Friday, February 19, 2010

Mug Love

By Heather

Maybe it’s the season (who am I kidding--it’s definitely the season!), but lately I’ve noticed a lot of people mentioning that their favorite thing to do is make a nice mug of coffee or tea and settle in with a good book, or relax in front of the fireplace, or watch the snow fall, or tune in to the latest offering on BBC America. Always something with a hot drink.

One of the things I realized as I made my coffee every day was that I often reached for the same mug from the cabinet. Day in, day out I’d use my Vermont stone mug with the imprinted moose and forest on one side, and black bear and forest on the other, with "Vermont" stamped on both sides. I bought it a few years ago, on the way out of Vermont after a little getaway with my husband. It brings back great memories—and keeps my coffee hot for a long time.

Then I recalled that my mother has been drinking out of the same mug for close to thirty years, a delicate bone-colored mug with the image of a tiger cub on the side (that you can actually still see!). No one is allowed to so much as TOUCH that mug. Heaven forbid something ever happened to it. It’s like a second sibling. My father, too, drinks out of a Space Center mug he picked up about fifteen years ago. Every. Day.

When I was thinking about writing this blog, I asked one of my critique partners, Shelley Shepard Gray, if she too used one mug. She does—but not for any kind of memory the mug holds, but for the shape. She likes mugs short and wide which makes it easier to hold with two hands. Shelley is also a lefty, so she steers clear of mugs printed only on one side—because she can’t see the image when she drinks.

I know we can’t possibly be the only ones who have mug love. Is there one particular cup that’s your very favorite? And if so, why? What is it about that mug that’s so very special?

~Heather

29 comments:

Vicki said...

My husband and I both have mugs we prefer. Hubby has a selection of 3 (should one be dirty) but they are almost ranked in order of importance. He likes his mugs large! I have several I like as well, smaller for tea, larger for cocoa. I don't think we have quite the passion for our mugs as you and your parents seem to however!

Mason Canyon said...

I have a favorite mug I use, but that usually only last a couple of months. I tend to change from mug to mug (something else I collect single mugs). I do have a cobalt blue mug with white flowers on it that I keep going back to. Nothing special about it except it keeps my coffee warmer and I like the feel of it.

debbie said...

I have a favorite and second favorite mug for coffee and one for tea. My coffee mug of choice is my "Love" mug that I got as a wedding favor 10 years ago. The extra good thing about that is we have 2. My second favorite was a gift from my sister, a cobalt blue stone mug from Vermont.

My tea mug was a gift given to me for my birthday by my dear friend who happens to share that day with me. xoxoxoxoxo

Melissa said...

Over the holidays I got a special mug that I hated to put away at the end of the season. Large, just the perfect size for a great big mug of cocoa, with darling little gingerbread men and candy canes all over it. I just *love* that mug!!!

Lorna Barrett said...

We have quite a mug collection and every morning I ask my husband, "What's your cup preference?" (Today it was Brittania, that we got in 2001 when we visited the ship in Scotland.) I have a bunch of favorites: my pansies (have 3 different ones), my Star Trek mugs (4 of them), my Roycroft mug (straight from East Aurora, NY) and my Bartlett Candy Canes, that I got for a quarter at a yard sale. Honest! It's got a bunch of Christmas candy canes and says Bartlett on it. Last month, it came out of the dishwasher without its handle and I was heartbroken. But Hubby came to the rescue with waterproof glue and I'm back in business now! (This morning I had Roycroft.)

Dru said...

I have two favorite mugs - my college mug (no yearbook was given so we each got a mug with all our classmates + school logo) and that I use for my hot chocolate. My other mug is a photo mug of a trip to Vermont that I use for tea. And like your parents, no one can touch my college mug.

Sheila Connolly said...

There are some mugs that just "feel" right I picked one up at Marshall's a few years ago for next to nothing, and once I started using it I went back and bought a second one. No logo, no sentimental attachments--it's just the right mug for coffee.

If my grandmother were here, she would lecture you that tea simply tastes different in bone china cups. I tend to agree (and I always think of her when I drink it that way.)

And then there are the mugs that are "too good to use."

Deb Baker said...

I attended the 2008 Festival of Mystery at Mystery Lovers Bookshop and came back with a wonderful red cup that has been my favorite ever since. Love that cup! Take it on vacations.

Lorna Barrett said...

Deb, I love my Festival of Mystery mug, too. It's perfect for those packets of Swiss Miss hot cocoa. Seems to me, their directions to use 6 ounces of hot water are just WRONG, you (or at least I) need much more, and that mug is perfect.

CindyD said...

For years I used a "New Mommy" mug that I received as a shower present before my daughter was born. It had been thru the dishwasher so much that the decorations were mostly worn off, so I left it behind when we downsized (and I regret it, but that's true of many things). Now I use a mug from Yellowstone that was my birthday present when we were there last year on my birthday.

Sarah said...

I have a set of four Christmas mugs that I love and use all year round :-)

Sarah

debbie said...

My high school mug has pens & pencils in it....it has for the 20 years since graduation!

Jeanne C. said...

I've had 3 favorite mugs in my lifetime: in college I had one with all white sheep facing in one direction and one black sheep facing in the opposite direction. When it broke, I cried.

