Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mug Shot

I'm very particular about the mugs I use.  This quirk of mine particularly struck me tonight as I gazed into our china cabinet at over ten different mugs, considering the merits of each, and instead of choosing any of them, went to the dishwasher still in progress.  Out of the steam, I picked the one I'd been looking for, my North Park University mug.

Thinking about it, I've been this way for a long time.  I've given my Mom several mugs over the years, and in all the instances, part of the impetus towards the gift was to provide me with something pretty and feminine to drink out of when I come to visit.

More recently, my brother used to live with us.  He owned a set of colorful stacking mugs that sat in our kitchen.  One day I confided in him that there were certain colored mugs that I refused to drink from because I disliked the hue.  I think he just shook his head.  But as I was visiting his new apartment a few days ago, and the coffee was nearly ready he asked, "So, would you feel more comfortable drinking out of an orange mug or a blue one?"  Definitely blue.

The one's I rejected tonight?  First of all, my regular set, which we registered for when we were married.  I really like these dishes: white with a blue border and blue backs.  Sturdy, hardworking, easily matched with other patterns.  But not in the evening.  Not after a long day.

My regular set is my go-to for morning coffee.  They are the right size: not too small (too little beverage) or too large (beverage gets cold before I can finish it).  No words to read early in the morning.  Just calm white and blue mugs that evoke images of hearty farm-house crockery.  But in the evening, I can't face their peppy shape.  All day long they are telling me to wake up!  Get the kids dressed!  Let's get doing our school for the day!  Get that clean!  Figure out what's for dinner!  What do you have to do tomorrow!  You can do it!  Rah!  Rah!  Rah!

Not now.  At this moment I crave a mug that can receive my exhaustion.  My NPU mug is not my idea of pretty or feminine.  It's a dark blue and has straight sides.  In a way, it's "all buisness."  It is connected across what feels like many years to dim memories of studying through the night in college.  It's there to keep me going just a little longer.  It's not for a night of cheery, intentional relaxation as would be my over-sized Touchstone or AFR mugs, but for an evening of "Finally, I'm done."  Hard work was done today, and now you may rest, this mug tells me.

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