An ugly mug is a missed opportunity.

I can drink my morning coffee from a paper to-go cup if necessity dictates, but to really get the day off to a good start, I need a satisfying aesthetic experience.  That’s why I’m very careful about my morning mug.

A good morning mug is such a complete pleasure.  The colors are interesting and attractive.  The mug has just enough heft to give you comfort as you move from sleep to waking.  It fits into your hand, whether you wrap you fingers around the handle or slide your fingers through the opening and around the cup.  The mug and the handle convey warmth, but are not hot.  The lip of the cup is smooth and substantial and pleasing when you bring it to your mouth.

But look in the thrift stores, or in the cabinets of the breakroom at work:  So much ugliness.  So much waste.  So many stupid cartoons and bad flower paintings; so many souvenirs people want to forget; so many annoying promotional mugs—slapped with a logo like a china T-shirt.  Mugs that lack wit or creativity or even the tiniest bit of thought in their making.  Too many mugs that will never really be mugs but only pencil holders at best.

Why bring something into the world to be ignored and discarded—barely even useful?  Better to stick with a paper cup than betray a medium that holds such promise.

One thought on “Mugs

  1. My husband says I have too many mugs, and that I need to get rid of most of them. He is certainly right from a practical standpoint, but the majority of them have sentimental value. They were gifts, or souvenirs. I have an entire collection of public radio mugs that I acquired during the years I worked for NPR stations. They are from all around the country – how can I get rid of those?

    I try to find a new mug (often from a thrift store) to go with each new job I’ve held. I often choose my morning mug to coordinate with my outfit for the day, or at the least with my mood.

    My favorite is probably my plainest colored mug, a heathery lavender straight-sided mid-weight mug that I found for a dollar in a discount store. My favorite tall mug is also straight-sided, navy blue with a beige vine scratched in the glaze, simple, timeless, comforting. And then there’s my handmade half-cup mug – not one of those hokey manufactured sliced-in-two-top-to-bottom mugs, but a short double-shot espresso size mug that I got at a street fair from the daughter of a small town mayor.

    I agree that the medium is abused. Whether you drink coffee or tea, the container should stand on its own as joy to behold, and to be held!

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