Non Sequitur Fridays

What to Do with 237 Teacups

This post is part of our Non Sequitur Fridays series, which will feature a different Wistian's take on a non-Wistia-related topic each week. It's like our "employee of the month" but less "of the month"-y. Laura Powell does operations at Wistia. Her last Non Sequitur was about the truths that she lives by.

"You have to write about the teacups," Meryl told me on Wednesday. I was petitioning (again) for a post on how to commit the perfect murder. I was diplomatically refused. When I signed up for this Friday back in December, I believed I would surely come up with a Pulitzer Prize winning idea before this week. I haven't. Instead, I have teacups.


Two weeks ago, I re-inherited 237 teacups. A dutiful daughter, I was helping my mother clear out her storage unit, sorting through paperwork and pictures and a lot of crystal chandeliers. She had been slowly chipping away at the remnants of our life over the past few months, trashing, donating, selling, rarely keeping what she swore once to be so important it necessitated space alongside other people's seasonal decorations and fishing gear.

I was excited about this purging, the anticipation of leaving an empty concrete box where we once held these dusty, damp boxes in possession limbo was a high for me. And my mother, in her strange way, was clapping like a child as we dragged out the last boxes from the cavern.

"You're taking the cups though, right?" between sips of the day’s fourth venti green iced tea. She pointed to two giant plastic bins, closed with tape, buckled on the sides from the weight of ten years of tax papers and high school banquet booklets. (Cue the year's first out-of-body experience). "What the hell?" is really all there was left to say as we dove our arms into the boxes, filled with packing paper and fished for solid objects. Teacups.

I collected teacups for the better part of my childhood. Of course, as much collecting as a minor can with no independent transportation or income. I remember picking out a few demitasse cups when I was 6 or 7 at an antique store along the highway where the owner had a cat named Walter.

But 237 seems more than excessive for an entity I never played with and that had to make all twelve moves with my family. No, 237 teacups can only be the result of some bizarre osmosis that occurs in storage units after a threshold of time.

There are less now, since I sorted them into two piles in her already small living room—"ugly" and "maybe worth keeping." The uglies went to Goodwill, although my husband suggested leaving them on the side of the road ("Someone will definitely find them! Do you know how many people pull over for boxes on the side of the road?" No, I don't.).

The hundred some "maybe worth keeping"s are now in my house. Re-wrapped in their packing paper, tucked in a bin. And here is the problem, I have no idea what to do with them.


Beth suggested making candles.

At least three people have suggested an Alice in Wonderland party.

My brother in law had five suggestions, the best of which was hanging them from the ceiling at different heights to create a wind chime. I hate wind chimes.

The wise internet suggested mosaics and bird feeders, pots and jewelry holders.

My therapist suggested giving a few to friends as gifts. She’s nice like that.

I wanted to break a few just for kicks. Meryl and Trevor indulged me, though they were a tad horrified at the suggestion.

Some brave soul on Etsy is making them into bracelets—the wearables of 2015.

My mother, of course, wants me to hold on to them, to save them for my offspring to "enjoy." Doubtful.

And my husband still wants them to leave them on the side of the road.

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