Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I used to drink down vast quantities of water. Remember the story about the girl who took ecstasy and drank so much water that it killed her? That was me, minus the drugs, the glow sticks and death. I drank water constantly, and not just any water: high quality bottled water or water filtered at home with my absolutely fabulous Nikken filter. Buying water when I was out was dicey—Dasani or other cheap brands gave me headaches, tapwater was unthinkable. I never left the house without my 20 oz stainless steel water bottle already filled.

This was not just out of compulsion. If I ran out of water, within a half an hour I’d feel thirsty, and soon after that get tired. When my Nikken filter arrived via UPS, about three years ago, there was some assembly required—it contained many different parts that needed to be flushed out and screwed in place and the task looked daunting, given my general energy level. So I only motivated to do it when I ran out of bottled water. Putting that thing together had to be easier than going the store to buy more water, right?

Only I got thirsty in the process. And more thirsty and then tired, until I stopped reading the instructions in order to take a little rest. When The Poet showed up forty minutes later he found me collapsed on the bed. I asked him to bring me water from the co-op. As soon as I drank a few glasses I perked up and put the filter together. I have loved it ever since, because with it I never run out of water.

Now I am in DC visiting my parents, and I am drinking environmentally sinful bottled water, so it’s easier to keep track of how much I drink. And I have noticed something: I am drinking less. I used to drink one and a half gallons of water a day; now it’s close to half that. Today I put a half liter of Evian in my purse—just a tiny half liter!—and headed out on foot in the 90 degree heat to shop and hang with my niece and brother. When I got home four hours later I’d drank only half the bottle.

What difference does it make? It means fewer trips to the bathroom, and it means I am free of the hulking bottles I’ve been cramming into my shoulder bag. A lady-like half liter is adequate. That makes life much easier.

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