You know, the little round things you are supposed to set your drinks on instead of the furniture. See, I never had to worry about watermarks or stains with my first apartment’s ensemble. You could put beers, hell, you could spill beers, drinks, food, you name it. It wouldn’t hurt the appearance or the functionality of my big cable-spool wooden table. I usually kept the kitchen in my apartment clean, mainly because I did not use it all that much except maybe for beer and dog food.
That was BEFORE a woman moved in.
OUT was my beloved spool table with the obscene carvings.
OUT were my collection of beer mirrors.
IN was a three-part glass table with spindly (French?) legs.
IN was “real” food. Produce. Meat. Even English muffins.
There are the little paper-thin cardboard rounds type of coasters like you see at bars. Then there are more clever coasters; “thirsty” stones, knitted coasters, and there are even refrigerated coasters to help keep your cold ones cold.
Now where I was supposed to hide my bong and stash my beers did not appear to be much of a priority to my new roommate/girlfriend. She was a very nice girl, but she really had a thing about using coasters. I had no problem with it until the first time I had a few friends over. She was following everyone around to ensure Proper Coaster Protocol. Our relationship dynamic soon changed for the worse. I needed a new decorator.
After 33 years of wedded bliss, I fully understand Proper Coaster Protocol. Very simply put, do not even think of setting your glass down anywhere that might cause even the slightest bit of consternation to the Domestic Despot. You can hold it in your hands until your fingers turn blue, but don’t dare get creative. Using a book or a magazine as coasters will not earn you any points either.
You really should use a coaster without being asked, or you run the risk of being thought of as worthless human swine deserving of nothing.
When you think about it, anything that acts as a barrier between your drinking vessel and your table is a coaster. Post-its, business cards, even legal pads as long as there is no incriminating “sweat” left behind from the drink. In a pinch, I even set my Heineken down on a girl’s hair, which was covering a small tabletop. When she abruptly jerked her head, beer flew everywhere. Kinda screwed the whole thing up.
Karen has totally given up on me with using coasters on my desk. It is a big oak desk. Very old school and it weighs a ton. It has never taken less than three beefy fellows to bring it in and set it up in my office. There are numerous stains from many cups of coffee for wake-and-bakes, as well as several burn marks across the desktop. She told me one day “ I don’t care what you do with this old POS desk, since we are not taking it with us when we move to Ohio.”
Since then, I placed TWO coasters on my desk and I treat it like it is made of gold.
It drives her nuts.