More Than One Kind of Coffee Addiction

>> Friday, July 31, 2009

Yesterday I lamented about socks and tupperware. Today, we're talking about coffee mugs

Is it me, or do they multiply in the dark? How did I get so many? I drink a fair amount of coffee, and I'm related to some pretty big coffee fiends, but even my entire, very large, extended family could drink two cups of coffee each day in my house without washing and I'd still have some left over. Every year or so I send a box to the attic (treasures we can't bear to part with) and a box to charity. I gave up sending any to the garage sale because I think everyone is suffering from mug overload like me.

If we all have mug overload, then, why are tourist traps full of mugs to choose from? Why are the grinning character mugs at pick-your-theme park so enticing? I mean, let's think about it. Our dishes probably came with matching mugs, or at least tea cups. Even many super-cheap dishes do that these days. So if you are one of those families that have wedding china, and then your mother's wedding china tucked away, and perhaps even her mother's (or sister's or best friend twice-removed's) china in the attic, how many coffee cups do you have already? Of course, you can't use THOSE day to day. They practically don't even count (so if you don't have them, don't feel left out). They just occupy the top shelf of the highest cupboard next to the ice cream sundae dishes. So, since you can't use those "special" mugs, you get some simple ones for every day -- perhaps some funny ones to brighten your morning. But you can't use THOSE for lunch with your friends. They have to match, right? So you need a matching set.

Then, if you are nutso about holiday decorations (I'm admitting nothing, here), you can't pass up the Christmas mugs on sale in January, and if you get a heavy set, then you can't use that with the kids, so you have to have a trashy holiday set too ....

Add to all of this the compulsion we all seem to have to buy mugs for people for birthdays/holidays/bosses day/secretary's day/any day I feel like because it reminded me of you, and we all have a big, big problem. When you consider that every conference, camp, time share presentation and class prom has its own mug, we have enough mugs to gravitationally collapse into a black hole.

Am I the only one with this problem? I doubt it. How many boxes of camp and other treasures can one attic hold, though? I shudder to think whether those mugs are multiplying up there, too. Which ones do we use? Which ones do we store? Which ones do we throw out/donate/sell? And to whom? I ask these questions as I sit hear drinking coffee from a mug given to me when I was in junior high. No joke. It is too cute for my tastes now, but it was a gift from my sister, so I can't bear to part with it. My favorite morning mugs, though, are ones from the old Aladdin resort in Las Vegas. They are plain, black, and uninspiring, but they are of a good weight and balance in my hands. Yes, of all the inspiring and attractive mugs I have, these plain ones are the ones I use. (Plus a few similar looking and feeling ones from my days as a lawyer ... nostalgia for the old grind, I guess. Cheers PWSP.)

Don't even get me started on the mugs I have that aren't dishwasher or microwave safe. Talk about a waste! But ... sigh ... they change color when they are hot. How can I turn that down? I mean, how can I? Little fields that glow with Van Gogh's stars when heated, or Thomas Kinkade cabins with the little windows that light up when the liquid is poured. Of course we have to have those ... right? Don't think about using them, though, because then you'd have to wash them by hand, and if your coffee gets cold, you have to pour it into another cup to stick it in the microwave. So, it isn't like you actually *use* them. They are like decorations for the inside of your cupboard.

I think this mug mania has got to stop. Next time you are out wandering the tourist traps and feel compelled to buy 3 or 4 mugs, ask yourself these questions: will they fit in the top rack of my dishwasher? Are they too cool to use? Are they such an odd shape they won't even fit in my cupboard? Will my fingers break if I try to pick them up with liquid? Is the cute character's hat right where my lips would go if I tried to use it? In short, will I ever actually DRINK out of it, or am I just buying a face to entertain all my other mugs? (If it is a funny saying, think even longer, because I'm pretty sure the other drinking vessels in your cupboard can't read.)

4 comments:

okiewife August 19, 2010 at 1:37 PM  

Ok, this has made me realize I have to clean out my kitchen cupboards and china cabinet--NOW. Just when I was set to put my feet up with a book. Dangit.

Cassandra Frear August 19, 2010 at 1:58 PM  

During parts of this post, I actually guffawed.

jeffrey1960 August 19, 2010 at 3:07 PM  

It sounds as if you too, have become a closet club member of the coffee cup carousel...I think they have a support group for that...but, nobody knows where to meet because they would have to show their faces to go to the meetings.

No-one wants to admit they have drinking utensils that they don't drink out of because they are too cute, too hard to wash, or too numerous to "fit" in the kitchen cupboard; at least, not until now!

It smacks of an addiction...and well, you know how difficult those addictions can be to kick, don't ya? Hey since you confessed already; you want to be president of the club? lol

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Karin Kysilka August 19, 2010 at 3:16 PM  

You guys are cracking me up! Thanks for the comments. I'm sorry if I have compelled anyone to go clean out their cupboards, but dang it, you will be proud of yourself later -- once you are done being mortified at what you find.

Cassandra, thanks for stopping by, and I'm glad I could bring a chucklie into your day.

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