Over the years, we have become a sassy coffee mug family. On Saturdays, my husband will regularly walk around the house holding a Princess Bride cup that screams, “Anybody want a peanut?” while I head upstairs with one that says, “Woke up sexy as hell again.” Neither of us really acknowledges the other’s cup, but I’ve noticed we are intentional about the vessels we choose each morning. And we are territorial about our choices.
For example, my sexy as hell cup, purchased at the lovely Mole Hole, is my go-to. Not only is it hilarious (and, ahem, true), it’s the perfect size. When it comes to volume on these things, I embrace a Goldilocks mentality: I don’t want it too big, but I don’t want it too small either. In my world, the standard 8-ounce coffee cup is too small, requiring too-frequent refills. But a mug too large means your beverage gets cold before you get to the bottom, resulting in the sinking feeling that life might not be as good as we hope it is. But a perfectly sized mug helps avoid trips to the coffee maker and potential slides into existential angst.
When we first moved in together, I think both my husband and I thought we were going to be a matching coffee cup family. In fact, I remember us standing in Macy’s debating whether we should buy eight white mugs that sloped slightly inward at the lip or ones that stood perfectly straight. At the time, I remember it being an extremely interesting consideration, and we decided (symbolizing, I thought, our harmonious union) to get four of each.
Well, we have used those coffee cups exactly once at our one dinner party that ended in coffee. See, in addition to thinking we were going to be a matching cup family, I also thought we’d host the kind of dinner parties that concluded with java instead of more wine or port or bourbon or tequila and, what does it even matter at this point, flaming sambuca.
Turns out we aren’t those hosts.
The fun thing about being a sassy coffee cup family is there are a lot of memories embedded in your collection. You can always remember who gave you which cup as a present, right? Candice gave me the tea-rose pink one that says, “You are a effing gem.” Andrea gave me my “dog mom” mug when we got baby Fitz, a gift that promptly made me cry. My sister-in-law Jennie gave me probably my most beautiful mug with blue flowers on it.
And there are ones that are always funny. My Ray Donovan mug always gives me a chuckle, for example. On the side it has a multiple-choice question with three options, “Single; dating; mentally dating Ray Donovan.” The Ray Donovan option is checked. I always feel a little guilty carrying that one around William but, at the same time, at least I’m being honest.
William has a red Toshiba mug that he thinks is a hoot. He received it as a gift from a Toshiba rep after investing in a pricy MRI machine. “I bought an MRI machine and all I got was this lousy mug,” he likes to say.
That joke might only be funny to him.
Then there are the old-school mugs in the collection, the ones that have faded in the dishwasher, that tend to get pushed to the back of the cupboard but are too precious to part with. When he was in medical school, William donated blood so regularly they gave him a mug when he had officially given a gallon of the stuff. I have my old precious mug from Crow Lake Lodge, which I visited about 20 years ago. And of course I have my Sentinel-Echo mug, which I stole from the lunchroom (Sorry, Willie!).
We don’t have a lot of collections in our house, but I’m proud of this one. It indicates our interests, our sense of humor, the different times in our lives. And when I reach for a cup, I’m reminded of the life we’ve built together.