I Measure in Cups

While loading the dishwasher I ran out of room on the top shelf, now overflowing with mugs. I lifted some out to examine them: an old freebie from work with a United Way logo on it, a hand-me-down from Mom with a huge chip on the side, and a thrift store find in a hideous shade of green with words painted on the side that reminded me to love Jesus. Not that it matters, but I bought that one for the size, not the words.

The mugs disgruntled me. Not because I don’t appreciate the goals of the United Way, or Jesus for that matter, but because not one of them was special, just screwball stragglers from the hard-to-reach side of the cupboard.

Several years ago, during the height of Mom’s disease, unwashed beer glasses filled my counters. You know, the slender ones that won’t fit in the dishwasher because they’re too damn tall. They stood like hangover trophies next to the sink, taunting me with my bad decisions until I washed them for the next round.

After Mom died in 2012, wine replaced beer. Most nights of the week, I‘d have two drinks or more. Stemless glasses shared a small amount of the top dishwasher shelf with sippy cups and my other coffee mugs, the grey Gordon Ramsey ones that came in the set – a gift from my husband.

I like wine. Love it, even: it’s the friend that comforts me on a cold night and eases the stress after a long day of chasing children and folding other people’s underwear and the therapy that numbs the burn of grief lingering from losing Mom.

I’ve said more than once that I am never drinking again. I fooled myself and made promises about staying away from those bright red blends that I wasn’t ready to follow through on.

So what? We all make mistakes.

I haven’t given up. I’m mapping out the person inside part by part, good decision by good decision.

For the last year, I’ve been drinking less and less alcohol. Each week I have to remind myself drinking wine isn’t my friend or my therapy. Sipping hot chamomile tea with a drop of lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey can comfort and ease me in a similar way. It won’t take away my grief, but that’s something I need to work through on my sober days.

I collected my misfit mugs in a grocery bag to donate and wrangled my child from her Elsa dress in her playroom to her car seat outside.

After unloading my band of unwanted oddballs at Goodwill, I hopped over to the new Hearth and Hand section at Target, which I’ve been drooling over since before Christmas. I’ve dreamt about Chip and Joanna Gaines renovating a fixer-upper for me, complete with a shiplap kitchen backsplash. Adding their coffee cups to my cupboard would be a distant but decent second.

I paced in front of the Hearth and Hand display, in complete awe of the details on the cream-colored stoneware, the sturdiness of the clay, the simplistic design. I grabbed one from the collection and Mom’s voice reminded me, pinch your pennies, Danielle. Hard times come fast, so save where you can. “But splurging can be fun and rewarding,” I said. Those mugs wouldn’t ever go on sale, and I could find cheaper ones on clearance, but they molded to my hand like they belonged there.

I bought four.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

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Fabric of the Past

So,  this morning I cleaned out my tank top drawer,  mostly because I just couldn’t fit one more piece of fabric in there,  but also because I tend to hoard clothes that I know I’m never going to wear again.   I always think to myself,  “maybe, just maybe it will come back in style. ” 

But it never, ever does.

So every once in a while I force myself to go through and part with things.  Out with the old and in with the new,  I guess. Well, this morning I found some real treasures in there, let me tell you.   A couple that really made me cringe and say,  “what in the WORLD was I thinking?!”

For starters there was the hot pink leopard halter tank top made of lycra and who-knows-what-else.  Can you say, “hello Club Bijoux,  circa 2002?”  What was I thinking?  I’m really not sure why I hung on to that ugly thing so long,  but today I finally let it go. (Thank goodness!)

Then there was the too-short, too-tight lace-up flowered hippy shirt from The Shed that left zero room for a bra OR your imagination.   I don’t think I ever wore that one,  but what was I thinking when I bought it?   And why did I keep it for so long?  I must’ve bought it in my short “I want to be a free spirit” stage. 

But we all know that I’m too uptight to be a free spirit.  Or go bra-less, for that matter.

The last tank I found wasn’t just one, but a plethora of faded, holey, stained ribbed tanks of various colors and shapes.   I don’t think I ever have thrown one away.   I always think,  “oh it’ll make a good under shirt,” or “I can still sleep in it.”  Some of them were literally nothing more than a rag.  Seriously. 

Well,  today I bagged them up (most anyway) and dropped them off at Goodwill along with the club shirt, the hippy shirt and other various things that have no business being in my chest of drawers anymore.

I feel rejuvenated and proud of myself for letting things go.   I feel lighter because I don’t have to see those things anymore.  And maybe, just maybe,  I feel a little like I need to go shopping…