Good morning all!
My father was a Lutheran School teacher for 35 years. He was my principal, my teacher, and my high school English teacher for 12 of my 13 grade school through high school years. I realized this week that I've inherited one of his weirder habits.
My father is a coffee drinker. Try and mom did to get him to stop in the 70's when coffee was roughly the price of a week's wages. She bought Sanka, because she was on an anti caffeine kick, and she bought Postum because, well, I'm pretty sure she was mad at dad for several years.
Quiet man that he is, he drank those awful brews and made it through his days. But I knew, since I was with him at work EVERY DAY, that he had a coffee maker in his office. More importantly, he had his coffee cup!
My father's coffee cup was a rummage sale find, like most things in my mother's kitchen. It was an odd shape, the handle was the smallest round loop I've ever seen on a mug. It had a wide pedestal base and the upper rim was curled outward. The picture was pure patriotism: An eagle with an American flag in the background.
Dad liked the cup because, being a right handed man, his beef with 99% of all coffee cups was that the picture or writing was always on the wrong side. Go ahead, check it out. If you've got a "one sided" mug, and you're right handed, lift up your cup. Who sees the picture? You or the people you're with? Yep, that was my Dad's beef.
This cup, however, had the picture on the correct side for a right handed person. Dad LOVED this cup. So much so that he NEVER BROUGHT IT HOME. It stayed in his office.
One day, mom went over to school to pick up something and found the cup. To say it was dirty and disgusting is a gross understatement. Dad NEVER washed the cup. He maintained that washing the cup ruined the flavor of the coffee. Mom is a neat freak. Mom washed the life out of the cup and put it back that same day. (Dad must've been at a conference or something.)
I've never seen my father cry, but I'm fairly certain he did that next day when , upon taking his first sip of black brew, instead of layers and layers of aged coffee flavor, he got a strong undertone of Ivory dish soap.
Oh Dad still has that cup. He keeps it at his office. But his office is now far enough away from home that Mom doesn't mess with it. She still tries to make him drink decaf and I swear I saw a jar of Postum in the cabinet the other day.
Meanwhile, I've inherited the lack of hygiene when it comes to my coffee mug. Mine is a well used Partylite mug that I usually forget to rinse out day to day. Today, since it's St. Patrick's Day, I'm determined to raise a cup of piping hot coffee, regardless of what may or may not be growing in the bottom of the cup, and celebrate my father, the bravest coffee drinker I know.
Here's to ya, Dad!