I’m not the first person to point out that life moves pretty fast (I’m the second, after Ferris Bueller), but I can certainly relate to the statement. One day, you’re a fresh-faced fiancée considering monogrammed ice cubes for your wedding, and eleven short months later, you’re a bloated, pregnant wife vomiting banana in the driveway. Pregnancy seems to put everything on a treadmill set to 10.0 speed (incidentally, a pace you can’t run anymore).
One of the least welcome changes brought about by my morning sickness was that formerly friendly foods became foes. Beverages, in particular, left me feeling like the Bachelorette on a season full of losers: bitter coffee was quickly off the table, followed by all the chemical flavors of La Croix. Soda had too much sugar for regular drinking, but diet soda made me picture my baby coming out like that mouse with the human ear grown on its back. And because everyone else is afraid to say it, I will: water sucks.
So, it was kismet that in the nauseous days of the first trimester, Topo Chico slid into my life like a pellucid avalanche.
The Mexican carbonated mineral water was unknown to me prior to its introduction via one of those repulsive glossy magazine articles that tours a rich family’s home. These pieces always feature the same two pictures: (1) a scene from an expensively rustic backyard barbecue, and (2) a long-haired toddler boy wearing an anklet. In this particular spread, the awful parents of the boho baby described making cocktails for their bougie party with Topo Chico because they “swear it’s more bubbly” than regular seltzer.
“Topo Chico,” I said out loud, “Topo Chico, Topo Chico.” As swiftly as the euphonic name rolled off my tongue, the yellow-labeled bottle steamrolled through my life: suddenly, it was perched on the bar at a neighborhood restaurant, chilling in a deli’s fridge, being featured in my friend’s Instagram story, and ultimately, stacked in a Whole Foods display, in front of which I found myself during a trip to purchase saltines and pickles. I was stopped in my tracks, wondering when exactly Topo Chico had become a thing; now that I was partially a mom, had the “cool world” already left me behind? But even in my dumbfounded state, there was something about this bubbly water that made me think it might be the one, my perfect pregnancy drink. I lugged a heavy 12-pack to the register.
The weight of the glass bottle in my hand was satisfying and flashed me back to when I was a college student on spring break in Rosarito, a nice break from my reality of being a human parade float in yoga pants. I took a sip. Perfection. The taste was pure, joyful effervescence. Where others burble with gas, Topo Chico sparkles with fizz. The bubbles felt small and refined, as if Topo Chico were the poised, beauty queen cousin to hunching, clumsy club soda. Those magazine assholes were right.
Topo Chico and I had a blissful one-week affair. But because pregnancy is a mysterious mister – the physicality of being pregnant is undoubtedly masculine and I challenge anyone to prove me wrong – Topo Chico, like many before it, became my enemy. Weeks later, the remaining bottles stare at me from the fridge like a threat, forcing me to dry heave at the memory of the happiness we once shared.
Would I have changed a thing? No, ‘tis better to have briefly loved a popular drink and burned the relationship due to your weird hormones, than to be left out of a trend at all. To paraphrase the great Bueller: if you don’t stop and look around [at Whole Foods displays] once in a while, you just might miss [Topo Chico].