As those of you who know me in any sort of teeny-tiny capacity at all have surely heard about in lengthy, furious, excruciating detail, I have a co-worker that I don’t like. (What an unusual and notable trait, Jessica!) He’s a republican. (I brought an “I’m with Her” sticker to work one day and put it up on the wall behind my desk. He retaliated by bringing in a “Let’s Make America Great Again” sticker. My boss made him take it down. She didn’t make me take mine down. He threatened to tell HR that it was discriminatory. He was laughing a little bit when he said it, but I’m 96% sure that he wasn’t joking. I took mine down, too, just in case.) I found a cute gift for him at Housing Works a couple days ago! Two matching mugs: one republican-y, one democrat-y, so that we could both have one at our desks!
But then I remembered that I don’t like him, so I’m not going to give it to him. Yay new mug to force upon guests! (This is not the first time this has happened. I also own a vintage book of Reagan postcards that I really should give to him because it would be funny and nice except then I always remember that I DON’T LIKE HIM.)
Anyway, these mugs are weird! (Is the point of this whole fucking story.) The list of republicans and democrats that were chosen for these mugs is…confusing. It includes presidents and vice-presidents, and also first ladies, and, like, activists, and speakers of the house, and senators, and attorneys general. (I have no idea how many of those were supposed to be capitalized. Are you even supposed to capitalize “democrat” and “republican?” Look, IT’S TOO LATE THERE’S NO GOING BACK NOW.) They span weird timelines. It’s mostly pretty modern, but…then sometimes not. How were these people chosen? Is there some through-line here that I’m just not catching? Were they all…I don’t know…Boy Scouts or Friends of the Topeka Public Library or something specific that these mugs are commemorating?
The full list on the republican mug is:
George W Bush
And on the democrat mug is:
Franklin D Roosevelt
John F Kennedy
(And am I right in feeling like they were maybe kind of TRYING to get some women and POCs on there, with Hillary and Eleanor and Jesse Jackson? Then again…they sure didn’t try very hard on the Republican end there, did they? I guess these might be old enough that Palin wasn’t an option yet. But…I dunno…Nancy Reagan? Um…okay, I genuinely am having a hard time thinking of a female or black republican they might have used. I dunno. Clarence Thomas? Ann Coulter? Margaret Thatcher!)
(Okay, I don’t know what’s the deal with all these parentheticals, but here’s another one about the guy I don’t like at work: So he was listening to one of the republican debates on his computer at work, and I half-overheard Carly Fiorina quoting Margaret Thatcher. I laughed and said: “Ha! She’s quoting Margaret Thatcher!” Because that’s the kind of quick-witted quip I come up with sometimes. And the guy said: “Yeah, see!” And I was all, “Eh?” And he went on to proudly point out that Fiorina totally must be one of those cool feminists like I’m always going on about, because of how she’s quoting other noted feminists such as Margaret Thatcher.)
Well, I used a special researching tool called “the internet” and I found the company that makes these mugs! The republican/democrat mugs are still for sale, though the people on them have been updated: Paul Ryan is on the republican one these days! The descriptions for the two mugs are:
From past presidents to current Senators, turn your morning coffee into a Grand Old Party with this ceramic mug. Featuring you favorite right-wing heros like Nixon, Palin, Christie, and of course Reagan!
Have your moring coffee with Clinton, Roosevelt, Kennedy, and more. From past presidents to current Surpeme Court judges, this ceramic mug is a tribute to all your favorite left-wing heros!
Sooo…I guess the through-line is just “right-wing/left wing heros?” (Also, that’s not how you spell “heroes,” is it?) (Also, I’m just noticing now that that’s definitely not how you spell “supreme” or “morning.” Huh.)
They also have a few other versions with specific people on them. For instance, Hillary’s and Bill’s portraits have both been slightly updated for their current individual mugs. Bill is a little skinnier and wrinklier these days, and Hillary is much much happier-looking. Seems right.
Her 2016 presidential campaign is in full swing! Start off your day with this Hillary Clinton coffee mug – relevant today, a relic tomorrow!
“A relic tomorrow?” I can’t tell if I’m a little offended by that or not. Though at least it’s better than poor Bernie got:
Ooof, that question mark. Brutal, man. The description on his is:
This perfect little sauce dish makes a great gift. Dip sushi in soy sauce, bread in olive oil – the possibilities are endless!
First of all…I mean, not THAT endless. But also, why does he get the sauce dish, when everybody else gets mugs? Is that another subtle little insult?
And I’m still not fully comfortable with how the list of people on the republican/democrat mugs were chosen! Who gets to make that decision? Who wields such power??? And what if you use the Bernie Sanders sauce dish to dip carrots in salad dressing? Croissants in honey? Strawberries in chocolate sauce? Ugh, SOCIALISTS.