Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The $300 Water Bottle

I am nothing if not determined. And patient. And thorough.

Y'all would die laughing if you knew how I spend my time on some days. I can spend a week looking for a song I heard. Once, I spent a week looking for a friend of mine from childhood, Tori Condorodis. (Tori, if you are reading this, I have been looking for your ass for years, girl! YEARS!) I have stubbornly hunted down lyrics, book titles, SNL skits, the cheapest airline tickets, historical facts, urban legends, etymology tidbits, untold unusual items on eBay, the perfect paint color for my bathroom and recipes for coconut cheesecake. And then there's the whole genealogy thing I've been on for the past few months. That's an entirely different story!

It's only made worse by the fact that I'm a professional librarian, because not only do I know where to go and how to search for something, I am also trained to be resourceful and think of other ways to find whatever it is I'm looking for when I hit a stumbling block.

And today, I have hit a big one. So I am taking a break from my searching before I scream and pull out my hair so that I may vent here.

A little back story for you. Right when we first started dating, I mentioned to CN how much I disliked most re-usable water bottles on the market. I don't like the ones with the straws, because the straws are too difficult to clean, and sometimes they fall off the lid, which causes you to stop what you're doing, unscrew the lid and stick the straw back in. I hate the ones you squeeze, because I somehow either end up choking on the water or spilling it everywhere. I don't like the ones where you have to unscrew a top to get to the water. And all the other ones I've tried are poorly made, and break too easily. Or they are too tall to fit into the dishwasher. I just got a new one, and it is horrid -- it leaks EVERYWHERE. I have been on a quest for a great water bottle for years, people. YEARS. On the top shelf of my kitchen cupboard resides a graveyard of discarded water bottles that didn't make the cut.

One day a few weeks later, CN came over and told me he had gotten me something. This is one of my favorite things he says, so he had my undivided attention. From behind his back, he pulled out a large, green water bottle.




High quality plastic, a beautiful green color, large enough to hold enough water for a long workout, a little plastic ring to make it easy to carry...and the best part of all: a GENIUS lid. All you do is push this little button, and the top flips up to reveal an ergonomical spout from which to drink your water -- no squeezy thing, no straws. When closed, the lid protects the spout and the water from germs, dirt and debris. Which was a feature I hadn't even thought of, but instantly loved.

"And it's dishwasher safe," CN explained proudly.

I may have fallen in love with him right at that moment.

Do you see where this is going? Yeah. About a month or so ago, I lost it. I cannot find it anywhere, not even in my car, which is where my lost things usually end up. The last time I remember having it, I was finishing up a workout with my trainer. Despite my repeated pleadings with the gym staff to search in the lost and found "just one more time, please", it has not turned up. The gym staff thinks I am a psycho, because I come up to the desk once a week, frantically searching for a stupid $5 water bottle, but I don't care. I am lost without it. I regret that I never truly appreciated the water bottle until I lost it. It was always my favorite, mostly because CN gave it to me, but now I appreciate it for its impeccable design.

My first instinct was to ask my trainer if he'd picked it up for me. No dice. (He also looked at me like I was a little crazy.) Since then, I have scanned the gym every time I am there, looking for the bastard who ganked my bottle. I know what happened. I left it sitting on a bench while I dug for my keys, and then I just left it there when I walked out. Someone with a good eye for a perfect water bottle came along and decided to just keep it. Which is really stealing, in essence. A responsible person, like yours truly, returns things to the front desk. (I found a watch once, and a wallet -- I promptly turned them in to the staff. You'd think karma would pay me back for that!!!)

But one day, they will screw up. I know it. Right now, they are laying low, hiding out with my water bottle. They probably only use it at home or at work. They are too afraid to return to the scene of the crime with it. But one day.....one day....They will forget that they stole it, and bring it to the gym, where I will see them using it, and confront them, probably with much hostility. And possible bloodshed. *In Arnold Schwarzenegger voice* I will get it back.

