Friday, January 9, 2015

Mug Shot

I realised the other day how much nicer it would be if we had 10 or so decent-sized harmonious mugs living in our cupboard instead of 

3 huge mugs
2 bitty striped mugs from a set of 4 (I probably broke 2 over the years)
6 tea glasses (I probably broke 2 or 3)
2 medium sized coffee mugs (1 was broken and got replaced, 1 was ug-gly and was given away)

A few small coffee mugs are currently either hiding in a give-away bag in the cellar or have already been dropped off by Het Goed. In particular a set of tiny blue ones we bought to set up our first home together (awww) that went from 4 to 2 over the years.

In other words, a hodgepodge of mugness.

I don't need a perfectly matched set of mugs (especially not expensive ones, given my talent for breaking things). But I like things in my house to be harmonious, and 7 different types and sizes of receptacles for hot drinks was just too much. Especially when there are mugs, and then tea glasses, and then coffee mugs. Since the coffee mugs have "Coffee/cappucino/mocha" emblazoned on the sides, one OBVIOUSLY can not drink hot chocolate or - heaven forbid - tea out of them. And I imagine there would be a moment of shocked silence if I accidentally served 2 guests tea in glasses and 1 guest tea in a mug. Barbaric, really. When I have 2 good friends over, sometimes we drink tea in the big mugs, but that's allowable because we all match and the mugs don't actually say "Coffee." There's also the numbers question; we have enough to serve 6 people tea or 4 people coffee with the 3 huge mugs thrown in for good measure. So if we were to throw a party of more than 13, we'd have to worry whether everyone got the drink of their choice. (Then again, if we introverts are throwing a party for more than 13, everyone should be worried).

So, being the tactful respectful wife I am, I decided to ask my husband whether he liked the Dutch tradition of using tea glasses. If he said yes, I would just consolidate the mugs and keep the glasses. If not, I would ditch most of the drinkware and get new all-purpose mugs. My husband is a patient man who is used to dealing with my minimalist tendencies, and also a clever man. I had barely finished my question when he asked, "Are you wanting to get rid of the tea glasses?" I admitted I was, and explained the issue. After talking about it, we agreed that nondescript mugs were a good solution, which is why I ended up wrapping ten comfortable medium sized mugs at Xenos today. Not too ugly/cheap, but not too embellished and fancy. A man would feel comfortable drinking out of them. I ripped sheets off the roll of paper beneath the table and carefully tucked each mug in a cocoon against breakage.

Then someone walked up to the wrapping table and began to carefully wrap his own ceramics. Maybe I'm just being stereotypical, but the first thing I thought was, "Ok, so his wife/girlfriend sent him to the store for a set...." Then I snuck a sideways glance and noticed he was wearing an orange workman's suit, navy trousers, and heavy work shoes. And the china was a chic set of saucers and mugs with "Royal China" or something printed on it in black and white. I kept wrapping, wishing I could take a picture. And then I stole another look, casually sweeping my gaze across the table and outside, so as not to be staring. And outside was another piece of the story - a 'Gemeente' municipal van with another orange suited man waiting patiently in the driver's seat. "Engineers" was printed on the side. While I'm quite happy with our new mugs, I'm still very curious what the city engineers are doing with their new porcelain....


  1. De.getallen vliegen om mijn oren.
    Ik.hoop dat je blij bent met de nieuwe mokken anders hebben wij nog wel iets in de kast staan. De laatste jaren breek ik.minder, is hoop ;-)

  2. Frankly, when it comes to tea/coffee cups, I revel in a hodgepodge of miscellany. I got rid of our matched set when we moved here. :)