A rough cup’s object lesson

I reported to Heidi this morning my accomplishment of sanding a cup’s handle smooth, and she immediately recognized it as an object lesson. Then I did, too.

I have two entire cupboards full of cups and mugs, but somehow, until last night, my travel tumbler has been my only 16-ounce cup. It does a great job of keeping my coffee hot, but it keeps it literally blistering hot for about 20 minutes. Hence, it doesn’t make the most efficient quick-breakfast companion.

My husband and I took a drive last night, just to get out–we’d been reading all afternoon–and enjoy the sight of the lights on the river. Since we ended up near Wal-Mart, we decided to go in and maunder around and check out their price for Starbucks coffee ($7.28 for a 12 oz bag, limited selection of varieties, only a couple in whole bean; empty bag redeemable for a Tall brewed coffee.)

Then there was a purple sweater that looked too great with Esmeralda the (orange, between papaya and persimmon) Purse to pass up, especially as there was actually a rare extra-small on the rack.

Soon we meandered over to housewares on a quest for a 16-oz mug. The closest thing to my aspiration was a footed glass café mug, its label identifying three likeable features: made in USA, a capacity of precisely 15.25 ounces (close enough), and a heartbreak-proof price of $2.25. Besides, I liked the mug.

Energized from the outing, I immediately poured water from a 16-ounce measuring cup into my new glass café mug on arriving home. Filled to just below the rim, the mug holds 14 ounces. I wondered whether Starbucks would consider it a Tall or a Grande, but it didn’t really matter; my intent was to use the mug at home.

So, this morning I enjoyed 16 ounces of Caffe Verona in my glass café mug with my breakfast. It wasn’t too technical to take a couple of sips from the 14-ounce mug and add more hot water. The trouble was, the seam of the handle of the molded mug was fairly sharp, and actually hurt a bit to hold. My husband had smoothed a handle on a smaller glass cup for me, using fine sandpaper and ultimately a Dremel tool. I asked him for some sandpaper of the same graininess to sand my new cup’s handle myself. He brought me four progressive grades of sandpaper.

It didn’t take me very long to sand down the sharp seam of the outside and underside of the handle, and buff it smooth. I went back over it a couple of times, going through the four sheets of sandpaper in order from roughest to finest.

I attained a smoother handle that no longer hurts my fingers. But in sanding the sharp edge, I left scuff marks. The handle looks frosted, and I also marred the back of the mug behind where the handle attaches as I buffed the handle’s underside.

It seemed that to make a change that would render the cup more comfortable for me to use, I had to leave scuff marks that make the cup look as though it has endured more use than it actually has. To become useful and acceptable, the cup had to be buffeted—and the scars of its transformation will show for its entire useful and acceptable life. It will always bear the evidence of the sharp, prickly state in which it came into existence as a cup.

And so I proffer the chronicle of my doctored and bruised cup as an object lesson on sin and sanctification, even as I wish all my readers a happy and insightful new year.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “A rough cup’s object lesson

  1. Heidi

    That is a wonderful object lesson, L. Thank you.

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  2. The Curse of the Purse
    Going hunting for a new 16 oz coffee receptacle can lead one into all sorts of hot coffee. This commenter cannot cast aspersions on the distraction quotient of that hallowed store whose name sounds like a builder’s yard but is actually a department store of some repute.
    Distractions are as much a part of life as Starbucks but thankfully, when imbibing coffee at the aforementioned emporium, one is not forced into a spending frenzy.
    Clearly, the rows of neatly coiffeured pastries and multilayered concoctions that purport to be sandwiches could, if one’s guard was relaxed for a second, lead to serious distraction. The obvious solution would be to keep Esmeralda firmly anchored within an inside pocket out of sight and reach.
    The Jury is still out on the inexplicable inability of a 15.3 oz mug to restrain that exact amount of liquid. Perhaps it’s something to do with the fact that labels do, frequently, get misplaced. There is definitely a case for some considerable compensation from the store especially since no less than four grades of sandpaper were used in the fine tuning of said mug.
    Wonderful final post of the year Lauren! May the Joys of a New Year and improved health be bestowed on all at Eel Creek (and in Alaska)

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    • Happy New Year, Robin! If a “new normal” describes this season of your life, may it be at the fine end of the grit spectrum.

      I hope your time with Manhattan relations was renewing–or as the SBUX motif this year goes, “rekindling.”

      I did receive a response from a joyful SBUX customer service person, who was “delighted” I contacted them. If you bring a 14-oz mug, your drink will be charged as a Grande (16 oz US)and not a Tall (12 oz US). Which explains why they sell pretty 14 oz mugs (but not to me). I only drink in-establishment when we have free-drink bags to redeem. I prefer to buy their beans from Amazon and Wal-Mart and make my own. How else would I get any hurling in?

      Cheers!

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