Spreading the Iceland Water Gospel

It finally happened last Sunday. A moment I’ve been waiting for since 2006.

A stranger bought Iceland water, based on my recommendation.

Some backstory:

As an infant, I wasn’t great at digesting water. The minerals or whatever it is that enhances water was just too much for baby Cindy, I guess. The only solution was distilled water or Iceland spring water, as the latter has the fewest minerals of any natural water and a high pH. At the time, Iceland water came in this handy little boxes, like juice boxes but for water. It was so cool and refreshing, and the water even made me feel more normal as I grew up to preschool age, because I, too, had a drink in a box. Maybe I didn’t have a tuna sandwich like the other kids (plain macaroni and a thermos of milk, and yes, I ate them combined as if the pasta were cereal), but when snack time came around, I whipped out a boxed drink like the best of them.

But Iceland water went out of business. The way legend has it, my parents freaked out that I’d dehydrate or something and called the company to see what they could do. We got the entire remaining wares shipped to our house, and I got to drink Iceland water for a little while longer.

And in 2006, the product was reintroduced to the market. It was hard to find — basically, Walgreens and specialty stores were the only distributors — but I would stock up. And I started spreading the gospel of Iceland water. I figured if I could convince my friends to drink it, the company wouldn’t go out of business, and in the maybe sorta likely event that I or my future children couldn’t drink standard water, we’d be able to rely on Iceland water.

It became a bit of a joke in my family, because we’d have it all the time and talk to our guests about it. My sister especially remains committed to only drinking Iceland water – she was a water snob to begin with (as she should be!) and preaching Iceland above all else only made sense. Plus, Iceland’s a cool place with a Brandeis grad former Prime Minister, a belief in elves,  and cool horses. So supporting their economy is just smart.

Cut to 2012. Iceland water is a bit more popular, showing up in most stores that carry varieties of water. The bottles look different depending on the store – Walgreen has smaller bottles with pink flowers, Whole Foods has rippled bottles with blue labels, and there’s even a second company called Icelandic Glacial that bottles its water in glacier-shaped bottles.

On Sunday, I was stocking up on Iceland water for the holiday, since tap water has been making me feel less than pleasant since April. The elderly gentleman behind me in line remarked, “What, is Iceland water special or something? Hope you don’t plan on drinking all that yourself!”

I mean, I did. 8 bottles for 3 days isn’t terribly much, is it?

I told him why I’d chosen Iceland water (minus the allergies, just the mineral/pH stuff) and he turned to the cashier. “Can you get me a bottle of that? It must be good if this young lady is buying so much of it. Gotta try this Iceland water, see if it’s the real deal.”

I have no doubt he was converted. How could you not be, after drinking it?

Sometimes, the communal nature of shopping at Whole Foods, the obsession about what everyone else is buying…sometimes it can just make your dreams come true.

 

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