If you’re the type of person who reaches into a cabinet and removes one of a dozen identical glass tumblers to fill with ice water, well, this article is not for you. This is a discussion for the rest of us, those whose cabinets are a chaotic assemblage of drinkware of varying sizes that don’t fit neatly into rows: plastic giveaway cups, a “Huge Ass Beer” souvenir vessel from a trip to New Orleans, a pint glass stolen from a dive bar, a weirdly narrow glass that might actually be a vase. Just like coffee mugs or T-shirts, our cups tell the unvarnished story of who we are, and because we’re human, we form attachments to certain cups for absolutely no reason at all. Are you like us? Do you have one special cup you drink water from every day of your life?
When my fiancée, Davida (who I talk about constantly, because she rules), received a Nesquik gift box for Christmas a few years back, I basically hijacked this giant yellow Nesquik cup because I’m a turd. The Nesquik bunny stands proudly on it, smiling, with the logo on the other side. I like the cheerful bunny, because I’m an overgrown child. I favor this cup for multiple reasons: It’s plastic and safe from catastrophic dropping, and it’s big. It’s brightly colored, and if I see it from the corner of my eye, I’m always compelled to drink more water, which is a bonus. Every time I take a sip from it, I feel like I’m hugging my baby blanket. —Dennis Lee, staff writer
My family got weirdly into WWE when I was in high school. I was pretty busy being a 16-year-old Banshee From Hell, so I never joined in the fun—but I’ve since benefited from the merch, which includes two insanely massive plastic souvenir cups. Both cups feature John Cena and The Undertaker in various menacing poses, and they have a smooth plastic rim that makes the water sipping experience extremely pleasant. These drinking vessels aren’t for the faint of heart—they’re two-hand cups that can hold, like, at least 30 ounces of water. You also legally can’t drink out of one without hunching over and muttering a WWE-style “YEAH!” which turns hydration into a bit of a novelty. Again, these things are really big, but there’s something about chugging water from a plastic wide-mouth vessel that makes it a whole lot more fun. —Lillian Stone, staff writer
One summer for reasons I can no longer remember, I decided I would try to learn to like iced tea. (Maybe it was because I was living in Missouri, which is sometimes the South?) So I bought a plastic pitcher at my local Schnucks grocery store and two large opaque plastic glasses, one royal blue and one neon green. The iced tea phase didn’t last and the pitcher has since disappeared, but I still have the glasses and I cherish them. They don’t have an interesting picture or a reminder of any place I’ve been (unlike the Shakespeare’s Pizza cup that I keep in the bathroom), but they are solid and hold lots of water and are, except for the color, interchangeable, so I can keep drinking out of one when the other is in the dishwasher. —Aimee Levitt, associate editor