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Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Mug Shot

Corelle Basic Beige Mug

This mug is not plain. It’s classic neutral, perfect for a dream kitchen.

I fell in love with Corelle dishes when my Mom first got them when I was about 13. We had stoneware dishes before that. Those ones had lots of ...character. The were dark beige with a floral design that matched my Mom’s taste in kitchen decor, burnt orange, olive and brown, very style of the day for the mid-70s when the house was built. Mom and I were alike in so many ways, but in the ways we weren’t alike, we were WAY different!

Our aesthetics tastes were very different. I love Andy Warhol, Mom was nuts about Vincent Van Gogh. As an adult, I’d draw pictures of a teddy bear in crayon with and ear missing and tack them up on the refrigerator for her “Teddy Van Gogh.” She gave me a giant Campbell’s Tomato soup can for Christmas one year...full of white cotton underwear. We enjoyed teasing each other about our taste, or opined lack of it!

So it was with kitchen decor. I often commented about the backdated, flower-child kitchen in Northville. She informed me that she was of the flower-child era and had every right to have a flower-child kitchen. Of course, it wasn’t my kitchen, so I wasn’t going to change anything, but after all, SHE was the one who raised me to have an opinion and speak it.

Eventually, in fact pretty quickly after Mom and Dad moved into their dream home with their two preteens, the old stoneware was pretty well chipped. It was “movin’ on up” not to be eating dinner on the old melamine set we had, but the heavy clanky dishes weren’t so durable. Enter the dishes that did NOT match the 70s kitchen.

Corelle is virtually indestructible. We had a bright white set with a whispy green pattern. Mom liked them well enough, but I KNOW that if they’d had olive-green plates with an orange floral design she’d have gotten them, I just know it! She did swear by the brand for the quality though. “You don’t wear out Corelle, you give them to your kids when you want new ones.” I told her not this kid. I had ideas in mind for my dream kitchen by about 16. I wanted a sage green and peach country kitchen in a home with an ultra modern living room. That all works together when you’re 16.

When Corelle started making the “Forever Yours” pattern, I was in love. Beige plates with peach hearts and green accents. The obsession with the peach and green kitchen and the Forever Yours pattern went on for a few years. Mom feigning choking every time I looked at it or talked about it. When Mom saw a few items in that pattern on a clearance shelf, she looked at me and asked if I was really serious about it. I think I was about 20 and had been dreaming of my peach and green kitchen nearly half a decade. I was serious. So, Mom started buying me a few pieces of Corelle and the coordinating corning kitchenware for every gift-giving occasion and some occasions she made up when she found them on sale.

I had decided that I wanted the basic beige base set with Forever Yours accents. I reminded her what she told me about Corelle not wearing out and I didn't want to HAVE to have kids if I ever decided that I wanted a different color scheme! So 2 sets for four of the beige Corelle were a Christmas present. It included the dinner plates, soup bowls and mugs. She also added eight dessert bowls.

Today, the peach and green accents are in storage waiting for the day we can build our home over David’s dream train layout. The preview of the kitchen to come is in the set of nesting bowls that includes my popcorn bowl. I had chipped one of David’s bowls when I was washing dishes before I even moved to Toledo, so for the safety of his not-so-durable dishes, we do use the virtually indestructible beige Corelle in the kitchen today.

I have so many mugs that have pictures and words and character of their own, but what’s true in life, is true in my mugs. Never overlook the simpler things. What may seem like one of many and a plain cup, has one of the warmer stories that brings a sweet memory of Mom and a smile to my face when I tell it.

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