Day 019: Bev of the Week – Water

I saw a tweet a couple of weeks ago. I wish I could find a link to it, so I could post it instead of doing a poor job describing it and then being accused of taking credit for it. It said something along the lines of, “If you grew up in the 90’s, do you remember drinking water?” People from all of the other generations would scoff at this question, but for a little slice of the Millennial Pie, it’s a legit one. We are, after all, the Mountain Dew Generation. With the rise of Gatorade, Snapple, Capri Sun, Fruitopia, Sobe and others, kids of the 90’s had hundreds upon hundreds of bev options. And not a single one of them was water.

In my family, water was hardly ever a requirement, let alone a feasible option. But when I’d stay at my cousin’s house, water wasn’t just a reality. It was a way of life. At one point, he lived out in the country and had well water. And under the guise of his stepdad, that was all we could drink. It was cloudy and reeked of rotten eggs. Half the time, I would pretend to not be thirsty just to avoid it. Growing up in the sliver a time before bottled water and Brita Filters, I’m surprised that I wasn’t dehydrated all the time. I probably was.

But even after the water bottle revolution, I don’t remember drinking it. I must have, or else I’d be dead, right? Water to me is just very unmemorable. Through high school and college, my only memories of water was drinking it while hungover or to prevent hangovers. I have no memories of buying a bottle at a gas station or having a gallon in the fridge. I swear I subsisted entirely on coffee and Mountain Dew. My water consumption was unremarkable until I moved to New York. That was where I discovered this brand new bev that’s been around for hundreds of years:

Seltzer water. Wow. How did I live without this? It’s like soda, but without the corn syrup and jitters. A truly magical bev! I became addicted and wondered how I never came across it before. That question was answered on my first vacation back to Michigan. I drove around the entire state looking for seltzer and it just didn’t exist. I talked it up to all of my friends and they had never heard of it. Somehow, the most common bev in New York is a ghost elsewhere. Finally, on my last day in Grand Rapids, I went to a coffee shop and ordered an espresso. Without even asking, he served me a seltzer water.

I’ll never forget that look on my face and the feeling of finally getting my bev. Truly my favorite moment of 2011. Since then, I’ve been drinking water on regularly. I’ve learned that not all beverages need to have a lot of flavor. It’s the throat-feel that matters most. I bought myself a Brita pitcher and when I was broke, I’d drink water, because that shit’s free. Now that I’m older, I realize the benefits of being hydrated and I’m baffled at how long I went without it.

And then I met Rachel, who takes her love of water to the next level. Not only does she drink well over a gallon a day, she actually enjoys it. Like, it gives her pleasure. Multiple times a day, she takes a big swing from her water bottle and moans in ecstasy. She always states, “Fuuuuck! I love water so much!” This sentiment has always confused me, but her justification seems sound. “It’s crisp, refreshing and it always tastes the same”, she argues. As long as you’re always getting it from the same source, yes, I have to agree. But all water brands taste differently and it could take time to find the one that’s right for you. And some bottled water is just awful. If I was dying of thirst, I’d chug a lukewarm sarsaparilla before I reach for a bottle of Dasani.

Water is a lot of things. It’s a source of life and a means of death. But most of all, it’s a bev. Have some. Have as much as you want. I guarantee you won’t remember it tomorrow, but you’ll be thanking yourself today.

– TeeCoZee