The mystery of the missing coffee cups

Marsha and I discovered that a growing number of our coffee mugs are missing. Regular readers of my literary contributions are keenly aware that when things go missing at our house, they aren’t missing at all. Although the results are the same, there’s a difference between when’s something is missing and when we don’t know where they are.

But this is more than the usual. I used to have to stack and cram the mugs onto the shelf to get them all to fit. Not anymore. I noticed this for the first time this morning and between sniffles, snorts and sneezes of this death-grip cold I’ve got, I asked my wife about it and she actually agreed with me, that yes, they are missing.

At last count I saw nine. It’s sort of like counting cats, they do tend to roam about the house. I spotted one in the big dining room, two in the bedroom, another in the bathroom and even a few in the kitchen where you’d think they’d all belong.

And you’d think 9 mugs would be plenty for one couple but that’s really not the point now is it. We have two or three favorites and the rest of ’em are drab and no fun. I mean, it’s fun to have a mug collection. Favorite ones rekindle fond memories, serve as instant conversation pieces for company and provide a warm sense of comfort to a sip of a good hot brew. So losing them is a loss. I know because some of the kids don’t let us near their favorites. “Oh, could you please not use that one, because that’s one we got when we we doing this thing or visiting that place. Here, you can use this one.” Then you look it over to see if there’s anything wrong with it — right after mental and visual check to see if there’s anything wrong with you.

I’ve been with Marsha 13 years and some of these mugs predate me. I don’t know ’em, don’t know where they came from and because there’s no memories attached, I don’t like using them. They’re not even the ones we offer you when you visit but we are down to using those and the coffee experience just isn’t the same. Mornings spent without your favorite mug are just sort of bleah. Mornings aren’t as bright, spouses aren’t as cheerful, grandchildren aren’t as grand. Even the family dog prefers to stay outside — I mean, if that’s the way we’re going to be.

So the search is on. Our home is our castle but instead of a moat, we have patios, five of them encircle the place, and I already checked. Our mugs aren’t there either. Or in the garage, or the truck or the car.

Marsha has had this set of round plates since forever. Their numbers have been dwindling, too, but it’s taken years for that and I blame natural causes, such as clumsiness or death by a thousand dishwashing cycles. She’s down to 5 plates, 3 cereal/soup bowls and one coffee cup, and yet 10 medium-size salad plates have survived intact.

We haven’t really had company aside from family since Covid, and so some things, like the potato peeler, a few of the more necessary measuring spoons and the can opener all seem to have found their way to oblivion.

It may seem like we’ve just let everything kind of go to seed, but that’s not so. And speaking of seed, I planted a winter lawn back in October and three months later I still haven’t had to mow the yard. Last year the lawn grew faster than my beard, which grows pretty fast, and we only had one orange on our poor old orange tree. This year, the lawn won’t grow but we have more than 100 oranges. Before I retired I totaled 15 years’ experience in landscape but trying to explain these developments sure beats me.

But that still doesn’t help with the mugs, although it does add to the mystery. Remember about my telling you how our house hums? See? See! It’s not just us.

My best guess is that they must be with our wine glasses because we can’t find, I mean, they’ve been disappearing, too.


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