I really should be preparing my lessons on the Paris Climate Conference tomorrow (“Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!”), but I first have to defend my coffee making skills which were severely maligned by Lyart today. Gone are the days when guests asked me how long I ground “the bean”. In fact, sometimes I brew it so strong that you can hardly make out the bottom of the cup. And speaking of cups, the defamation above served only as an introduction to her love song to a certain coffee mug whose beauty is most definitely in the eye of one single beholder and no more.

Despite the slight, I have to confess that I understand her sentimental attachment to a sturdy old inanimate object of daily use. I have a few of those around my house too. There is a cassette recorder I bought in the early 80s that still works while it’s four or five successors all landed in the trash. In my closet, I have a pair of jeans I wore in high school and could again if I lost a few pounds. We are talking the 1970s here. There is no way a pair of jeans bought today would still be wearable in 2050.

pailMy favorite example though is the garbage can in our kitchen. We bought it cheap when my (not yet) husband and I moved into our first apartment together – so the mid-80s. We brought it with us when we moved to a house in the country, which we eventually bought. In the 90s we briefly considered replacing the garbage can when we redid the kitchen, but it was still in okay shape and functional. In the Oughts, it finally broke, but by then I had gone quite green and was on a mission to minimize the amount of garbage I produced. I got much more satisfaction out of making an old thing useful again than in buying something new to replace it. A little duct tape fixed the garbage can right up. By the 2010s, my husband was also referring to it as “a classic” and I think I heard some fondness in his voice there.

Anyway, Ly, I think you should bring your old cup with you on your next visit. We can introduce it to our can.



3 thoughts on “One-upmanship

  1. Ok, you got me. Fair enough, 🙂 Scotty wouldn’t win any design awards, but it serves its funktion and at least I like the daft thing. So Scotty and I will like this post, too, as we are good humoured folks.
    But your bin is something else. One would be hard pressed to find a litter box fitting that cupboard under the sink so perfectly, that it is really hard to get anything in at all. Apart from a used hanky, that is. I do recall certain incidents of used coffee filters getting stuck, all the grain everywhere. Especially, when it is rather filled up, and the lid can’t swing freely.
    Actually, it is the greenest thing I know. It makes you think twice, before you decide to put anything inside. Or else, I still can’t master the right technique…


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