When one of my best friends in high school had her Sweet 16, she gave us candy-filled mugs as party favors. The mug said, “Jess’s Sweet Sixteen, May 5 2006.”
With this mug began a collection, and a life-philosophy.
There are people in this world who are utilitarian. Everything they own must be minimalist. Less form, more use. The more uniform those owned items are, the better.
I think that I am a memor-ian. Everything I own must have a memory attached to it, the more the better. Why would I buy a set of 12 uniform mugs if I can have 12 different ones, each with a strong memory attached to it?
Or maybe I’m just a hoarder.
One of the best mugs in my collection I received at my induction into the Spanish Honors Society. This mug was a big deal. For three years I’d seen students being inducted, receiving these bright yellow mugs with the Spanish crest on it. I wanted one. I yearned for my induction, and was petrified that they would choose my year to discontinue mug distribution.
Another milestone was the emergence of the Starbucks city/country mugs. They cater both to my global-oriented personality, as well as my addiction to coffee and the Starbucks franchise. For almost four years now I’ve wanted to buy one of the “Boston” mugs—I will purchase one before I leave. I did buy the “London” version when I visited that city, and it has been my mug of choice when at home in Jersey.
Of course, there is also my Tea Time/Howard Thurman Center mug – the mug I keep in the place where I spend most of my time. It is red on the inside and black on the outside, with “Boston University” proudly displayed right above the label bearing my name. It has been my friend for almost two years now. The label with my name, used to distinguish it from the other mugs kept at the Center, will remain long after its purpose has been served – for no other reason than sentimentality.
Do you know how incredible it feels to get to pick what memory you want to drink out of in the morning?
Sleek, modern, utilitarian—it all looks great in magazines. But it isn’t how I want to live. The more superfluous items I can get rid of, the better—but only to make room for items which remind me of the people and places I love.