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Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday Mug Shot

Toledo Blade
Toledo, Ohio

I got this mug last week. It was a gift from David who got it from his boss. She asked him if he wanted one of the promotional mugs and he said yeah, “my girlfriend collects them. She has over 300!” Of course, that’s an exaggeration! I have probably about half that, maybe a little more! Of course it’s still a special mug to me for number of reasons.

First it’s a David mug. It’s a gift from him, but it’s also represents a part of him, just as my mugs from Omnicom and Metrovision, which I got when I worked at those places or the Tigers mug that I bought during the time I worked there and to a lesser extent my ESPN mug since I did a freelance job for that network. (But ESPN didn't give me the mug!) The Blade mug is a mug that represents part of David’s professional being.

But the mug also is part of David truly “getting” me. I’ve always marveled at the way he understands me, even my odd habits and quirks. I mean, in the nook just off of our kitchen, there is a pegboard lattice with about 100 mugs from my collection on it and about half of them are up too high for me to reach! There was a time, shortly after I started to unbox the mugs and my Dad came over to mount the mug racks on the wall, that David said “no more coffee mugs.” I think it was shortly after I started doing the Monday Mug Shot on the old Yahoo blog that he stopped telling me not to look at mugs when we traveled. He has come to know them as my model train!

David has been collecting the engines, rolling stock and buildings for his model railroad for years. Some of the cars are on what we call “Mantelpiece Yard,” a set of tracks stretched the length of the fireplace mantel with cars he’s working on or the latest ones he’s added to the collection. The Mug Shot Monday feature and all the stories and memories attached to each mug let him know that it’s not just a collection of mugs for the sake of collecting mugs. It’s a collection of memories, represented by coffee mugs, and “having coffee” to me, is a social and interpersonal thing!

Now, rather than the old, “No more mugs,” he has given me a few mugs, written a guest Mug Shot for The Chronicles and reads the Mug Shot every Monday, complaining all over to me if I’m late getting it posted! My mugs are as much a part of me as his plans for the circa 1990 Upstate New York railroad are of him. It’s really just one more thing we have in common. It just doesn’t scream that it’s the same like the trains or baseball do!

One day, there will be a basement designed for his dream model railroad with a house built over it, to protect model trains, of course. That house will have my dream peach and green country kitchen that is sitting in boxes in my storage and it will also have an area of appropriately spaced pegs for all of my mugs. Right now, the rest of my collection is boxed and shares the storage space with my kitchen stuff. That “dream home” somewhere down the road is not a huge drywall palace with rooms we won’t ever use. It’s not a dream house, it’s a dream HOME. It will hold the things that make us happy - our hobbies, silly collections, cats and each other!

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