Mar 27th, 2009

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photo by: Avi Eisen

photo by: Avi Eisen

I have a serious coffee habit, and, as a consequence, a favorite mug is a serious matter for me. It becomes my companion for the workday, sitting alongside my cell phone, my water bottle, and my day planner, the objects which form the court in service of my reigning laptop. I refill early, and refill often. My mug gives me a reason to walk around a little. It needs frequent attention.

I have two favorite mugs at the moment: One, not really mine, is a fancy-shmancy black faux marble-with-gold-inlay number sent to my husband by Yeshiva University (he does some pro-bono legal work for them, in addition to representing them in Israel), clearly in pre-Madoff days. It comes with a coaster, which I never use, but which was certainly a classy touch.

I, not he, am a graduate of said university (SCW ’93) and yet, it is fitting that the YU merchandise in our cupboard is not properly mine. Like the rest of my religiously affiliated identity these days, I find it lovely and useful and appropriate for our home, but prefer to borrow it from my husband.

The other mug is homely by comparison: A souvenir from the trip my parents took with my teenage son to Italy. It shows a drawing of the Fontana di Trevi and, in the cheesy way of travelabilia, proclaims ‘I HEART Roma’ on the other side. To me this mug says: Your kid got there before you did, sucker.

It says: You have wanderlust, and yet you sit in your chair and sublimate your dreams into pretty words. It says: Get out of suburbia, girl. The thought percolates, like the coffee, grows hot and bitter, and scalds my palate. (Ach, such a drama queen. Really, I’m just a little antsy. Again, the coffee.)

Truly, though, Italy has been a dream of mine ever since I read Beach Music back in ’97. We almost went for David’s 30th; for my 30th; after he came back from Lebanon ; for our 15th anniversary.

But every time we almost scrape together the money, something breaks, or something (or someone) more pressing comes up. It’s a hop, skip and jump from Israel, and I could sure use the head-clearing. And yet…life is beautiful, but sure is pricey.

We’ve resolved to get there, come hell (to Rome) or high water (to Venice) before I turn 40.

Even if I have to mug someone to do it.

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