Mundane Monday: Cup

The theme of this week’s Mundane Monday Challenge is a cup or mug. I have way too many mugs. Like a lot of people, I have gotten and given them as gifts over the years.

In college I used to have a beautiful blue mug with a seashell on it. It was a gift from a friend; taller and thinner than your average mug, and graceful in shape, with gold leaf outlining the seashell. Later, during my biotech job, I had it at work for a while. I drank coffee out of it at the unenjoyable company meetings. Then one day I dropped it; it shattered beyond usefulness as a mug. The handle broke off and the bright white inside, under the royal blue coating was revealed.

When it fell I was kind of traumatized. This was my favorite mug, it had been a gift, and I was upset that the crash made a noise and attracted everyone’s attention. I used to run my thumb up and down the smooth handle while the lecture was going on, and the feeling was calming. Now the handle had become detached, and the edges were all jagged and rough. I was looking around on the floor to make sure I had all the pieces and pick them up, and a male coworker caught my eye and addressed me.

His eyes looked basically kind at first, and there he was asking me a question. What? He wanted to take the broken, jagged pieces from me. Why? My beautiful mug, ruined. Did he want to know its story? Did he want to tell me he was sorry for what happened? Could he help fix it, did he have glue? It looked like he wanted to help . . . but he wasn’t going to fix it . . . no, he was asking me if I wanted him to throw it away. This felt like an insult, an additional injury. No! I made a face and his eyes no longer looked kind.

The mug lived on for a while as a pen and pencil holder after I glued it back together with super glue. But it was never the same, no matter how many stories I told myself about the crack being how the light gets in. I kept seeing my coworker’s face and hearing his words in my mind: “Do you want me to throw that away?” He probably was trying to be kind. So why does he even now still seem like a nosy jerk to me? I didn’t move it to California with us. I didn’t want to think about him, or my weird, defensive reaction to his request, anymore.

TACOmug
With my alto clef T-shirt and TACO mug in the practice room

The mug I’m drinking out of in the picture above is from “TACO,” the “Terrible Adult Chamber Orchestra.” It too was a gift, from last spring when I played the viola solo from Berlioz’ Harold in Italy with the group. This mini-performance was part of my preparation for the Telemann solo I had in May.

A couple weeks ago I had tea for the first time this fall. I opened up the rather overstuffed cabinet where the mugs live, and as I reached for one, I knocked this one and it tumbled. I knew even as I tried to catch it that it was no use. It shattered beyond its usefulness as a mug. No one saw it happen; I threw it away myself. I missed it–I wish I had managed to break one of the less interesting ones we have instead–but I didn’t feel like trying to glue it again. I have enough pencil holders. Instead I ordered a new one from the TACO website. These days everything is replaceable.

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10 thoughts on “Mundane Monday: Cup”

    1. I’d only had this one for about 5 months, not years and years. And buying a replacement supports TACO, the organization, so I felt like that was doing some good. It wasn’t a particularly sad loss. But the first one happened in the early days of the internet before everything was available there, and I’ve never seen a mug like it again, even on ebay.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ah, Kintsugi, repairing broken pottery with gold! Here: https://mymodernmet.com/kintsugi-kintsukuroi/. I had a favorite mug too and glued the handle. At the same time I was reading zen essays and reading about being aware as you use a cup that it too has a limited lifespan. That it will break as we too break. That loss is inherent in loving something and that part of loving it is accepting that. Reading your post I was hoping that the man would offer to repair your mug with gold……..

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Surprisingly, since I like books and read a lot, I am not that much of a book hoarder. I’m getting a Little Free Library for Christmas/my birthday and I’m hoping to use that to get rid of some books I have lying around. I hate the thought of throwing away any book, ever, and I think that Amazon marketplace is too much effort for too little money. But if people would like to “borrow” books from my LFL I don’t really care if they bring them back!

        Liked by 1 person

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