Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Mugged

I collect mugs.

There, I said it. Out loud, to other people (which we all know is the first step to admitting you have a problem...)

It started with the leaking mug debacle earlier this year. As I cast about frantically for new ceramic to contain my morning beverage, it occurred to me, "Wait--mugs don't have to match, do they? Why can't I have all sorts of different mugs, for different things???" I went to the Pfalzgraff outlet and picked out a couple (okay, four) assorted mugs to replace the ones that leaked. No big deal, right?

Then I went out on the road. Have you noticed that hotels don't give you coffee mugs anymore, but rather those icky styrofoam cups that hold approximately three ounces of liquid? I don't despise much, but those cups are on the list; I can almost FEEL the chemicals attacking my mouth as I drink. And that's before the cup bends in some weird way and slips out of my hands, showing me just how much of my stuff three ounces of liquid can cover. ARGH.

My solution? I decided to BUY a mug in each city I visited! It would be the most practical of souvenirs, something I'd really use, and then could take home to remember the visit, all for under $10. This worked well at first. I found a white mug with a starfish pattern in Chicago, a gorgeous blue and white mug in Grand Rapids. When I was in Atlanta for a TV show they GAVE me a mug (okay, it was on the set for me to sip from while taping and I wandered off with it by accident/on purpose...)

It was all good until I saw the giant city mugs in Starbucks. Then, in a flash, I became that sucker who needs a 27 gallon mug to show that I've ordered a latte in five different cities. (And don't even get me started about the special Boston mug featuring the Public Garden...that's where Steve proposed! Don't we HAVE to have that mug???)

But yesterday, it happened: the unavoidable sign that I've crossed the line from enthusiast to person with a problem: I found myself in Bed, Bath & Beyond, asking three different sales associates if they could help me find a MUG TREE, because I'm out of cupboard space to support my mug habit and need a stylish way to leave them out on the counter.

A MUG TREE?!?

My friend Peter says that the time to draw the line on material acquisitions is when your stuff needs stuff--in this case, when my mugs send me out with a shopping list. He has a point. But I'm heading out to a reading in Connecticut on Thursday. And then Chicago on Saturday. I'll need new mugs for memories, won't I?

I wonder if Ebay has mug trees?

14 comments:

Patti said...

i just flashed to the 70's...mug trees ruled then...

Sarakastic said...

Ebay actually does have mug trees, but they only hold 6. AT least your souvenirs have a purpose, you could be collecting those thimbles they always have in airports.

~Virginia~ said...

sara's right. you could be one of those people who collects thoes tiny commemorative spoons. and they aren't even functional! :) i've never seen a mug tree hold more than 6 or 8.

L Sass said...

Ha. As out-of-control collections go, I'd say mugs are on the useful side of the spectrum.

At least it isn't miniature spoons or thimbles.

ellesappelle said...

No, no, no, collecting things is COOL. I should know :)

Auburn Kat said...

I always get mugs when I go to big sporting events or on a fantastic vacation. Although I haven't had to get a mug tree yet! =)

Larramie said...

Hold on, Trish, you already have your Chicago mug, although what you do need is a Frog mug! ;)

LEstes65 said...

You have a problem. But if you could see the material posessions clogging my house, you'd know I can't cast the first stone. But in stead, I will start searching for a rooster mug. And I'll give you this link:

http://www.bestofnewengland.com/Searchresult.aspx?&KeyWords=mug%20rack&exact=True

Swishy said...

But mugs have so many different uses! You can put rubber bands in them! Or pens!

Stacy said...

There are worse things to collect: teddy bears wearing clothing, ceramic unicorns, STDs.

charlotteharris said...

"when your stuff needs stuff" - a title for your next book, a self-help guide to letting go of your collecting habit! tee hee.

legallyheidi said...

i think you need a mug from DC :) Send me your address and I'd be happy to send you one! :D

legallyheidi said...

i forgot to mention, when i went to singapore in 2005 i started collecting those extra large starbucks mugs that represent the city you're in. I have ones from london and singapore (i forgot to get one in amsterdam...either that or i didn't see a 'bucks there) and plan on collecting them in the future. Unfortunately for me, i don't get out much :(

Three Yellow Hearts said...

I collect Mug trees....that's how I found this post - because I am obsessed. :)

Only the 70's ones though. They changed their designs several times. I have an entire dresser covered by them, and a couple on the kitchen table.

I hope you found one. They are lovely!

-Tiffany