I spent most of the morning cleaning out cabinets and reorganizing things in the kitchen yesterday. I do it periodically, then wonder almost immediately why I bother since most of the rest of the people in my house seem allergic to order.
I went through the glasses first, organizing my vast collection of mason jars. They have their own shelf now, sorted by size and neck width. I have issues. For real.
I moved on to the pantry after that, tossing the few expired and opened things that had worked their way to the deep recesses of the corners. Put all the other items where they belong, knowing full well they won't be there for long.
Last, the cabinet with the plastic drinking cups. The ones that are necessitated by living with this many kids. We have cups in every size and shape. Only a handful of them are ones that we actually bought on purpose. Most are leftovers from birthday parties, the decent cups that someone got with a meal at some restaurant, Slurpee cups from 7-11. We have cups from sporting events from all over the country and cups from BBQ places we've stopped at along the way.
Every time I sort through these cups, I do a little internal dialogue thing where I convince myself that there is nothing wrong with being an adult and having a cabinet full of free cups. I tell myself that other people have these cabinets and that it isn't some condemnation of my frugality to keep using them. This isn't ridiculous. Nice, normal people have holographic Ironman cups instead of matching, civilized drinking vessels. Right?
You totally don't have to answer that question, by the way.
And then there are these.
The most precious free cups in my free cup collection, the Bingo Paradise cups. Not only are they the perfect size for a cup of ice water when it's hot outside and you're thirsty, they are sturdy and well made. They stack nicely, which is important in a house with 7 people. Everything has to stack nicely here, or it isn't welcome anymore.
That's not why I have them or why I love them, though.
I have them and love them because they were my father's.
They were his most cherished cups in his vast free cup collection, ones that he picked up on trips to Laughlin. He could sit in a bingo parlor for hours, sit at a slot machine for even longer. Every time he went, he came home with a stash of these.
We used to pick on him for bringing these home.
Now, I'd glad he had this particular obsession. I'm glad he taught me to appreciate cool free things, to be practical and frugal. I'm glad he stocked up on these cups, the ones that now sit in my cabinet here and in my brother's cabinet in his home. It's a weird little piece of him that we got to hang on to, and one that I'll never ever get rid of.
Neither of us got much else...but we have these Bingo Paradise cups.
These cups go against everything else he was and I am. He was and I am a hater of clutter. He was forever throwing things out, donating things that sat idle for long enough for him to throw it in the trunk and drop it off somewhere. He loathed the collection of stuff for the sake of collection.
But he loved these stupid free cups.
And so do I.
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