Dear Makers of Glaceau’s Vitamin Water:

I must admit: in a deli-case full of soft drinks, I lust after your brightly colored beverages as a teenage girl pines for Orlando Bloom. Gem hues of pink and purple, text all in lowercase—you have created the hydrated man’s e. e. cummings in the colors of a Pucci print. Gatorade might try to tempt me with “Riptide Rush” and “Cascade Crash,” but its alliteration fails: Glaceau, it is my heart that you have taken.

But Glaceau, Glaceau, while your beverages are clear, the descriptions on your labels are not, and I stand here, paralyzed, unable to purchase. An example: “stress-b lemon-lime (b + st. john’s)” claims that its consumption will prove so relaxing that it might “lead to the extinction of reclining chairs, therapists, and radio stations beginning with the name ‘light’ or ‘easy.’” How can I, as a morally upright citizen, indulge in your refreshing citrus knowing that, with every sip, Celine Dion grows softer?

Another example: “balance cran-grapefruit (c + yerba mate)” throws me into a similar quandary. You recommend it for “clowns who ride unicycles while juggling chainsaws, ninjas, peg-legged pirates, and/or individuals simply requiring equilibrium in their lives.” But, while I qualify as someone “requiring equilibrium,” your sentence structure is unclear. What exactly is being juggled? Only the chainsaws? Or ninjas, pirates, and equilibrium-seekers as well? Are they being juggled separately, or all at once? (Where did you find such strong clowns?) Personally, as one who has not yet achieved the balance—emotionally or, in this case, physically—to which you refer, I cannot imagine fully enjoying your beverage whilst being juggled by a unicycle-riding circus performer. In fact, the mere thought of this situation causes my heart to pound and head to hurt in much the same way as do the “high-school reunions” mentioned on your stress-b bottle label.

And then there is peach-flavored “endurance (e + astragalus),” with its caveat: “usage may result in increased stamina (no, not in that way).” I am repelled by your coyness. “This beverage will not help you have better sex,” the label should read. “It is peach-flavored water. What are you, an idiot?” You see, if it said that, I would be so enraged by the suggestion that I both needed better sex and was an idiot that I would mutter, “Oh yeah? We’ll see about that!” and snatch endurance off the shelves. As it is now, though, I am standing at the deli-case mesmerized by your colors but confused and angered by your prose.

Please respond. I want so much to love you.

Catherine Price
Brooklyn, NY