I'm not exactly sure how many coffee mugs the average family of five (minus the two older ones who grew up and moved out) should have sitting around in their kitchen cabinets waiting to be used, but I think 67 is a tad bit excessive, don't you?
Fortunately, my family doesn't rest on being average, and that's why we have a whopping 108 coffee mugs, not counting the Christmas mugs packed away with the Christmas decorations, or the possible two or three unwashed ones lying under each bed -- long-lost mugs that will remain long and thoroughly lost because we have no other place to put them if someone other than me actually found them.
Yes, 108 of the little java darlings for five people (now three), and I wouldn't have believed it myself, but I counted each and every one that I could see and imagine, and now I'm embarrassed to admit our over-indulgence, but since I've already started the confession, I guess I can't stop now.
How did we come to have so many ceramic albatrosses hanging around our kitchen's neck? Well, I can tell you it wasn't MY fault. I only started drinking coffee a few years ago, and by the time my addiction was fully inflamed, we already had enough mugs to fill at least three kitchens; plain mugs, funny mugs, tall ones, short ones, fat and happy ones, some that had significant meaning, some from garage sales, and some that just showed up at the door begging to be let in, and how could we refuse?
You get mugs for birthday presents, Christmas presents, souvenirs, gag gifts; you borrow them from the office and forget to return them; they sneak into your car when you go visit relatives; you buy them on the spur of the moment when you're waiting to check out at the grocery store; and sometimes you order really nice ones online for a low, low price of $9.95 a month for the rest of your life.
They accumulate in front of your very eyes, even if you have no idea what the word "accumulate" means.
And if you think in this day and age that there is some sort of rule or regulation that helps us maintain an optimal people-to-mug ratio for healthy living, you'd be sadly mistaken. We can own as many mugs as we want, and if the house collapses under their weight and gets sucked into a churning black hole of dark roast with a bit of cream and no sugar please, then "oh well."
So, based upon a few sound mathematical principles that I just made up, I propose the following rule or regulation that should be used as a standard rule of thumb forthwith: A family that owns a 1,500-square-foot home should only be allowed to keep 10 standard-sized coffee mugs. For a family of five, that comes to two mugs per person; one mug to drink from, the other one to sit in the sink waiting to be washed. As the older children grow and move out, the remaining family members can scuffle over who gets which part of the leftover coffee mugs, possibly resulting in black eyes and bloody noses, but that would not be under the purview of the aforesaid rule or regulation or rule of thumb.
Families who owned over the optimal amount of mugs (say 108) would be required to give away, throw away, or bury in the backyard all surplus mugs, or face a hefty fine, the amount of which would be determined by those elected to The Office of Hefty Fines.
Of course the other option would be to purchase a home according to the number of coffee mugs owned. In my case, that would mean moving into a 16,200 square-foot mansion with a live-in maid paid solely to wash all the dishes and a gardener to mow the yard.
I'd be okay with that.
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