Water Too Dear
On the way to day care this morning my son and I stopped at a bagel shop. I ordered my bagel, then stepped to the cooler to grab a bottle of water. I only saw Dasani bottles, and Dasani is CocaCola. I give Coke enough of my money for soda and wanted to buy another brand if I could, so I looked more closely and found a pale blue liter bottle of an unfamiliar brand. Its dimensions were odd and it was wedged somehow between the wire racks above and below but I twisted and tugged and pulled it free.
At the counter I watched as they rang me up. Sixty-five cents for the bagel. Three dollars for the water.
This was where human awkwardness became an issue. Because after specifically taking the trouble to find, select, extract, and carry over this water rather than a cheaper and easier alternative it seemed to me that it would be an act of the utmost buffoonery to question the price, to waver, or most certainly to back down. And so I forged ahead, three sixty-five, plus tax, plus my change in the tip jar, for a bagel and water. I hope my son is still too young to take any lessons from this.
On the train later I pulled the blue bottle from my bag, resolved to sample this water before even the first sip of my morning coffee. In truth, it is very good water, imported from Belgium (probably by Coke). In truth, I haven't sampled it a second time since dipping into my coffee on the train. I sit at work, many hours later, full blue bottle and empty red coffee mug chastizing me next to my mousepad, and I tell myself "well, it's too valuable to drink."