Thursday, June 28, 2012

This Open Letter to Coasters

Dear Coasters,

I know that a lot of people take you for granted. Not me. I know you're there and I know what you're doing. You are a stylish yet functional part of my table or desk, always there to make sure a ring never appears on any flat surface. You are the foundation of my beverage experience, as vital as a straw or cup-holder. I just wanted to make sure you knew that.

Why do you think I go to all this effort to have nice coasters around the house? I don't just want a cheap, paper coaster that disintegrates after a few uses. I need a coaster than can go the distance, one that I will give to my relatives in a will. True, these relatives will think I hate them, but no, anyone who inherits my coasters will be the people I loved the most. The people who get my collection of unused sticky notes are the ones I hate.

(Oh, don't worry about who gets my money. I plan to take it with me, but that's the subject of another open letter later on.)

The thing I love the most about you, my dear coasters, is that you always give. You are a flat surface that invites a cold, perspiring beverage. You aren't afraid to be permanently marked with a ring, because for you that's a ring of pride. It means you are serving your purpose and fulfilling your destiny. No one screams "Don't put a ring on my coaster!" No, everyone knows that you are never meant to remain pristine.

I admire your dedication to your calling. Right now, as I look at you, I am imagining all the drinks I plan to set upon you. Many of them will be ice cold, and in need of your expert touch. Some of them will be hot, and your very presence will keep the heat from seeping into the surface below. And sometimes I just want to drink something room temperature, and even though I don't need to, I'll use you anyway. You never judge me for my choice, and I appreciate that.

Some may replace you with cozies that fit over cans or bottles, but not me. Sure, I've experimented with the idea, and they'll do in a pinch when I have no other option. But when it's my choice to make, it's a coaster every time.The coaster is a sign of civilization, and as the coaster goes, so do we.

So thank you, noble coasters, for always being there for us. Now if you'll excuse me, it's hot outside, and I'm about to pour a nice, cool glass of iced tea.

Warmly and Cooly Yours,

Charles B. French

More Open Letters

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