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?