The other day Sheri dropped my favorite coffee cup. The cup was empty, because I had finished my coffee. Still, I gasped. History was crashing to the floor. The cup had belonged to my grandparents, a prize they received for donating money to the Polish National Home in Hartford, Connecticut on the occasion of its 60th anniversary in 1990. It was a deep cup, solid and steady, with a smooth lip. It had a few scratches, but I’m a sentimental sort who likes drinking out of a cup from which his grandfather sipped.
Sheri dropped the cup and it made an awful sound against the floor tiles, but it didn’t break.
The next morning when I filled it, a puddle appeared around its base, seeping from a hairline crack. “Sheri,” I said, “I need a new favorite cup.”
So Sheri came home with one. It’s white with colorful polka dots.
“It’s happy,” she said.
“I like an old cup,” I said, pulling one from the cabinet. I picked one we’d bought at Powell’s Book Store in Oregon, a cup that’s coffee stained and scratched, a chip in the handle. “I like a cup that’s been around, that has character. I like a cup that tells stories.”
Sheri said, “I like a fresh cup. A clean one. One that’s new.”
Then we ate breakfast, neither of us realizing that we had also been talking about the reasons we married.