Thursday, August 04, 2011

a mug fetish

I have a thing for mugs. But not all mugs. Just my favorites.

When you open your cupboard and your eyes don't light on a certain mug, and suddenly you're re-thinking whether you really wanted that cup of coffee/tea/cocoa/milk that you were so keen on a second ago... That's how you know you play mug favorites.

Why is this? It's obvious! The mug makes the drink. It's at least half the fun. If I look in the cupboard and don't see a fave, then I'm really not that thirsty.

I'm not one of those who - bless their hearts - don't care what vessel it is as long as it's filled with their morning fuel. Pronto. I know people who'd count themselves lucky to drink cold coffee out of a muddy hoofprint... No. That was True Grit, not real life.

On the contrary. My drinking habit (not that kind) is based on beauty and emotion. Just like a girl.

My husband has favorites, too. Lucky for me, his aren't the same as mine! He has a couple Civil War mugs, you see. You know, the Mort Kunstler painting ones? They make him happy to drink from, so I know at least he will understand this post! My soulmate.
(See the poor faded one in the back? That was all my fault. We always hand-washed it until one day I threw it in the dishwasher... Ah. So that's why. My apologies, Mr. Kunstler. Sorry, General Lee.)

I like mugs that have stories. I like mugs that have meaning. I like substantial mugs, pretty mugs, classy mugs, awesome mugs.

Several years ago (when I still lived with my parents!) my mom began revamping her mug collection. Garfield had to go. Randomness had to go. Mugs with chips and glued-on handles had to go. Cheesy definitely had to go. We began to refill her shelf with mugs that had to adhere to just one stipulation: they must be all white. Any shape, any size, any pattern, any texture.

Now that, my friends, was classy. I loved setting up a coffee service at her house! The mugs matched, but didn't match. And it sure was fun and easy to shop for stocking stuffers, Valentines, Mother's Day, etc.! My favorite one she currently owns is one that I bought her. Shocking. I can't remember if it was this past winter, or even longer ago, but Starbucks sold one that was textured like a cable sweater. Gah! The best of both worlds! Coziness in a cup.

My brothers have a great one at their apartment. It's a plain white round mug, but the handle is a pistol handle. A gun handle mug. All white ceramic. I always hum something about "number one with a bullet...loaded gun complex" when I see it. I can't help it. I'm a creature of habit.

Well, I've yet to become that classy in my own home. I started out well, though, by registering for way too many place settings of my Pottery Barn dishes and the mugs to go with. Sadly, those are the mugs that get the least usage. They're too boring and not unique enough for me, apparently.

image from here

My first favorite mugs (in chronological order, not order of like) that we owned in our own home were a couple that I'd bought when I worked at Starbucks. I sent one to my then-boyfriend-now-hubby, and kept the matching one with me. Now they've been together for 5 years and still going strong!

My next favorites were a wedding gift from my Granny. What could be cooler than a set of Fire King jadeite mugs?? Not. Much. These mugs are also famous movie stars. I just happened to notice them in Secretariat the other day and got all smug that I knew what they were and, in fact, have 4 in my cupboard. (Did you notice the word "mug" is in smug??)

I just saw on Ruby Lane a set of 6 of my exact mugs for almost $200!! I was a bit in shock. Still am.

I love this light blue one that I have. I think my husband bought it for me as a prize once upon a time.

I dislike a couple of blah Goodwill and Walmart ones that we picked up when we first moved cuz we needed them. I guess we felt like we were camping so it didn't matter?

My new favorites are these. Understated elegance. Starbucks had them in every size: 12, 16, and 20. The "talls" were the best for home use and at only $5 a piece, I grabbed 4! I'm pretty sure they're my hub's new favorites, too. Seeing as they're never in the cupboard, always in the sink. I'm glad I got 4! I did just happen to see online that they also have a small 3 oz. one. Maybe when Paisley turns 3 and needs a big girl mug for her egg-knock.

Oh, and I must give at least honorable mention to some great Christmas mugs I picked up last winter on clearance at Crate & Barrel. Honorable mention only because they haven't even been test-driven yet! Can't wait to pull them out this year! They may just take the cake. Er, the eggnog. The hot cocoa. The peppermint mocha.

Yes, mugs make me happy. Do you have favorites? Did anyone notice most of my faves were from Stah-box? I can't really explain that.

P.S. Nope, Starbucks doesn't know I'm writing this. It's not for them, just for me. And you! Just better make that clear. No payments or free stuff from them. Or Crate & Barrel. Or Ruby Lane. Or Mr. Mort Kunstler.


Rainbo said...

Uncle Bennie's favorite mug is one my best friend, who lives in Houston, Tx, sent him. It was 2005 and the Chicago White Sox were playing the Houston Astros for the World Series. She knew we HAVE to support the White Sox but sent us two mugs as a joke. He likes it because it holds just the right amount of coffee and the handle is large enough for his large fingers. Who would have thunk it?

Biff and Dee Ann said...

We also have fave coffee, big, and beautiful.
and milk, well don't get me started, but if I'm in the mood for pink glass better be chillin in the freezer, that's all I'm saying

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