My second fave was a teddy bear mug from my sister that said "my sister, my friend". Once again, when it broke, I shed a tear.

My current favorite is a Winnie The Pooh mug that says "Time for a little something".

signlady217 said...

I have two main coffe mugs. One is from the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN (hubby's hometown) and says "Shut Up and Shop" on one side and on the other side it says "Yea though I shop the Mall of America with great anticipation and no idea of what lies beyond the nest corner, I shall fear no evil because with over 4,000,000 square feet to cover and serious plastic in my pocket, there isn't enough time to understand fear anyway". Gotta love that one! The other mug says "So much fabric...so little time!" and has a picture of a lady sitting on top of a pile of fabric.

I have one with a snowman on it that I use during the holidays, and one on my desk for pens/pencils that my dad gave me the year I turned 40 that says "Fortyland: Where the Fun Never Starts" and has crazy pictures of amusement park rides for "old" folks, like "The Retired Rapids Water Ride" and "Bumper RVs".

We've got more mugs like "Teacher" and "Daughter", but those others are my favorites!

signlady217 said...

Here's an idea to preserve those favorite mugs (before they get broken beyond repair!). Take some pictures of them for your scrapbooks/photo albums. That way you can always have a nice memory to share, even if the mug itself is no longer around.

Sheery said...

My favorite mug has bright and multicolored balloons on it, along with a huge, toppling down birthday cake. It says 'celebrate' on it and reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. It's obviously a birthday sort of mug but I love it and use it regularly. It's big, comfortable to hang on to and holds a lot of coffee or tea.

The funny thing is, we received this set of two as a gag gift for Christmas one year. I don't think it was meant to be so well liked but I love them! :)

Sheery said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindy said...

The mug I use was given to my by my sister. It says "Life's a joy ride. Unfortunately, I'm tied to the bumper!" The woman pictured next to the text looks so much like me it is ridiculous.

Lisa D said...

My favorite mug is powder blue with Tigger on both sides. Big enough for coffee, tea and even soup! Been with me since my public accounting days...

Lisa D said...

My favorite mug is powder blue with Tigger on both sides. Big enough for coffee, tea and even soup! Been with me since my public accounting days...

Andrea C. said...

I love mugs - and so does my dad so if I find a unique one I always get it for him! My favorite mug is standard, white mug but it has a picture of a Siberian Husky with a clever slogan - it always makes me think of my first husky, Oliver!
By the way Heather, I love reading with a cup of hot chocolate no matter the season! :)

Heather Webber said...

I just knew there were more mug lovers out there. :) These stories are great. I also have my high school mug (though I never use it). Funny, the things we keep. But maybe that's a blog for another day.

I'm currently away from home, on a writing retreat for the weekend, but I had to sneak online to reply! Shhh, just don't tell my critique partners...

Lover of Books said...

My favorite mug broke. It was a white mug with a pink rim and a little chick popping out of an egg. I don't remember what it said but it was pretty corny.

The one I use now is a forest background with Romans 8:28 on it. It's a huge mug! It's my favorite for hot chocolate and I have even used it to warm up a bottle for my 4 month old. It reminds me of a time when I had my favorite job working for a christian book store. lol

Krista

Maggie Sefton said...

You bet I have favorite mugs that I use every day. But I don't have just one. I have about three faves and I alternate. One is a NASA space center mug which my daughter sent me when she first became a NASA flight surgeon. Another is a mug from Disney World with outlines of Mickey's ears and a nice solid sturdy white china mug from Oprah's fave store in Chicago, Fox & Obel's.

Anonymous said...

Oh, gosh, I blogged about this less than a month ago!

I'm a sucker for a good mug, I collect them beyond all reasonable limits. Hobbies, quotes, places I've visited are all represented on my mugs. I do have favourites - especially for that first cuppa tea of the day. At work I only have one, but at home I can switch around to my heart's content.

One of my favourite activites is browsing the mugs on cafepress and zazzle....too tempting!

chana

Ruthann said...

A number of years ago I went on a camping and hiking trip with my sister to Yosemite National Park. While in the gift shop, I picked up a super cute green mug with a bear wrapped around the handle. Well, to my dismay upon getting home I realize that the mug was a little awkward to hold because of the bear.

Now, years later, my boyfriend refuses to let anyone else use the Mr. Bear. It is his and if we have guests for coffee or tea, they aren't allowed to use this mug. All our friends know about Mr. Bear and my boyfriends obsession with him and laugh about it.

I have a mug a prefer to use, but there is nothing special about it. I just like it.

jbstanley said...

i have one showing an Egyptian tomb painting. My mom and I went to Egypt together and I cherish the memory of our trip. The mug reminds me of so many things - floating up the Nile, fresh mango juice, and the amazing sights.

Linda said...

I use my snowman mug year round. It's a great mug, and it does not matter to me that it is a Christmas style mug, or that we don't even get snow here. It's a cute mug, good size, and I like it!

Dave Chaudoir said...

I am definitely more attached to those mugs which fit in my hand nicely, that feel comfortable. I like a heavy mug, too. I am not so attached to designs, as long as it meets the comfort/heavy criteria! Given how much I move around, I don't often get to use the same mug more than a few times a week.