Friday, June 22, 2012

The triumph of the inanimate object

This morning I had trouble finding my favourite cup, a green flute with dark spots.  I enjoy its colour, its design and size.  The perfect size for my morning cup of tea.  My husband hates this cup.  He reckons it is inherently unstable because its base is narrower than its lip.  It can topple too easily in his view. 

            My husband has threatened to throw the cup away before and when I could not at first find it this morning I asked him if he had.  He was insulted that I should accuse him of such a thing, not that my question had reached the stage of accusation but perhaps it was implied.
            I found the cup eventually where I had left it the night before, having taken an unusually late cup of tea in my study.
            It is not unusual  for me to take a fancy to a particular cup, and when at home, to insist that this cup is the only one from which I will drink.  The cup does not get into the dishwasher. I cannot part with it for long enough between washes. I rinse it out between drinks and put it out onto the dish rack to dry, which is another reason why my husband hates my green spotted cup.  It is always in view.  When not in use the cup sits on the dish rack and from time threatens to topple, especially when my husband tries to get access to the sink. 
            He needs the sink clear to wash the spinach and the potatoes.  He needs the sink dry when he leaves his future bread in a bowl, yeast and flour together, eager to rise above warm water.  He needs the sink to wash his hands. 
            The cup all but winks at him in triumph.  Here I am, your wife’s green spotted cup and you cannot get rid of me even if you want to. 
            If only I were like my husband, and drank my tea out of the sturdy cups he prefers, the ones shaped at the base much as they are shaped at the top.  We have several such cups that fit this description.  Then I might not need a favourite cup.  I could settle for one of many and form no strict attachment to any. 
            My cups once used can visit the dish washer.  They need not be left out to dry on the dish rack. They need not gloat over their preferred status and leave my husband in a sore and sorry state of mind, as if his wife were unfaithful.  And she need not worry that her husband might seek to destroy his rival, her beloved cup.

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