Water Bottles

We have a huge supply of water bottles in our house. Unfortunately, our supply of water bottles I actually like is limited. Most of them have at least one fatal flaw.

  • 1 – I don’t like to suck that spout.
  • 2 – Was entirely perfect until the top broke.
  • 3 – Also a sucky spout, plus a straw, which I do not like, no thank you.
  • 4 – Pretty, but too large and unwieldy
  • 5 – Spout and straw again.
  • 6 – Too small.

My current favorite water bottle is this Camelbak bottle, which has a spout instead of a straw. It has been my favorite for about a year, ever since I realized that my previous favorite (#2 above) would always get a broken top and disappoint me. Shortly after I realized that I had a new favorite water bottle, I noticed something else: I wasn’t the only one who liked it. In fact, I had two of these water bottles and I had two daughters, and when school started, I noticed that every time I needed a water bottle, the girls had already left for school, and each of them had taken one of my two favorite water bottles. Dammit.

So when my birthday came around, I acquired two more of these water bottles. One for each member of the family, which was excessive, because Cute W rarely totes around a water bottle, and in fact is not nearly as enthusiastic about hydration as the rest of us are. So, we should have had plenty, right? NO. Because in an astonishingly short amount of time, two of the good water bottles vanished. As if there were only space in my universe for two good water bottles, and now, with the re-supply, the others had to disappear and go wherever socks go when they flee the dryer. It was maddening. And no, they were ne’er to be found again.

Recently these favorite-but-not-particularly-cheap water bottles were on sale at Target, and I acquired two more of them. Sure enough, they appeared to be sucked into a vortex almost immediately.

It does not help that each of my daughters has four separate backpacks or bags that she uses regularly. I know that this sounds like they are super-spoiled, but at least one of them has been around since late elementary school and another was part of a sports uniform “kit” that we were required to buy, not to mention Christmas gift requests. For each of them they have a bag for school A days, one for school B days, one for track stuff, and one for club sports stuff. So even if a bottle is just left in a backpack, it could be hiding in eight possible places, and let me tell you: I do not want to go digging through those smelly sports backpacks casually. The girls are in charge of their own stuff, which means that they tolerate smells that I would prefer not to encounter unless absolutely necessary.

So one day I got a little cranky and I demanded that the girls hunt down the good water bottles. And then I declared one of them mine. And only mine. And I marked it accordingly.

It’s labeled with “Mom’s” as well as with my full name and my initials and also the girls’ names printed and then crossed out with a big ol’ “Nope” next to them.

There are also notes to bystanders, like, “This bottle is only to be used by peri-menopausal women” and “Attention: if you see this in the hands of a teen-aged girl, please slap it out of those hands immediately.”

As soon as I marked the water bottle up, M grabbed it, filled it, and took a swig, because she has inherited a strong streak of smart-assery from her father. But since then, my labeling initiative really has been quite effective. In fact, last weekend, when J ran out of water in the middle of a volleyball tournament game, I tried to swap water bottles with her, something we do very often at tournaments, but she said, “NO! No, I can’t take that one.”

So if you run into me and I see all dewy and hydrated, now you know why.

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