Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Things that make you go "Ugh" .....

A few years ago, I purchased some new drinkware from Pier 1.  The glasses were really nice -- solid, heavy, and with indentations to make them easy to hold.  I really, really liked them.  Until I dropped one, and then another one fell over in the sink and cracked.  With only two full-sized glasses left, I decided it was time to buy some new ones.

Pier 1 has since relocated and is farther away from where I live, so I opted to go to a big box retailer instead. I found some glasses that looked decent and were relatively inexpensive, so I bought the set and brought them home.

Once out of the box, they weren't as nice as I'd thought, but it wasn't worth a trip to take them back, so I ran them through the dishwasher and stored them in the cupboard.  Since then, I've used the large tumblers several times, but the smaller ones have sat undisturbed on the shelf.  

Until recently.

When I wanted just a little to drink one night, I grabbed one of the small tumblers. I filled it, lifted it to my lips, and had an immediate reaction of "Ugh!".  Though that may seem an unusual reaction to a drinking glass, I knew right away where the feeling came from.  The glass in my hand was almost exactly the same size and shape as those used by my uncle's wife for her nightly martini(s).

Back in the day, gas stations used to give away free promotional items to encourage customers to patronize their businesses. One year, the local Shell station gave away NFL-themed drinking glasses, like this, and several of them were in regular use in my uncle's house:

My U.S. History teacher gave a student extra credit for bringing him a Jets glass!

I've not hidden my dislike for my uncle's wife (as she never hid hers for me), but there were things about her that were always especially irritating to me, and one of them was her drinking.  My grandparents were not drinkers (except for the beer my grandfather drank, literally, once or twice a year), so my "Wonder Years" were spent in an alcohol-free household. I'm certain that I picked up some negative feelings towards drinking from my grandparents, as they certainly were judgmental in many ways.  I am as well -- so be it.

But I hated the smell of alcohol -- then and now -- and never took up drinking myself.  This is actually a good thing, because more than once I've felt that, if I allowed myself to do so, I could lose myself in a bottle and possibly not be able to find my way out again.

Regardless, I vividly remember the stops at the liquor store on the way home from grocery shopping. While I waited in the car, my uncle's wife would dash in and exit with a brown bag filled with clinking bottles. The liquor store trips became more and more frequent as I got older, and I have no doubt there was a correlation between my age (and attitude) and her drinking.  I'm sure I sneered at her at the time (since there wasn't anything she could possibly do that would NOT result in a sneer), but I knew enough to keep my sneer well-hidden from her.

By the time I was in high school, cleaning up after dinner became my responsibility.  Honestly, I didn't mind doing it -- especially once a dishwasher had been installed -- but I can distinctly remember the feeling of revulsion each time I had to pick up an empty martini glass and load it in the dishwasher.  It was that feeling that flooded through me when I first used one of my new glasses.

Whether these NFL glasses were the exact ones that she drank from or not, I can't say for sure -- but the ones she used WERE this size and shape.  And I was more than a bit surprised to have what was essentially a flashback just by handling a piece of glassware.

The mind remembers, much as we'd like to forget.

I absolutely don't want these glasses in my home, so will be donating them to the local Goodwill for someone else to use.  I'll then head back to Pier 1 with hopes of finding the same nice glasses I had before. Rest assured that I'll be more careful with them this time!