Monitor Lust and Mug Envy

I’m in the middle of a mailing for work. I’ve reorganized the database, designed the item being mailed, and set up the file from which I will print labels. Today, we stopped at the local Kinkos and dropped off the flyer, because even though it’s $20 less expensive for me to stand there and run the copies, it’s better for my sanity if they do it.

Our next stop was at Office Max, where I found labels (Buy 2, get one free, yay house brands), and Fuzzy spent fifteen minutes drooling over the LCD monitors. ViewSonic’s 17″ model is down to $299 after rebates and such, and we really need two of them – one to replace the monitor that was lost in our move, and the other for a server we’re planning to set up in the garage.

He was standing there, slack-jawed, staring at the images, and nodding mutely while a salesperson with too little to occupy his time chatted amiably, apparently not noticing the total lack of response.

“Fuzzy, are you having monitor lust?” I asked as I entered the aisle, showing off my yellow-packaged labels. “Or do you need some more alone time with the techy toys before we go.”

He didn’t answer, except to shrug, and the salesperson made a few jokes, then wandered off to actually make money from another customer. “The prices have dropped,” I was told.

I glanced at the tags under each monitor. “The ViewSonic has the nicest color saturation of all of these,” I said. “That one,” and I pointed at some other, somewhat more expensive brand, “looks washed out.”

He nodded, and I smiled, and said, “It’s time to go now, dear.” But by the time I’d paid for the labels and left the store, he’d disappeard again, only to emerge a few minutes later, announcing, “I was looking at the clearance display. There were cd’s.”

But we didn’t buy any.

Later, he escorted me to Starbucks, where I watched a woman in a cowboy hat fondling a pair of mugs. As mugs go, they were kind of nice, really, white, with a red line around the inner rim. Vaguely heart-shaped, they would fit nicely into the curve of your hand, if you’re like me, and wrap your fingers through the handle of a mug, instead of around it. The handle was a decent shape as well – and large enough for three fingers – which is my personal requirement for cafe-ware.

“Those have a nice shape,” I observed aloud, as I waited for the purchase to be completed so that I could place my order.

Cowboy-hat woman grinned at me. “They do,” she said. And she picked one up, wrapping her hand through the handle. “And they’re not too heavy, but they’re solid. And kind of pretty.”

I smiled and nodded.

“They’re also on sale,” she pointed out. “Only $5 each.”

“Tempting,” I said. “But I don’t need any more mugs.”

“I just got rid of all my old broken ones,” she told me. “I do that sometimes. If the glaze gets too badly scratched inside, if I get bored, if my mood changes.”

I grinned, and nodded again. And even though I said nothing else, the two of us had a moment in which we were connected by our mutual appreciation of the Perfect Mug. The mood was broken when the barista handed Cowboy Hat Woman’s caramel frapp across the bar, smiled, and asked me what I wanted.

But I’ve been thinking about those mugs ever since. Not really lusting after them, just thinking. Envy maybe. But not lust.