Created: 13 October 2022
I noticed a nice mug
Last week, I bought a mug from a coffee shop in Prague.
I was walking to the bathroom when the glassy blue gaze inside the mug caught my eye.
I backtracked to pick up the mug. It was surpisingly light. I liked the contrast between its interior and exterior textures. It was also a nice size: big enough to hold about ~7 oz of coffee.
"Nice." I thought to myself and proceeded on to the bathroom.
I continued thinking about the mug
I returned to the conversation in the courtyard with the colleagues I had arrived to the shop with, still thinking about the mug.
“Should I actually buy it? I already have a mug I use for coffee...I want to get Sara something from Prague. Tho, I think when she sees this blue mug she's going to think I bought it for me not her."
This is a common experience for me when considering "intuitive" purchases: something will catch my eye, I'll notice it, and interrogate the instinct long enough to either talk myself out of buying the thing or tire or the interrogation and buy it.
I bought the mug
There is a whole lot wrapped up in the above; however, this time, I decided to resist this reflex and buy the mug.
To put this in some context, the mug cost $20.
In the moments after returning to the table having purchased the mug while still not at ease with doing so, I thought: "What happens when I think about the mug simply as a vessel for the memory of this moment with my colleagues and how moved I felt by the courtyard we were sitting in?"
Trying this prompt out seemed to work!
It interrupted the recursive “This mug isn’t really for Sara, it’s not going to be meaningful to her as a gift. I don’t need a new mug. Should I return it?“ loop in my mind and turned it into thoughts that were generative, they had velocity...
“Might this mug come to represent this courtyard and the ease and settledness I felt while there? Might it remind me of scrappyness of the architecture? Might it remind me of the joy I felt watching other people enjoying each others' company? Might it remind me of experiencing fall in Prague for the first time? Might it remind me of taking a risk by listening to and acting on an inclination to do something without yet having the language to articulate “why” I would?”
I've been using the mug for my morning coffee for about a week now and I'm enjoying it.
Sometimes when I take a sip from it, I think about Super Tramp Coffee's beautiful courtyard.
I haven't felt any regret about buying the mug either. I bought it for myself and everything seems to be okay :)