This weekend I was drinking coffee from one of my most cherished coffee mugs and realized that I had probably better capture the miracle of the mug's existence before it's destroyed. You see, this coffee mug is 21 years old, and has survived several moves, existing in a house with a toddler, and my own general klutziness. It's amazing that it's lasted this long.
Why is this mug so special? Aside from its ever-rising appreciation factor as it ages, it's a prized possession for two important reasons:
1.) It's from Space Camp
2.) It is personalized with my name on it.
My brother Jack went to Space Camp in approximately 1992 and 1993 (we are spoiled brats, in case you haven't figured that out by now.) I think somewhere we still have videos of him doing things like being bounced around in a big bouncy robot thingie while wearing a helmet which I'm sure totally simulates space 100%. Fun fact: he even attended Space Camp the same time Chelsea Clinton did (he reported that he heard she was not very nice, which we accepted as truth back then although now I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt that perhaps a bunch of 12-year-old dorks at Space Camp are not reliable witnesses.) I had no desire to attend Space Camp myself (I find space scary) but was touched that my brother saw this mug and safely transported it back from Alabama to Chicago for me.
If it were just a Space Camp mug, that would be pretty good, but I don't know if you are aware how hard it is to find anything personalized with the name "Claire" on it, not to mention spelled my way. Go to any gift shop and I guarantee you you'll have an easy time finding an Emma or Cooper or Aiden but see how many Claires you find. The other day I managed to find a "Claire" miniature Illinois license plate keychain at the Museum of Science and Industry Gift Shop and almost bought several (for myself and any other Claires I come across) but I remembered that I'm 35 years old. And I already have a mug with my name on it. If it ever breaks, then I'll get the keychain.
I've never explicitly told my husband not to use it, but when I was marveling at the mug's lifespan the other day, he told me that he's always been too afraid to drink from it. In fact, when his mother was visiting over Thanksgiving, I saw her using it but decided not to say anything (that's not very hospitable. "That's my Space Camp mug! Get your own!") but Steve took her aside (I swear I didn't say anything to him about this) and advised her to use a different mug. Which I guess led her to asking "Is this one okay?" each time she drank some coffee but that's between my husband and his mom.