I’m known for a number of things: sarcasm, working hard, a love of reading, neatness, thrift, klutziness, and not being able to maintain possession of a travel mug for longer than 10 days. It’s beyond ridiculous. Despite the uniqueness of the design, a screaming neon color, my name scrawled across the front in permanent magic marker, even a piece of colorful twine tied in a bow hasn’t stopped me from leaving them at other homes, friends’ cars, the gym, classrooms, grocery stores, wherever I might visit. Coffee travel mugs seem to be my psychic way of marking territory, much in the same way that feral cats “spray” urine along their trail. So, I suppose my friends and family should be thankful that I use the former method as opposed to the smellier one.
So, when I found a box of plastic travel mugs priced at $0.99 each at Dollar General here in Harrisonburg, VA, I thought I’d hit gold. Ten new mugs promptly filled my shopping cart and I loaded the car, imagining all the now caffeine-supplied road trips and school mornings I would be able to enjoy with them. Purchasing ten, I hoped to have enough on hand to inevitably lose some while I slowly weaned my way away from my nasty habit.
The first couple of days were bliss. Yes, I did manage to tip and pour some coffee on my khaki raincoat climbing into the car one of those mornings, but that was because I hadn’t closed the lid properly and was attempting to enter the car with a briefcase, a purse, a backpack, and a yoga mat in addition to holding onto one of my new mugs. I attributed that incident to my known klutziness and continued on, my enthusiasm undiminished.
Later, probably that evening, I sat working on a summer workout for the softball team I’m involved with. I had carefully made an exact number of copies of the program I would need, collated and stapled them, and was rereading them to determine what extra information might be needed. As I picked up my main copy, I was horrified to find three or four Olympic-like coffee imprints on it. Having just taken a sip, I stared at the offending mug – now on a cardboard coaster – and watched a single drip of coffee slowly slide down the plastic. “Easily enough fixed,” I thought, and took the entire apparatus to the kitchen to reinstall the top correctly and make it thus spill-proof. It was a debacle. No matter how I tried different, -supposedly – yet identical lids, they all leaked and some more than others. Maybe the coffee is thicker in China, but here, pretty much anything liquid put in the mug is also going to end up somewhere outside of it too.
So, if you’re seeking a leak-proof travel mug, avoid True Living Travel Mug, made in China and sold at dollar stores. You’ll save yourself dry cleaning expenses and aggravation. On the bright side, however, I haven’t managed to lose a single one yet.