Hey there, it’s me. The CamelBak you bought in 2012 before a post-grad backpacking adventure. Remember that? You used to show me off to all your friends. I was a twenty-five-ounce, dishwasher-safe piece of proof of your commitment to the environment. You used to take me on trips. You even took me to work. We were inseparable.

Sure, I’ve been languishing in the back of your cupboard for the better part of a decade, but every relationship has its peaks and troughs, and I figured we’d get through the dry spell eventually. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that there was someone else—a pastel-colored interloper by the name of Stanley. A real blow to my confidence, that was.

We’ve been through a lot together, so I’m giving you an opportunity to be honest: Are you breaking up with me? I just need to know.

Maybe it’s my fault, because I pretended not to notice your brief dalliances with designer water over the years. The Fijis. The Essentias. I held my tongue during the Acqua Panna affair of 2017, when you returned from a trip to Amalfi with a new penchant for Italians and, bewilderingly, silk neck scarves. I tried to give you space. I listened to Esther Perel. “Love is an exercise in selective perception,” and all that. I thought letting you explore other options would convey that I am chill and bohemian, and not the clingy type.

Well, turns out, I am in fact the clingy type. I can no longer sit by in silence and watch you take up with this forty-ounce menace.

What does Stanley have that I don’t? Is his straw bigger than mine? A lot has been made of his endurance. Apparently, he’s virtually indestructible and can survive a fire. To which I say: Okay? Who are you, Bear Grylls? Unless you’ve made some drastic lifestyle changes, the most extreme sport I’ve seen you partake in is going to Target on Black Friday. Exactly what use do you think you have for a water bottle that can survive the apocalypse?

I cede some ground to this Chihuahua-sized Lothario on the subject of temperature regulation. The fact that he can keep your water cold for up to eleven hours is, admittedly, a neat little trick, albeit one that feels unnecessarily flamboyant. One might suggest he’s overcompensating. One might also suggest this isn’t a strictly natural ability, if you know what I mean. We’ve all heard those rumors about the lead. I didn’t take you for the kind of person who’s fine with the casual use of performance enhancers, but I guess you’ve changed.

And I hate to bring this up, I really do, but isn’t he a little young for you? Doesn’t the fact that he’s trending on TikTok qualify as a massive red flag? And what on God’s green earth is #WaterTok? Since when do you need a tutorial on how to drink water? You went to Barnard, for Christ’s sake. Have some self-respect.

I’m not unreasonable. I talked it over with the Hydro Flask from your #girlboss phase in 2019, and we both agree we’d tentatively be open to consensual nonmonogamy. We’ll have to set up strict boundaries, of course, but if this is what it takes to snap you out of your overly hydrated stupor, then so be it. And sooner rather than later, I think. I saw you come back from Whole Foods with a case of Poppi Seltzer, and I don’t like where this is going.