Teacups don’t get much use at our house. They don’t keep coffee hot enough to suit me and are too small for the “think I’ll have a little ice cream” portions Dearly Beloved heaps out for himself. Mugs are mainstays here and even with them we are selective. The patterned mugs which I considered “must have’s” to match our dishes? Too thin; just taking up space.
There is method to our pickiness, but it takes some background explanation:
In my case, evil sinus witches on brooms invade my head at night, sweeping cobwebs and cosmic debris into the cavity in the center of my forehead. That, in turn, sets off the Slow Drip which causes the Dreaded Tickle which makes me cough. Oddly, that doesn’t awaken me, but it sends my light sleeping husband staggering into the guest room for a little quiet rest. Without his body heat to keep the undercover temperatures at maximum comfort, I wake up cold, with a sinus headache. I don’t understand why I don’t generate more body heat myself. Is there something about the physiology of butt fat that it doesn’t break down into something useful?
I have already suggested that if he’d just stay put, only one of us would miss any sleep. He shakes his head and says, “It’s aaaaall about you, isn’t it?” (Yes, he hung the If Momma Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy sign long ago.)
That, of course, is why I require a heat-holding mug. I get out my cold, snotty self out of bed into the 67-degree temp which Dearly Beloved requires for perfect sleep environment and trudge into the kitchen at 5 or 6 am and turn on the kettle. Brewed coffee isn’t hot enough; I use those individual coffee envelope in boiling water. This procedure requires the perfect mug. It must be dark in color, thick enough to keep the liquid steaming hot, yet thin enough that for the heat to warm my hands without being too hot to hold. An intricate combination. My cabinet overflows with mug rejects.
It took years of trial and effort to find the perfect mug and believe it or not, it came as a gift. I’d had no idea that all I had to do was purchase a 1996 navy blue Volvo station wagon. The matching navy coffee mug that came with it was the pefect thickness, color, size. . . and absolutely free.
The family soon recognized it as Mom’s Mug. No one else touched it, yet I fretted that it might break accidentally and the sinus witches would win. I searched in vain for a back-up mug even as that one was treated more royally than the Windsor china. Finally, in 2004, there was reason for hope; it was time to buy another car.
We were in a new city by then, but the Volvo dealership was quite large and I had no difficulty finding the perfect car once again: another navy blue station wagon. When Frank, the sales manager, led us to his office and said, “I’ll be right back; I have a little gift for you,” I squeezed DB’s hand in anticipation.
The box Frank handed me was too thin to contain a mug. I swallowed hard. Godiva chocolates.
“I don’t usually turn down chocolates,” I told Frank, “but I’d rather have a mug.” He looked puzzled.
“A mug? We don’t have any mugs.”
I looked at DB in panic. He sat back in his chair, slightly amused, but did explain to Frank, “The last time we bought a Volvo, the dealer gave her a mug. Don’t you have them with the logo, like the hats and shirts?”
Frank shook his head. No mug. Both of them looked at me expectantly. Irrational, childish, whatever. . . great price and perfect car were not enough. . . . “This could be a deal breaker,” I thought to myself.
Frank looked out the glass window of his office into the showroom. He held up his index finger and ran out of his office. We watched as he approached the receptionist’s desk, picked up a cup of pencils, dumped them unceremoniously on her desk, and returned triumphantly with a parting gift: a Volvo mug.
And what about Dearly Beloved’s mug preference? He has big fingers and wanted one with a great big handle so that he can do the two-fingered hold without becoming entangled. We puchased one; we just didn’t need another car.