Water bottles everywhere

Water water everywhere. We take it with us wherever we go.  First it was water bottles.  And sports drinks.  Then coffee cups.  Now all of these show up at any time. 

I’m a bit amused at all of us acting like we’ll perish from dehydration if we don’t have a water bottle to hold onto.  

I’m pretty sure that if we all worked out vigorously at the gym (who are we kidding about how often that happens?) we could drink enough water there to satisfy our thirst and make it home. 

We could probably get from home to work without liquid reinforcement. Maybe even to the grocery store. Or to pick up the kids.

A few years back, I noticed something odd in church on a Sunday in L.A. in a celebrity-strewn pew.  Several famous people who famously arrived at church in play clothes - one of the attractions of our particular congregation - brought their water bottles right inside.  At first they just held onto them, like a security blanket or some kind of talisman. 

Within a few weeks, more bottles appeared and people opened them and swilled. It was disconcerting. Picture this:

The pastor says,

“Let’s sing hymn number 47,”

and before we can turn to “How Great Thou Art,” bottle caps have to be put back on, bottles placed on the pews, while the pianist plays the introduction.

A guest singer steps up to the microphone and the congregation takes a swig. Heck we didn’t even get a chance to address whether or not we should be applauding the soloists (a big back-and-forth discussion in a congregation of performers) before the issue switched to whether liquid refreshments belong inside the sanctuary. 

Then, sure enough,  coffee cups showed up - the paper kind with the hot-holding band around.   It was a good half hour into worship before those cups were drained and put on the floor.  I saw members of the volunteer cleanup committee chasing them down the aisle later, since once emptied, they tended to roll toward the altar.

Oh yeah, I’ve got my water bottle in the car now. It’s one of the new ones that doesn’t leach harmful stuff.  I’m still congratulating myself for not buying the 24-bottle pack of disposable (except evidently not quickly biodegradable) kind.

My water bottle isn’t a necessity, so is it more of an accessory?  It may miss the mark, since a bottle attached to a hand is not as aesthetically pleasing as, say, a good pair of shoes. 

What does our water-carrying habit reveal about us?  That we’re the thirstiest people in the world?  That we are the fittest, most athletic people around?  Or that today we are super-embracing our need to be nurtured?  

I don’t have an answer. I’m just saying.

Ó Anita Garner 2009

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