The Red Cup

Us twentysomethings know all about The Red Cup. This is the plastic cup, red in colour, that is given to us at pre drinks, to save the host from doing the dishes, and saving them to fret about potential broken glasses. It is the same cup that we’ve held onto as we’ve left the pre drink, bringing it along with us as a travellor (after we’ve just topped it off, no doubt). Click through friends ‘night out’ albums on Facebook, and you’re sure to spot the red cup, a staple just like Waldo is in his collection of ‘Where’s Waldo’ books. From Canada to the US to even Israel, the red cup is one we proudly hold. On a morning after walk down the streets, there are red cups on random corners, a sign of last nights night life. The cup is always the same size, and the same colour and the question that begs to be asked is why the red cup?

I went grocery shopping the other day and saw a group of boys taking down the red cups from a shelf and placing a plethora into their grocery cart. I headed over the that part on the shelf that was calling my name, and automatically imagined a soirée of sorts at my beloved abode, friends cheering and laughing as they cling to the red cup. But to my surprise, this shelf held more than just The Red Cup. It housed blue cups, clear plastic cups and Styrofoam cups. So I couldn’t help but wonder, who started the red cup trend and why do we all follow when we have other options at our finger tips?

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Size does Matter – The Red Cup is the perfect sized cup for a drink, with some extra space to prevent spilling. Dixie cups and the Styrofoam cups don’t fair well for pretty dresses that need not be made wet.

Fun can be Had – A ping pong ball fits perfectly in The Red Cup, which essential to those of us who crave a good round of beer pong.

Colour Conscious – The same way most of us tend to go for Heinz ketchup over another brand, or Advil/Tylenol over no name, the red is a staple colour we’ve seen at other parties, so we grab the colour we know out of comfort and familiarity.

The funny thing about The Red Cup, is that we have all – at one point or another – brought it out with us (in a cab ride, as we are walking down the street en route to the bar) yet we all seem to think that no one knows that we are chugging the last lustful drops of our booze from it. With everyone walking around town in the after-dark hours with the same cups, we may as well just be walking around with our bottle of Sauv.

– Jenny Jen


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