Liquid comfort blankets


I’m trying to decide whether or not the ever-present bottle of water is a new thing or not.  It seems that Western society is suddenly unable to function unless everyone totes a small plastic bottle of water, whether shop-bought or from the tap, literally everywhere they go.  Clasped in our hands in the street, at work, at the theatre, at church, at the gym and anywhere else you care to mention.  We don’t necessarily use the contents very often, but the bottle can not be too far away before we begin to panic.  You may be late for Cousin Doreen’s wedding, but if you forgot your bottle of water, you still need to stop off at the petrol station to get a new one.

I am certainly not immune and have noticed with alarm my extreme attachment to my silly little bottle at rehearsals.  In performances, I can obviously only drink when off-stage and manage perfectly well with no ill effects, but in rehearsals, I sneak sips of water in the middle of numbers if the sopranos are warbling away on their own for a few bars and practically inhale the stuff after particularly taxing numbers.  A few hours at rehearsal, even if we’re just singing, will see me get through at least 500ml of water.  Of course, hydration is a good thing, but this strange psychological dependence can become compulsive and sometimes inappropriate.  Surely it must increase the number of visits we all make to the little boys’ and girls’ room each day?  And isn’t it just a little distracting when your neighbours insist on using their liquid comfort blanket at the most ridiculous times?  In the midst of silent contemplation at church, or a quiet solo at the theatre, for instance.

Have we all gone mad?  Is there something in the water?  Or is this all perfectly normal?  I’m not sure, but my throat suddenly feels very dry…

  1. It’s a meme. I’ve noticed this in seminars too. If everyone else is doing it, it’s hard, oh so hard, not to join the madness. Not that humans like to be reminded that we’re a pack animal and pack animals socialise and get along by following each-other’s lead. All the extra sipping should be fairly healthy at least.

    (I’d be the woman at the back witha bucket of coffee by her side, trying to knit surreptitiously. Because ‘defiant’ is my middle name. Along with ‘just a little smug’)

    • Aria
    • September 28th, 2006

    I think the rehearsal habit is different than just regular people’s habit – it makes a lot more sense…

    but then I HATE water, but after years of forcing myself to drink lots of water before voice competitions and such, I don’t think I could handle going to one without the water… even just the opening and closing of the top of the bottle turns into an obsessive habit at that point…

    so performance/rehearsal/any other voice related obsessive water bottle behavior I think is normal, but all the outdoor education majors whom carry around Nalgenes constantly – I find that odd – they don’t seem to have as much need for it…

    (but obviously this is a case of my declaring that people like me are normal, and others aren’t – so obviously the real point here is that everyone’s own water bottle obsession seems FAIRLY normal to them, even if we are acknowledging that it is a bit hard…)

    • Aria
    • September 28th, 2006

    a bit odd… (why I managed to type “hard” instead of “odd” I don’t know – maybe that admitting our own strangeness is hard? I don’t know – blame my allergy eyes this morning – I woke up with them crusted together or so they felt…

  2. In Australia you do need a bottle of water because it’s so stupidly hot even now when it’s supposed to be “Spring” (let’s pretend Australia has seasons). But it’s funny you should mention water bottles being comfort blankets. I had a nice pink one but the lid cracked and I haven’t got round to replacing it. I have felt so disorganised and useless because of this. Today I went into a panic before I went to the park because I didn’t have a water bottle. Then I thought: “Hang on. I’ve got a whopping great flask of tea. How much liquid do I need to consume during 2 hours out of the house?” So I didn’t take one. I had a drink from the water fountain because in Australia there are water fountains everywhere. But I still had moments of: “Oh no! I’m so disorganised!” because I didn’t have my own water bottle. I didn’t really analyse how weird that was until now.

  3. I also have the seemingly [word-memory lapse, sorry] oh, yes, obligatory bottle of water at my side (at least when I’m at my desk) but I don’t often actually drink any, except when I have been eating something particularly salty (like the sandwiches I just ate) or talking a lot. However, I have it because my doctor and my mum and grandma and everyone else all say I should drink more [water] and I think ‘well, at least it looks like I’m drinking more.’

    An insight into Lilian’s deceitful and self-deceiving mind!

  4. I also have the seemingly [word-memory lapse, sorry] oh, yes, obligatory bottle of water at my side (at least when I’m at my desk) but I don’t often actually drink any, except when I have been eating something particularly salty (like the sandwiches I just ate) or talking a lot. However, I have it because my doctor and my mum and grandma and everyone else all say I should drink more [water] and I think ‘well, at least it looks like I’m drinking more.’

    An insight into Lilian’s deceitful and self-deceiving mind!Or, just a ramble.

  5. Damn-it you are right. They are comfort blankies – little blue portable nipples.

    Ikkkk.

    Still, that thought gives me something to snigger at every time I seen one now.

    Sorry.

    BAD person.

    AB

  6. What a charming image… And so many insights into so many people’s minds!

    David

  7. Oops didn’t realise I had posted my bit twice! Sorry!

  8. You have now got me started on one of the things that annoys me the most at the moment – the amount of extra stuff we carry about with us. Water bottles, mobile phones, i-pods, those memory ‘pens’ people keep computer work saved on, laptops, etc. All of which people feel the need to fiddle with at regular intervals. People now have so much stuff that they have to have bags to carry it around with them so now everyone has to have a rucksack, or one of those bags where the strap is diagonal across the chest. And don’t even get me started on those ‘man bags’ that are becoming popular. Whatever happened to the time when all one carried around was a wallet and a handkerchief?

  1. February 12th, 2010

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