Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Our one-year old granddaughter tried drinking water out of a plastic bottle for the first time by wrapping her lips around the opening, throwing her head back like a college student on spring break, and chugging harder then a drunken sailor. Water exploded over her head. Forgetting to un-tip the bottle as she pulled it away from her mouth, water gushed down her chin to cascade like a waterfall over her dress until it soaked her socks.
“Hey, I drink water just like that!”
 It’s always exhilarating when you recognize yourself in the rising generation.
 “I know, and it’s horrible.”  My husband sounded forlorn and a little sad as he stumbled away from our extremely damp granddaughter. Avoiding direct eye contact he seemed less than impressed with my connection to our posterity.
Grabbing a bottle of water that advertised being pumped from the bowels of a fresh water spring located under Mount Olympus and decanted into a plastic bottle designed by a computer, I threw my head back and guzzled, throat convulsing. Water squirted from my nose.
“Linda, do you have to drink water out of a bottle like that?” He grimaced, looking away.
“Like what?”  I swiped the back of my hand across my dripping chin.
“Like you’ll never get another drop of water again for as long as you live—and eternity—like the water bottling industry has just announced that all the water in the world has been teleported to the moon. Seriously, it drives me crazy.”
Tipping the bottle back, I gulped until the sides of the bottle collapsed.
“Like that.  Good grief, woman, take a breath,” he said, clawing at his own throat. “ Why do you throw your head back like that? You drink like you can’t trust gravity to work. Just let the natural elements of the universe help you.”
I let my head drop forward as I gasped for the universal element of oxygen. I had a cramp in my neck.
“I don’t throw my head back.”
 He smirked.  “You throw your head back, wrap your lips around the entire bottle opening, and squeeze the water into your mouth like you’ve just dragged yourself across Death Valley.”  
He picked up a bottle of spring water pumped from the original Fountain of Youth with minerals added for flavor. He prepared to demonstrate.
“Here! Let me show you.”
Then Sherwood Zern, husband, lover, and friend, put his lips daintily to the rim of the bottle, gently flipped his wrist and sipped water while keeping his little finger extended.
I thought he looked like a sissy llama at the watering trough at the zoo, but I had to admit he had a definite flare that I quite possibly—lack.
The problem now is that I’m so self-conscious about the way I drink water from a bottle, I have to hide in the corner at the gym so that all the other sweaty, thirsty water drinkers won’t mock and point. It’s like finding out you can’t dance after a lifetime of dancing in public—a lot—and it makes me wonder what else I can’t do better than a toddler.

Linda (Bottoms All The Way Up) Zern

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