I should be writing over at my poor neglected baby-name blog, but instead I want to talk about Christmas mugs and country music.
My ideal number of Christmas mugs is four: two smaller ones, two larger ones. The number of Christmas mugs I in fact own has been creeping up somewhat past that ideal, and then I added that happy squirrel mug this year, so I donated two others I don’t like as much, and left two more in the Christmas box, and just brought up these four.
The one with little drawings all over it was a happy find. My mom and I saw it years ago at Marshalls, and we both immediately loved it. I don’t remember how much it cost, but I remember it was more than I could justify at the time—like $12.99 for a single mug (it’s a Dunoon, which meant nothing to me at the time but now I know it’s an expensive brand), so my mom bought it as a gift for my sister-in-law. Then I pined for the mug for years. Then I put a search on eBay for it, and one day a search result came up, and I bought it. So now I have one and I am happy, and also happy to be mug-twins with my sister-in-law. If you feel any stirrings of pining in yourself, the mug is called “Little Bits of Christmas.” (If instead you are pining for any of the others, I got them all at HomeGoods: the Potter’s Studio squirrel is from this year, the larger Christmas tree mug is Fringe from last year, and the smaller Christmas tree mug is from a Myott pattern I’ve seen at HomeGoods and Marshalls year after year but haven’t yet seen this year.)
I have slowly turned from someone who likes a few country-crossover songs and owns one Dixie Chicks album into someone who has put a country station on one of her carefully-hoarded pre-sets. So you still would not call me a super fan at this point, and I still prefer Top 40 and pop-alternative stations, but there has been a definite change. My friend Surely said something long ago about how country music has more love songs for grown-ups—I think at the time I was complaining about how every single pop love song seemed to be about clubs and dancing and bodies rather than, like, LOVE. Anyway, here are a few country songs I like, in case you would be interested in sampling them:
If I Had a Boat, by Lyle Lovett. Country crossover: I first heard it on the alternative rock station.
I Could Use a Love Song, by Maren Morris. With country songs more than with pop songs, sometimes I like a song for the lyrics more than for the tune/artist. This one is me feeling moony while listening to my Peter Cetera Pandora station.
’80s Mercedes, by Maren Morris. This one is the opposite: the lyrics do nothing for me, but I like the rest of the song.
Unforgettable, by Thomas Rhett. Another one where I like the song okay but don’t love it; the real reason I’m including this is that it has shown me the bar pick-up that would work on me: “Then I tried to guess your middle name; for 30 minutes bet we played that game.” Yes. That and a gin-and-tonic gets you your best possible shot.
No Such Thing as a Broken Heart, by Old Dominion. I really like this song and also the video is fun to watch.
Sippin’ on Fire, by Florida Georgia Line. The first song I liked by them was the crossover remix they did with Nelly: Cruise (I like the original version too, but I love how much fun they all look like they’re having making the remix).
Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not, by Thompson Square. I appreciate the way they manage to rhyme “not” with “what”: Are you gonna kiss me or not / Are we gonna do this or wat.
Hurricane, by Luke Combs. Sad and I like it.
Every Little Thing, by Carly Pearce. Sad and I like it.
Games, by Luke Bryan. This is the song where I ran out of things to say about the songs, so now I will just list them.