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Help! I Keep Spilling My Coffee!

May 11, 2011

Am I the only one who has this problem? Spilling my coffee on a regular basis simply adds insult to injury when it comes to my tenuous sense of control over life. I fear I’m not aging gracefully, let alone abundantly!

I used to consider myself a person of style and sophistication. Not that I believed it, but I worked hard pretending I was so. This illusion began at an early age when an old boyfriend told me in a moment of inspiration that I had “class”.  At nineteen or twenty I thought it was the absolute best compliment anyone could have given me. Poise, character, respectability. (I read all sorts of things into that one word!) I so wanted to own those characteristics, holding them close to my heart for years refusing even to consider that he superb choice of hyperbole was merely an attempt to get a little action. He likely had no such thought. But I took the compliment and ran! As you can see I’m still clinging to the fantasy.

I digress. Spilling coffee has become an affliction! It may have something to do with the fact that I drink coffee, or rather carry coffee around with me, all day, re-heating and sipping, re-heating and sipping.  How much I actually

drink is a mystery, even to me. I dilute it with fat-free half-and-half as the day goes on to kill the bitterness that old coffee develops.

Since I’ve been working at home, our off-white carpet has developed a new look…lovely caramel colored spots in random locations, matched by random splashes of matching color on the walls, particularly going up the stairs to my office.  It would totally suit the whimsy of any modern art lover.  Frankly, I am mystified as to how I manage to add to our decor without even being aware of doing so.

The other day I was browsing at TJ Maxx and picked up a new coffee mug. I needed a lift and the price was right. I’m not only addicted to coffee, I’m also addicted to pretty little mugs, particularly the bone china variety. Prone to chipping and breaking just as I’m getting attached to them,  I stock up on the least expensive ones I can find. I have mood mugs…certain-time-of-day-mugs…mugs that I use only when drinking tea…soup mugs…and I-will-never-use-that-mug mugs.

The one I purchased was a wide mouth mug. Big mistake! They are in the Goodwill box as we speak. My current favorite is a small, delicate bone china cup with a very even, steady pattern of tiny dark pink roses. It’s perfect size for my morning coffee and stays by my side until after lunch. Then it goes in the dishwasher and I move on to my afternoon mug, something solid and substantial, like the royal blue pottery mug I purchased while visiting the famed North Carolina pottery town of Seagrove. (What won’t I think about to avoid thinking about anything important!)

All of the beautiful mugs in the world do not keep the coffee in the cup. They do not prevent me from unconsciously setting a newly filled cup on the edge of a book and subsequently launching them into mid-air spewing their contents onto everything in sight, including my new Oprah magazine — which I still will not confess to buying…even to myself.

It seems I am less than aware of what I’m doing lately. I drop my makeup in the toilet almost daily. It irritates me to my toes. I get so tired of reaching my hand into the ice cold (I tell myself clean) water. I remind myself again that I could have put the lid down or, better yet, paid attention to what I was doing!

My deep fear is that I am getting “mad cow disease” to quote my beloved Denny Crane, who sadly will no longer be entering my living room on Monday nights. (Why don’t the networks let us have our good, decent dramas?) My brain is befuddled…just like Denny’s…and I’m denying it about as much as he did. If only a pill or a computer program was available to help me figure out where I’ve run amuck….

It would be so lovely to keep my coffee in the cup, my makeup in my hand and to age with class!

Excerpt from “Caring for Mom” 

SPEAKING OF COFFEE:  Do you have a Keurig Coffee Maker? I recently signed up to give one a try. I’m went in as a total skeptic and have come away a raving fan. More on this later, but in the meantime, if you have one here’s a discount coupon you’ll love!

Here is a new special offer for Aging Abundantly readers:  15% off the entire store and free standard shipping (within the U.S. with no minimum order) at, valid through February 29th.  Use this code: AM0016-3574

Stay tuned for more “Your Perfect Cup” posts!



8 Comments leave one →
  1. vicki permalink
    May 12, 2011 2:57 am

    lol!!! maybe you can persuade yourself that you looooove those traveling mugs with the lids… great read, dorothy!

  2. Willow permalink
    May 12, 2011 4:17 am

    I read once, a long time ago, that when we do things such as this, repeatedly dropping and spilling things, that it’s because we aren’t fully invested in the moment, and these acts are to remind us to do just that.

    I laughed – more of a pleased giggle – at your comment about class. I was often told while growing up that I carried myself class, even as a young child. I’m often a slob now, not caring if I wear the same thing 2 or even 3 days in a row (I’m home, and thus see little reason for changing every day), but I still want to be known for having class, perhaps because its something not so obvious in our world anymore, especially in this day and age of reality TV shows and just about anything goes.

    This blog reminded me of my mom as she drank coffee all day long, too… most people I’ve known don’t. I delighted in your ‘mug’ story and can relate, although not with mugs… my mom was more utilitarian with hers (used the same mug all day long, day in and day out), but her love of coffee (and cigarettes) was anything but utilitarian. I don’t drink it, at all, and have physically recoiled from the taste, but oh how I loved being woken up to the smell of hers brewing in the early early morn.

    • May 12, 2011 3:25 pm

      You are absolutely right Willow, I am anything but “in the moment” these days. Writing takes me into myself and I am often disconnected with things right in front of me. Perhaps I’m experiencing the absent minded professor phenomenon :). I have to make a concerted effort to focus on the now and it does help.

      I had not thought about how the concept of “class” might just be a thing of the past. I can’t even think of a young person who exhibits the kind of demeanor that I envisioned as classy at their age. The young seem to admire qualities I don’t even understand. I don’t put any effort into my attire anymore either because I can’t afford to and most days I work at home. I’m about comfort. But when I do go places I am bothered by what appears to be an indifference to appearance. Our generation “invented” jeans but they’ve been taken a bit too far!

      Fortunately I quit smoking years ago, but coffee remains with me! 🙂 They certainly have been known to go hand in hand. Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I enjoyed hearing about our similarities! D

  3. May 15, 2011 11:16 pm

    I laughed out loud at your story. I guess I do much the same thing but with tea.
    Laughing and poking fun at ones self is so important. Most of the time we take ourselves way too seriously. Life is full of surprises, curves and filled with the unexpected that if we don’t laugh a little life can be oh so tough and hard to enjoy.

  4. May 28, 2011 6:36 pm

    The covered mug “sounds like a great deal”, but unfortunately for people like me, even though I think the cover is on tight – it isn’t. My mind apparently travels somewhere else during the moment of tightening the thing. Besides going through two keyboards (I mostly drink coffee at my desk) I’ve also managed to spill on my new couch. Happily (for me) it already is tan colored and (drum roll please) made of material that doesn’t stain. Yes! The perfect material for clumsies like myself. Lately I also have taken to tripping over the edge of an area rug, the edge of a table and other assorted things, including my own two feet! Yes, I’ve spoken to my doctor about my problem and have had various tests run but it boils down to one thing – I’m clumsy – didn’t used to be this bad…and the beat goes on and on and on.

    • May 28, 2011 8:12 pm

      Ah! a kindred spirit! So happy you left a comment. I feel less alone now! We’ll just trip our way to old age! LOL


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