The Ugly Orange Mug

by Fred Prout

I hope everyone involved in this story is reading it.
Well, actually, I hope everyone is reading it.

I am looking at what is, arguably, the ugliest mug around. No, I’m not looking in the mirror. I’m looking at a mug of a muddy orange color that does not exist on any color chart. It was bought in a dollar store and would probably qualify for a 50% off sign had we not bought it. It was bought to be put in a cupboard to be retrieved if it was ever needed. Hopefully, never, as it was big and clunky and ugly. Diametrically opposed to the owner, who was small and trim and beautiful.

Things are not always what they seem. They are sometimes what they represent.
This mug represents a caring and thoughtfulness that is seemingly often absent from our society today.

When Rita and I left Timber Valley, we gave away a lot of stuff. I think the mug was just put out of our minds amid the upheaval that was about to occur. Just left in the cupboard for one of the periodic purges that occur. I don’t know when you saw it and realized Rita’s name was on the bottom. I don’t know how long you kept it, waiting for the opportunity to return it.

Back in July, I was invited to participate in Timber Valley’s annual festivities. As I was waiting, Linda Essex brought over a gift bag. “We got you something.”
I replied, “ I should be paying you for the privilege.” When I opened the bag and saw the mug, I cried. It was that ugly.

It is my most treasured possession now. Because this ugly mug overflows with love and thoughtfulness. And memories. And it is wrapped in the auras of people who cared enough to save it for me.

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10 Responses to The Ugly Orange Mug

  1. Sandra Brock says:

    I love reading your stories.

  2. Jackie Jones. Lot #102 says:

    Again Fred I love your story, very touching. Keep writing you are wonderful. Hugs my friend.

  3. Jackie Deal says:

    There are beautiful people in the world. Rita was beautiful, you are beautiful (well your soul anyway!) And the mug is no longer ugly. There are beautiful people in Timber Valley.. and all around. I left my purse in the cart at Bimart
    Someone turned it in. Not a thing missing. I wished I could thank that person but instead I’ll thank all honest, caring, loving people

  4. Eric says:

    I attempted, (vainly it appears), to come up with a response that echoed “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.

    All I ended up with was “Beauty is in the eye of someone who lives in Noordoostpolder”. (Which is, apparently, a municipality in the Netherlands.)

    Upon reflection I should have settled for Bowdlerizer.

    Happy daze Fred – keep ’em coming.

  5. Walter T Quigley says:

    Fred only one mug is uglier, that’s the mug with a mug on it. The mug photo looks like me, yup, you guessed it Roy Orbison. I use it every morning, it reminds me of what I use to do, a Roy Orbison Vocal Tribute for 27 years. I love your writing.

  6. Dar Hoch says:

    Your ugly mug brought tears to my eyes.

  7. Kate Bright says:

    Your ugly mug is a velveteen rabbit. Ugly to everyone else, but beautiful to the only one who matters—you.

  8. Marina J says:

    Fred, I think orange is beautiful, no matter what shade. This is also a gentle and important reminder that beauty is in the eye of the beholder (beer holder?). You have a way with words. Keep up the great storytelling. Hugs from Canada.

  9. Val Carano says:

    You brought me to tears again Fred. So glad you have that Ugly Orange Mug to cherish along with all of your other wonderful memories.
    Love Ya!

  10. Edith Vondall says:

    I really like reading your stories and save them for my daughter to read. I miss you and Rita but we have our memories.

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