When I was growing up I was fortunate enough to have access to tons of water, milk, and orange juice. However my family also subscribed to a Soda Delivery Service. A Soda Truck would park in our drive way and take away our empty glass soda bottles in exchange for a wooden crate filled with a rainbow of brightly colored bubbly. This was a highlight not only because the soda was sugary goodness incarnate but also because the delivery process was a distinct ritual. Our milk wasn’t delivered, our eggs weren’t delivered, but our soda was, and that made it special and unique.
As I got older I realized that when we were hanging out my friends were always purchasing sodas. Water was never considered to be ‘enough’. When I would request a glass of water in abeyance of any other liquid my friends would roll their eyes and call me cheap. It is true, tap water was complimentary (though I still of course tipped the server), and while I did have my eye on my wallet I was far more concerned with the fact that I was usually thirsty and therefore needed some water first until I was no longer thirsty. For some reason I just never found soda to be a real thirst quencher. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it tasted like nectar of the gods, but it also left me feeling unfulfilled in ways that water did not.
Our sense of ritual, or coming together to celebrate, often prompts us to imbibe liquids that are at tad above an beyond the normal/necessary. Many of us experienced this social habit at a very early age. However, water is the true source of all our lives. Sharing a drink of water with someone could be seen as a connective gesture. After many years I’ve learned to order a bottle of sparkling or still water to help ease the awkwardness I often feel in drinking the truly satisfying liquid that all of us need to live. I’m no longer called cheap (to my face) and am able to both celebrate with my friends and satisfy my thirst in the best possible way.