There are some things a married couple should not share.

For instance, you should not share a toothbrush. It’s just gross. A loofah sponge is equally wrong. Recently I discovered yet another item that has now gone on this list: travel mugs.

After years of trying to share a thermal beverage go-cup with my beloved Carpenter, I broke down and bought my own.

Born out of necessity (and perhaps self-indulgence), my new coffee mug was chosen with careful guidelines, including affordability, environmental and health safety, the ability to fit perfectly in my car’s cup receptacle, plus a personal aesthetic flair for looking absolutely fabulous. In other words, it had to be pretty enough that the Carpenter would not want to share it.

So I chose a copper metallic colour, a sleek beverage vessel with a decorative black rubber mid-riff and a sippy lid that screws on with ease. The lid has a nifty red button that allows one to adjust when to drink the beverage inside the cup and when to secure it tightly to avoid spills. It makes a quiet pop sound when you choose either option.

I am so in love with this jewel of a mug, I named it Veronica. It looks like a Veronica. That would be the whole self-indulgent part.

Now here is the necessity angle. The Carpenter has a collection of travel mugs in a variety of shapes and sizes, with a special spot in our kitchen cabinet to store them.

That was due to a collective agreement that we would cut back on our retail coffee purchases by making hot, fresh coffee at home.

A penny saved is a penny earned, so I’ve heard.

Well, you tell that to a construction worker. That drive-thru routine is harder to crack than, well, a crack habit. Oh sure, the Carpenter uses his travel mugs, but gone are the days when the home coffee was brewed at 4:30am and there was enough left over to greet me when I woke up at 6am to pack lunches.

Nowadays, I have to brew my own coffee and when I need a go-cup there are none to be found.

I know where they go, those mysterious disappearing travel mugs.

They hide in the bowels of the Carpenter’s pick-up truck, rolling around under the seats until they are finally wedged between tools and rolls of project drawings.

They might not be found again until summer, if ever. Those thermal mugs that escape the truck find their way to the garage, a worse fate by far because they cannot be found in the stacks of stuff that make search and rescue useless.

I don’t dare go looking for them. They have science experiments under their lids, requiring an intense chemical rinse or a recycle bin, or as the Carpenter would say, “It just needs a good scraping. It’s still good.”

I rest my case. Veronica was a necessity. She’s all mine.

But I saw the Carpenter eyeing my Veronica. Once he even pushed her button. He picked her up, gave her a squeeze, checked out her bottom and then put her down on the kitchen counter.

Veronica was too girly for him. It worked. Told you so.


Kelly Waterhouse