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Mug Life

Tonx subscribers share the stories behind their mugs.

We already knew our subscribers were smart – you signed up for Tonx, after all – but we were delighted to discover you’re excellent storytellers as well. These little objects don’t just contain coffee, they hold memories of growing up, falling in love, and becoming who we are.

Here are a few of our recent favorite mug stories from our subscribers. And of course, you can tell us your story at the end. Keep ’em coming!

textured yellowVirginia Roberts

When my husband and I were mere lovebirds, we took a trip to the quaint town of Port Townsend. We bought these two mugs – his was orange with raised square texture, mine was yellow with raised dots – for each other, even though they were the same price. Somehow, the gesture of separate transactions was meaningful, you know? (The shop clerk was rolling her eyes.)

We each took our mugs to our respective workplaces. They became our Desk Mugs. My mug garnered jealousy at meetings. Hardcore developers of fancy enterprise software admired my mug in the corporate kitchen. If I ever left it behind, someone would bring it back to me.

My mug became a part of my professional identity. It has come with me to every job since then, earning compliments and holding twice as much coffee as those lame office mugs. It became the personal item of flair I chose to display at every desk I sat at.

Now I work at home and that textured yellow mug is still on my desk every day. I even started decorating my home office with yellow accents to match. My yellow mug reminds me of the love of my life and my professional success. Now the people who compliment my mug are my clients.

Black LabKenji Tasaka

One of my first roommates brought all his coffee paraphernalia with him, including this mug. He got it from his sister, who got it from a thrift store. I immediately fell in love with this beautiful, sturdy mug. The perfectly flared sipping rim was classy. The three dimensional Black Labrador on it was well-crafted and really popped out. The boldly typed “Black Lab” in a classic font on the back always made me think it was for the band of the same name, but I could never confirm that.

I tried to use the mug when he wasn’t there. I’d wash it as soon as I was done, but I think he still knew. When we all parted ways, he knew I loved the mug so much, he let me keep it. To this day, it’s still my favorite mug. Every time I use it, I am reminded of my dear old friends, carefree times, and first roommates.

Cut YouLuke

We were friends and had a running joke that she wasn’t a morning person and that she needed coffee to be even remotely approachable. So I bought her a mug that said “What do we want? COFFEE! When do we want it? I’LL FUCKING CUT YOU.”

I gave it to her for Christmas and we had a good laugh. A few months later, I told her I loved her and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. Now we’re getting married and sharing a Tonx subscription. I get to use the mug most of the time because she’s a Kindergarten teacher.

Pannikin La JollaKenley Neufeld

This mug comes from Pannikin Coffee in La Jolla, California. It was here in 1989 that I met my partner where she worked and I sat and drank gallons of coffee day and night.

These are the best mugs in the world and it has a special place in my heart as this is where my young love began. Twenty-three years later we’re still together, still love coffee, and still have two of these mugs from back in the day.

Waffle HouseAngela Balis

I was in the marching band in high school. After home games, we went to Waffle House, and I always got the same thing: hash browns, sausage, sometimes a blueberry waffle, and a cup of coffee. We would comment on how nice and satisfying the Waffle House mugs were, so one night, on a whim, I asked the waitress if they sold the mugs.

To this day, I’m not sure if they actually sell the mugs, or if she just wanted to make a quick few bucks, but she brought out a clean one from storage and said she’d give it to me for $5. So I handed her a fiver and happily went home that night with a brand new Waffle House mug of my own.

To this day, it’s my favorite mug for its comfortable shape and insulation. People always ask me if I stole it.


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By Derek Powazek

Tonx Editor in Chief

Published Oct. 8, 2013

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