Much of my morning blindly follows a routine. Get up, get dressed, feed the dogs, take them for a walk — all of it happens with mindless mechanical regularity. The first real decision I must make is the choice of a mug for my morning coffee.
Over the years, Kish and I have accumulated an eclectic collection of coffee mugs. We began with a set of unadorned white mugs, the kind you might see at a basic diner in any American city. We’ve added to that baseline through gifts, handouts at seminars or from hotels, hand-me-downs, and purchases at gift shops or college campus stores. We’ve got nice cups and saucers too, mind you, but those are for evening company, not the shot of morning java. Who wants to be fumbling with fancy saucers when you’re still bleary-eyed, moving from room to room as you get ready for work?
We’ve now got mugs of all colors, shapes and sizes. Each has its own feel and context, too . . . making the morning choice a particularly devilish one. I think about my work day ahead and wonder whether this is a day for a big black mug that holds an ocean of joe or for one of the basic, indestructible, well-used white mugs. If I’m feeling adventurous, I might choose the old-fashioned mug with the tiny round finger hole that looks like it might have once served as the mug where a barber mixed shaving cream before lathering up a customer. If it’s a weekend, I might go for one of our dog options — but I’m not going to select a puppy-theme mug if I’ve got a tough deposition on the schedule.