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Getting mugged

Sarah Dean

Are you feeling downhearted? Bit fed up? Do you have a general sense of ennui? You probably think the cause of this gloom is a) the recession, b) the weather or c) those Impulse adverts featuring members of The Saturdays (an advertising campaign that reminds you simultaneously how very old you are and how much you stink; if you don't know who The Saturdays are, then it is probably fair to conclude that you are really archaic and probably smell like your Nan).  However I am pleased to tell you the true cause of all that negativity in your life is mug handles. I know this because recently I have been drinking my tea from a ceramic cup with no handle and it has improved my well being by 17.3%.

I'm not drinking from some cracked mug, whose handle fell off. Oh no, this lack of protrusion is by design. Very cool Danish design in fact. Essentially it is a plain ceramic beaker with a silicon sleeve around it. This means it is a triumph of safety as well as design, and looks like it could be used in the canteen on Star Trek (pretty cool, I know). This piece of crockery is so pleasing that it's innate utilitarianism can't help but make you feel happy.

Plus the message my mug sends out to my co-workers is that I am so committed to sustainability and simple living that I don't even need a handle to drink my fair trade rooibos (realistically what they are actually thinking is 'Why is Sarah drinking tea out of a vase? Weirdo').

My radio also makes me happy. It's wooden and retro looking, but with zippy modern digital technology inside. I can listen to all the contemporary stations like Kerrang! and the soon-to-be-retro-because-it-doesn't-exist-anymore-6Music, as well as the World Service without any static hiss (I know! Amazing). However I should point out that my radio also only has one speaker, which means it's mono and what's more, I don't care! I know stereo makes everything sound better (except The Saturdays, who smell like flowers, but sing like harpies), but when it comes to aesthetics, a single mono speaker just looks cooler. When I look at my nice homely old-but-actually-new wooden radio, I feel happy.

I realise that confessing this makes me sound a bit silly and shallow, and I agree. It is ridiculous that having nice looking but slightly impractical things makes me happy. I feel guilty about it. However my friend Elaine recently bought the same handle-less mugs and tweeted: 'Yesterday I went a bit mad and bought some overpriced cups. They are making me happy. Stop judging me! Stop it!'

So I am going to take Elaine's advice and cut myself some slack. I reckon it's better stewardship of my time and energy to stop obsessing about whether I'm shallow. And as for the rest of you judging me, remember what Jesus said about consumerism: 'Let he who is without sin, cast the first iPhone.'