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Tex Commando

I'm not angry, just outspoken

I have had this mug since October 1993. I bought it while I was in the Army at language school. There was a military instructor there who was a jerk. He didn’t know spanish, and I did. He did’t like that the other students in class would ask me questions and not him. I might have behaved like a know-it-all 18 year old. Those details are somewhat fuzzy. But I do remember vividly that he told me that I had an attitude problem. See, in the military, one of the worst things they can say about you is that you have an attitude problem. As if that alone sets you up to do all the ‘bad’ things in the military like, get fat, fail the PT test, fail training, and get a courts martial.

So, I did what any self-respecting PFC would do. I bought a mug to embrace my attitude problem. From that day on, that mug sat on my desk facing the instructor. I’d drink my steaming hot coffee from the mug ever so slowly whenever he’d come into our class. I was a little shit back then.

Now, when I pour my coffee into that well-used mug, I look at the marks in the mug and I think about all I that has happened over the past 17 years. There are rings and marks in the mug like the rings in the trunk of an old tree. I like to think that each one represents events in my life that have helped shape who I am today. There are some silly little marks that represent the stupid men I have been with. There’s the big one where I found out I was pregnant with my first child, a little more than a year after I got the  mug. Right next to it is the mark that was made when I made the best decision of my whole life and chose my husband instead of the loser who impregnated me. I have tears, friendships, births, successes, failures, losses, happiness, hardships, mistakes, regret, and more written down in that mug. It’s almost half of a lifetime’s worth of experiences and knowledge. And even though some of it’s not pretty, I wouldn’t erase those marks even if I could.

It’s who I am. And I heart it!


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