If there’s an adult male in your house over the age of 32, it’s a pretty good bet that if Gordon Elliott and the cast of “Doorknock Dinners” were to suddenly show up at your house and go scrounging through your pantry, they’d find a number of unmatched coffee mugs, complete with various pictures, logos and catch-phrases.
I thought about this as I was emptying the dishwasher and trying to find a place for some of our mugs the other day. Now, CareerMom is an avowed packrat, and I’m generally a “tosser” (and not in a British kinda way). I don’t generally get sentimental over knick-knacks so its easy for me to just throw things out. Not so with CareerMom.
So I was a bit surprised at myself as I rearranged our current coffee mug inventory, to find that there were some, that for whatever reason, I just couldn’t throw out. Some of those mugs are like little markers pointing at some very good, and bad times in my life and I’m hesitant to get rid of them.
If you’re interested, come…walk with me:
I got this mug at the Georgia Renaissance Festival back in 2000. CareerMom and I had just gotten married the fall prior and I had quit a very lucrative contract job (making the same money 9 years ago that I’m making now) so I could move back to Atlanta and get married. I remember that we really didn’t have much spending cash, but I really wanted one of these cool mugs (filled at the time of purchase, with beer) because it was really hot outside and because I really liked the mug. So, CareerMom bought it for me and I’ve treasured it ever since.
I grew up in Alabama, and though I wasn’t lucky enough to go to the U. of Alabama, I will forever be a fan! CareerMom got her B.A. at U. of Texas and did her graduate studies at Georgia Tech. And though we don’t actually use these cups much, they are as much a part of our lives as anything else. I just can’t seem to part with them.
Much like my career, this mug symbolizes the hayday of my single life. I was young, I took contract jobs where I often got to do very fun and different things. One time, I worked for a railroad company planning a large telecommunications rollout. Part of my job was to help complete some maps. This was in the day before everything was on the Internet, so I was poring over what few maps were available on the Internet, plus some maps on CD to figure out where the railroad tracks went across the U.S. The logo on this mug has long since worn off, but the underlying color is still there, shiny and bright. I don’t even remember specifically where I got it; only that it meant something special at the time. Still does really…
CareerMom brought this mug, along with a set of platters and such when we got married. I think I’ve seen a similar set at Target on and off over the years. But we pull these mugs out around the Christmas holidays. They are a beautiful green with a snowy scene on them that reminds me of the “Christmas that could be.” We will probably never have a white Christmas here in Atlanta, but like seeing the first leaves drop and feeling that first bite of cool Canadian air in October, these mugs always lift my spirits a bit.
When MLE was born, I wanted to make something the people could keep. So, I took this, one of the first pictures I took of him, and had a mug made up and sent it to all of our family members. For very obvious reasons, I can never throw this one out.
I thought about this cup this morning as I was eating breakfast and MLE came down and asked to sit in my lap. I really love that little guy!
CareerMom brought this and another mug like it back from San Francisco recently.Not that I’m a fan of San Fran mind you, but the mugs are very interesting. The scenery is raised on the mug making it a very tactile drinking experience. They also hold a LOT of coffee, which is a boon in the mornings when you’re already making umpteen trips up and down the stairs retrieving various things for the kids while trying to get ready. They seem kind of fragile though, so I suspect I’ll break them before I actually tire of them. Since these are relatively new, I’m not sure yet what the memory of these will be in 5 years. Perhaps thinking back of all the time I was able to spend with my boys by myself as she traveled for work. (*whisper* It’s kinda really fun when she’s gone!)
Ah, our old standy coffee mugs. These are our everyday, eat and drink whatever you want outta them cups. Fruit, teas, coffee…they take them all. They aren’t flashy, but there’s lots of them and the do the job.
It’s kinda like our marriage really. Maybe they’re not the most exciting all the time, but they’re strong, and there whenever you need ’em.
People collect things specifically for the memories they make, but coffee cups are one of those things that you just sort of pick up along the way, without a specific purpose for doing so. That makes them special. Like the picture on the wall that, in time, you tend to ignore, pulling one of these gems out of the back of the cabinet and reliving the sentiment behind it is special. Unexpected.