more freedom over my time,” she said.
When the girls obtained their tea or punch and picked their sweets and sandwiches, they joined their classmates under a tent in the yard and grabbed a seat at the table. “This punch is really good,” one girl commented, as her friend left to get a refill of her drink.
“Good. Fill up and come back and get tea,” said Ginnie Cusack, a member of the Hannah Adams Club. She spent much of the party supervising the tea pot and ensured that each girl got her cup of tea, with the desired amount of milk and sugar, while chatting with them about their future endeavors after graduating. “Where are you headed?” she asked one girl, who came to get a cup of hot tea.
“Kenyon College,” the girl replied with a smile.
For Cusack, this is the best part of the tea. “My favorite part of the tea is seeing all the girls all dressed up. They’re all so beautiful,” she said.
The senior tea is not about saying goodbye. Instead, it is a chance for the girls to forget the worries of high school and look towards the future. It’s a chance for them to dress up and have a tea party, just like they dreamed of when they were little kids - a final moment to drink in their childhoods before heading off towards the rest of their lives.