What do you see? A friendly jumble of coffee mugs, right? Makes you want to reach in and have a cup with me, doesn't it?
I used to have this little quirk. It's not as pronounced as it was before motherhood christened me continuously rushed, but back in the day, I would to try to use each mug in the cupboard equally. What's so weird about that? Nothing, really... if the reason for the rotation is to promote equal wear and tear. In my case though, it was so that it wouldn't seem like I was playing favorites. To whom, you might ask? Why, to the mugs, of course!
While a psychiatrist might label me wacko, I prefer to think this penchant for fair play is due to a highly developed empathetic nature. I mean, what about the poor chipped fellow in the back corner that never gets picked - how do you think he feels?
Yeah... nothing, I know. It's a mug, not a person.
But it got me thinking...
What if we thought of people like coffee mugs? There they are, all crammed together in the cupboard in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes, all sharing a common function. I might prefer one over another (I like being able to fit four fingers through the handle), but that doesn't change the fact that they are all essentially the same thing, with the same purpose. It's not until we start labeling them that their differences emerge.
First let's sort them by color, not that it matters one iota. I have never known a coffee mug to be less of a mug because it wasn't a particular shade. In fact, some of my favorites are wildly colorful. But still, just for the sake of experiment...
There's one problem: They won't all fit now, and some of my favorites aren't even on the shelf. Sure, it looks neat and tidy, and everyone's got space, but coffee break just got a whole lot less interesting. Let's try again...
Maybe if I get rid of all of the irregular ones... they're not easily labeled anyhow, and there is that handle deficiency issue. But they're beautiful, aren't they, and they make me feel all rustic and cozy when I hold them, more real somehow...
What if I got rid of the ones I find inconvenient? The ones that get in my way?
Or the one's that take up too much space?
The ones that preach should go. Who needs their advice?
The frou-frou ones, too. Or better yet, let's just hide them in another cupboard and pretend they don't exist...
...right after we get rid of those that might offend the other mugs.