*I had an extremely difficult childhood.
When my parents took us to Sea World for the first time, I saw another kid my age walking around with a water bottle shaped like Shamu.
I knew I had to have one.
So I begged my mother. She said no. I nagged my father. He told me to get a job.
I walked out of that theme park completely dejected, praying that one day I would finally get a taste of the glorious nectar of the gods that filled those beloved beverage holders.
Fast forward a few years to a similar scenario, only this time, the setting of our story happened to be Disneyland. The day was hot, the lines were long. But about 99% of the kids standing in line with me had their very own Disney-themed water bottle. I could hear the Minnie Mouse variety calling my name.
And really, what was in that bottle that made those kids so freakin' happy?
I had to have one.
Once again, I pleaded my case to my mother. She just chuckled. I turned to my father, who mumbled something about my college education.
Once again, I walked away empty handed and scarred for life.
Fast forward to adulthood. Reece and I were visiting the Portland Zoo. I noticed a kid walking around with a blue elephant-shaped water bottle. I knew I had to have one.
Immediately the trauma inflicted on me in my younger years forced its way to the front of my mind. I began bracing myself for the inevitable "NO" as I turned to ask Reece if I could have one.
And then I realized I was the grown up. I had my own money. This time, no one was standing in my way.
So I forked out the five bucks (as Reece mumbled something about being made of gold), filled it up with Diet Coke (aka holy nectar) and completed the portion of my soul that was stolen from me at age 6.
Fast forward to last weekend's Father's Day trip to Hogle Zoo. We saw some kid walking around with a Lola-sized elephant water bottle and knew our girl had to have one.
It took trips to four different vendors, but we finally procured the coveted prize.
*Let it be known that my childhood was, in reality, wonderful, and that my parents were always extremely generous.
*Let it also be known that I completely understand why they refused to spend $50 on plastic crap that would inevitably be forgotten in the hotel room.
*Let it also, also be known that Lola is terrified of her pink elephant water bottle and cries when forced to drink from it.
*Let it also, also, also be known that I am constantly mocked in the newsroom for bringing my elephant water bottle to work with me, but I refuse to let it sit in the drawer on principle.