Out of My Cups

On Saturday, I looked through the one of the glass-fronted kitchen cabinet doors, and I saw a number of plastic coffee mugs within the cabinet, and I thought Man, I don’t drink out of those. I don’t like the taste of coffee in plastic. Why don’t I get rid of them?

They’ve been with me a long time. I’ve moved most of them at least four times, and most of them date from the middle 1990s. But that is my wont, to keep things if they’re functional things or have some sort of meaning to me. But, man, these are plastic coffee mugs, for crying out loud.

There were four in the cabinet, and I ultimately decided to divest myself of two:

The divested coffee cups

On the left, we have a coffee cup from a coffee shop that was briefly at the Third Street entrance to the Grand Avenue Mall in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I picked that up at a GenCon I attended. As if I needed another memento of the things other than photos of me half naked and painted blue.

On the right, we have a mug that was part of a care package that my mother sent to me during a finals week in college. The package must have come with some candy and other trinkets; the mug itself says Official Mug of the Finals Week Survivor. Which makes it particularly estrange that I am actually parting with it: It is something I received from not only a departed family member, but my mom. I think I’ve drunk coffee from it once or twice, but, as I mentioned, I don’t really like plastic coffee mugs.

So out with these guys.

I’ll keep these guys:

The divested coffee cups

On the left, a large insulated mug with the Marquette Warriors logo on it. My mother bought one for herself and one for me my graduation weekend in 1994. This was my work coffee cup for many years at a number of jobs because its size meant I could take half a pot of coffee to my desk at a time. Maybe the repeated use killed the plastic taste, or maybe it was constructed of better quality plastic, but this one doesn’t bother me when I drink from it. The scent of those years of coffee and those tears of toil linger in it. Mostly the coffee. Not that I have recently, of course, since I work from home when I work. 1993-1994 was the last year that Marquette used the Warrior mascot, so this one is a collector’s item. And a personal relic.

On the right, an insulated Milwaukee Brewers mug from the 20th season in 1989. I don’t remember if I went to the game. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure if I have any memories of this mug at all. I’m not sure how I came to own it. I might have palmed it as I left my father’s house after living there during college. Well, no, that’s not my style. Maybe I went to the game and have repressed it. I did go to a couple of games in that era at Milwaukee County Stadium when the Brew Crew was at the bottom of the American League.

Because these two have sports teams logos on them, I took them from the cabinet and put them on display behind the bar in the basement, along side a couple of Packers cups and my single beer stein. They’re actual personal relics, not drinking vessels. And the preceding two will be donated either to a charity thrift shop or to a church garage sale where they can languish, unbought, on the table with the myriad other coffee cups that one finds, unsold, at these things. But at least it won’t be me who throws them out, ultimately.

But I do consider the scenario where, after civilization has collapsed, I find myself at the edge of a creek having to cup the dirty water with my hands because back in 2012 I was so short-sighted to have disposed of perfectly good drinking vessels. WHAT A FOOL I WAS!

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