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Coffee Mugs and Love Affairs

We have a lot of coffee mugs.

Before Peter and I made the Great Merge of 2016, and by that I mean our marriage, when we combined libraries and closet space and CD collections and furniture and wall hangings, we each parted with dozens of the many things we could do without. You know the drill. We donated the things that brought us no more joy. Picture frames, Cosby sweaters, prom photos from the late nineties (or… seventies, as the case may be), flower pots, lawn décor, brownie pans, and Christmas towels.

But there was one category to which we discovered we each hold very, very tightly. It’s the coffee mugs. Line them up, and they represent the timelines of our very lives.

There’s the orange one that fits in my hand, with the perfect nook for my thumb. My thumb loves that mug.

There’s the black one that says, in white type-face letters, “Be Kind.” I love that one.

There’s the one that says, “Armed with a helmet and a cute pair of shoes, she felt she could conquer the world.” It’s just true.

There’s the red vintage mug from Starbucks, the one Peter gave to me on our first Thanksgiving, when we had been dating for about six minutes, when I met all of his family. He poured my coffee in that cup while I sat and talked to his niece, who would later become my niece, while the dishes were washed by all of his sisters, who would soon become my sisters-in-law. It became the mug I would forever drink from in his house… that is, until he moved into my house. (See, The Great Merge.)

There is the one I bought from Snooze, my favorite breakfast eatery. I said to the girl who poured my coffee, “Can I buy this mug?” And she said, “Sure, let me get a new one for you.” And I said, “No, really. I don’t want a new one. I want this one. The one I’m holding. Please.” And we created a precedent then and there, she and me.

There are a dozen Disney-themed mugs, because the only thing that helps soothe a morning-after such a vacation is a cup complete with Minnie’s eyelashes.

And then the Starbucks mugs from cities we’ve been to or places where are friends live or lived or visited and thought of us.

There is the red one with the white polka dots, most often my favorite, written right into the introduction of You Can Do This.

There are mugs from various shows, on Broadway and off. Who can part with the Phantom of the Opera mug? Or Wicked?? Please. Do you even know us?

And if it has a baseball on it, or any kind of Scottish tartan plaid, you can just forget it right now. That mug is probably written into Peter’s will.

Don’t ask me to part with the white mug with the pretty writing that says, “A wish for laughter to kiss your lips,” or the red one (the red one!) with the pretty writing that says, “Darling, YOU are a work of art.” I need these to start my day. Need.

And there’s a mug with five peanuts on it, each wearing a top hat and cane, which makes Peter think of singing a song with his sisters, and he always sings that song when he drinks from that mug. That one stays, obviously.

I did give away the free one that one of us got from the dentist. That was a victory, don’t you think?

As a result, I think we have more than forty in the cupboard between the sink and the Keurig, and there are likely another thirty downstairs in storage. Because the coffee mug love affair is real.

On the plus, you guys could come over for a coffee chat. Like, probably all of you. We may not have chairs for everybody, but in the name of all the things we know for sure, there will be enough mugs.


(Arrive early to choose your favorite.)

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. I have enough coffee mugs to serve warm beverages to all of Buckingham Palace and while parting with them is what imagine would be similar to picking a favorite child, I have started the one in, one out rule to help as well as the city mugs from Starbucks which will be display only.

  2. Me too!!! I understand this so well! 🙂

  3. Great post. True to the core!

    How’bout the purple one I have that says
    “We are not sisters by birth, but we knew from the start, that God put us together, to be sisters in heart”… ??✝️


  4. Well now I’m torn as to whether or not to bring you a mug from our Ostrava Starbucks for when we finally meet!

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