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Alexandria man pays $355 for coffee mug to honor late wife

Jeffrey Carlson and his late wife, Arni. Carlson recently paid $355 for a coffee mug in her memory. 1 / 2
Twin Cities Live hosts placed this mug for bid on eBay and Jeffrey Carlson of Alexandria purchased it for $355 because it reminded him of his late wife, Arni. 2 / 2

Jeffrey Carlson of Alexandria never imagined he would spend $355 on a coffee mug on eBay – a mug he could purchase for $5 elsewhere. But when it came to honoring his late wife’s memory, the price wasn’t too high.

The particular mug that Carlson purchased came from the television program “Twin Cities Live.” Last week, the program hosts were curious what would happen if they placed the mug up for bids on eBay, with host Elizabeth Ries’ lipstick still on it. The proceeds would go to Spare Key, a program that helps families with sick or injured children.

To their surprise, the bids on the mug just kept climbing. The lucky winner? Carlson, who says he and his wife Arnice, “Arni,” used to always watch “Twin Cities Live” together before she died last August. The day the mug was placed on eBay happened to be Arni’s birthday, so Carlson felt it would be a good way to honor her memory.

“I thought it wasn’t going to go that high, but you kind of get up in the hype,” he said. “So I just kept bidding. I thought, ‘I’ve got to have that mug.’”

If Arni were here, Carlson says she would have told him to quit bidding on such a silly item.

“If you’d have known my wife, she’d probably have been telling me, ‘Now Jeffrey, quit this stuff,’” Carlson said. “She was real direct in her ways and that was her favorite expression, ‘Quit it.’ But I just had to.”

In addition to bidding on the mug, Carlson honored Arni by visiting her gravesite on her birthday.

“I went out and brought roses to the cemetery, and balloons, and I sang Happy Birthday to her,” he said. “It was a very hard day to get through, but I got through with the help of friends.”

Beth Leipholtz

Beth is a reporter at the Echo Press. She graduated from the College of Saint Benedict in May 2015 with a degree in Communication and Hispanic Studies. Journalism has always been her passion, but she also enjoys blogging and graphic design. In her spare time, she's most likely at Crossfit or at home with her boyfriend and three dogs.

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