Many say it’s an antiquated practice, or that I’m some kind of zealot, but I am one of a growing number of women in this world to wait until I am married to replace the Brita filter.

When I purchased my Brita pitcher with its original filter over a decade ago, it came with a filter replacement schedule sticker. I immediately threw the sticker in the trash because I knew in my heart that I was better than that. I decided at a young age to abstain from changing the filter in my 8-cup capacity water pitcher until a lifelong legal commitment to another human being.

Call me old-fashioned, call me a hopeless romantic, but I miss the way things were before my time. You’d never see Cary Grant replace a Brita filter out-of-wedlock in a Hollywood classic! Those were the days.

What can I say, I’m not like other girls.

Yet sometimes when I see the carbon-based black particles appear in my Brita pitcher system, I feel an urge to throw caution to the wind and taste the chlorine-free forbidden fruit by rushing to buy a new filter. A 4-pack is only $24.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond, and I have all those coupons, I’ll think. Plus, FreshDirect offers them now, I could have them delivered without even leaving the house!

Thankfully, temptation quickly passes. Taking a cold shower and drinking the shower water often helps to keep my secret desires at bay when I feel impatient to know the potable pleasures of consuming water unencumbered by harmful contaminants including copper, cadmium, and mercury. While I ache and yearn for this uncontaminated hydration, I am resolved to delaying such gratification until a formally recognized union with my soulmate.

I have fantasized about our wedding night many times. We will walk hand-in-hand, Brita-in-tow, directly from the reception to the local Walgreens. There, we will pick up a replacement packet before tearing apart the cardboard casing and plastic wrapping to uncover the recently-manufactured BPA-free filter. In ecstatic, conjugal bliss, my beloved and I shall pour purified H2O into each others’ mouths from the pitcher without a glass as a middleman, water spilling everywhere around us.

Quite a scene to make at the pharmacy in a bridal gown! But I am confident the store employees and fellow patrons won’t mind our messy marital display of liquid liberation from this impure, earthly plane of existence.

I’ve lost relationships with people who just couldn’t wait for such sweet, connubial, aqueous release. They’d say they were on board with my values, but they were not; I’d come home from work and find them watching Brita filter commercials online. I even walked in on one guy in the middle of opening up a replacement packet by the kitchen sink. He tried to hide it and said how happy he was with the filter we’d been using for years, but I just couldn’t trust him after that.

Last year I finally met the One, someone as committed to postponing water filtration system replacement as I. We quickly became engaged, and I knew the wait was soon to be over!

Sadly, my fiancé died suddenly last month. The doctors don’t fully understand the cause, something related to kidney failure due to the build-up of chemicals and toxins. I guess we’ll never know why.

While I may have lost my true love and am still swimming in an unfiltered sea of heartbreak, grief, and confusion, I find solace in knowing this: When I walk into the kitchen each night at 3 a.m. after yet another regrettable sexcapade with Chad the bartender, I can enjoy a glass of water from a Brita pitcher with a 2006 vintage filter as a pure woman.