This is what I get for not appreciating my bottle!! It has been taken away from me!! And given to someone else who loves it, probably as much as I do!! And I cannot even bear to tell CN that I lost it. It is my dirty little secret I am keeping from him. I am ashamed of myself. One of the best things he ever gave me, and I carelessly leave it laying around for someone who is too cheap to go buy his own water bottle.

Just to rub salt into the wound, that bitch Karma has ensured that I will never be able to get a water bottle like that again. The store where CN got it no longer sells them. Which prompted me to go on a searching binge to buy one online. "Oh, one little trip over to Amazon.com will take care of that," I thought.

Not so fast, VB. Amazon only sells your average, flawed water bottles. So does Target. And Walmart. And Dick's Sporting Goods. And the camping supply store in town. And all the grocery stores (yes, I have visited just about every one in town). Buying one off of eBay just doesn't sound like a good idea. Who knows where the water bottle has been??

An intensive, hours-long Internet search led me to -- JOY!! -- a website selling the same bottle, but with a company logo on it. Logo, schmogo -- I wanted my water bottle NOW! Who cares if it promotes a company? I click "Buy" and...

"This item is no longer available."

Are you freaking kidding me.

I went back to the drawing board. Eventually, I managed to find out the make and model of the water bottle. (Yes, it's like a car. This is the Cadillac of water bottles, I'm telling you.) Now, I have something to work with!! Surely, some retailer sells these little buggers online! I did a search for the make and model. A bazillion hits. Jackpot!!!!

Upon further inspection, I realize that Little Miss Karma is a sick, evil and twisted little bitch: the bottles are only sold through those business promotions companies, you know, the places where you go to get your company logo put onto 450 coffee cups or 1600 ballpoint pens.

In my frenzied state of desperation, I almost went for it: "Ok, let's see. I can get 36 of them for $7.19 each...plus a $50 flat rate for the order set-up....which comes out to....$308.84. Plus shipping. Hmmm. Maybe I can get an Indiana University logo on it...or a cute message, and then I can give them out as gifts! Yeah!"

When reality set back in, I realized this was far too much to spend on water bottles. Worse yet, my friends would hate me for giving them a stupid water bottle every year for their birthdays. "But check out the lid! It flips! Isn't that awesome? This year, I decided to give you a purple one!" I would say.


So, my search continues. But if you are one of those people who orders the little freebies with the company logo imprinted on them, will you please get your logo put onto H2Go's Zuma water bottle?? I'll take any color. I'll buy 10 from you. And I will I verbally promote your business until the cows come home! I promise!

And if you happen to see one of my beloved Zuma water bottles for sale at your local store, please buy me 3 of them. Trust me, I will make it worth your time! Here's a photo, which can be easily printed out and carried in your wallet for reference purposes:


Christina said...

maybe you could try this company. i bought mine from them and i love it.


AB said...

if you don't mind one from the portland rose festival, you can get one for $12 here.


i might get one for myself. they sound perfect!

cmk said...

I went on a similar hunt when Brita quit selling the water bottle I loved here in the States. It was a bottle that had a charcoal filter in it, so as you drank, the water got filtered! It was wonderful--I was able to take it with me when we traveled and actually drink the local water! But, as I said, they quit selling the bottle here in the US. I DID manage to find a similar bottle by another company, but it isn't the same. (sigh) I feel your pain. ;)

Traveling Pirate said...

You should place an order for some that say something like:

It's a New Day

and then sell them on eBay. People are buying Obama stuff like mad. I'd buy one from you.

I bet you could get enough of your readers to buy one that you could break even on any design you might order.

Phantom Hater said...

To be honest, you might be able to get one at a flea market (one of the Asian vendors), but I can ask my gf to check Chinatown in L.A. for one. They sell all sorts of stuff like this cheap. I looked into it, and this particular one is imported from China, so they probably sell off big lots wholesale to distributors who can make money imprinting them for businesses.

teahouse said...

Wow, those are cute!

Hey, if you want to go halvesies on a huge order of water bottles, I might do it with you. I bet if you get enough people together, we could all do it, and it wouldn't cost that much per person.

Then again, it's 3 a.m. and I'm having another sleepless night, totally delirious. So you may not want to take anything I say right now seriously.

Damn, those are cute bottles!