Design Hangover

Have you ever wanted something so badly, you could taste it?

Have you ever wanted something so badly, you could taste it? Have you ever had a pet peeve so pressing, you were consumed with finding a solution? This is a story about both.

One of my biggest pet peeves has always been mouthwash. Not the function of it—the vessel. You know exactly what I’m talking about, right? The fact that a towering neon bottle of Scope can be so bold as to take centerstage on your bathroom vanity: overshadowing a carefully curated display of finely milled soaps and hand towels. I mean honestly, whose bathroom décor actually looks good with plastic florescent green accents?

After years of annoyance, I decided to tackle this design dilemma. And what better time than during a global pandemic to escape reality and fixate on this trivial matter? I was on the hunt for a new bottle to house my mouthwash, one that was beautiful and functional—in that order. What I didn’t anticipate was the hangover that ensued …

It was a hot day this past July when I was making my weekend visit to the L.C.B.O. Long line-ups had become the new normal (which I secretly loved as it proved to be my only escape from children and housework that I would get all week). I coveted this silent time, surrounded by those only of legal drinking age where I could stare off in the distance and let my mind wander freely. And that’s when I saw it, 2 aisles over.

Off in the distance past Liqueurs and Aperitifs—a bottle so beautiful I couldn’t wait to touch it with my sanitized hands. It was poised and textural with just the slightest tint of aqua, and I knew it was the vessel I had been longing for.

Now cursing the long and winding line, I impatiently inched closer to this thing of beauty. What I soon discovered was gin, but not just any gin: “Sugar Kelp Infused Gin from the Isle of Harris” (huh?). Of course the name was as elegant as the bottle itself and it was all too enchanting to pass up.

I looked down at the price and much to my dismay—this arresting glass sculpture was the cost of 6 bottles of the rosé I was holding (I always did have expensive taste). I glanced at my single bottle of wine, and back again at the gin. And that’s when the bargaining began: Could I be a gin drinker? Could this be my new thing? After 5 months at home, I was delirious and willing to try anything! I suddenly imagined channeling my inner Mad Men and shaking up gin martinis in my apron and heels. Could I love gin enough that I stopped buying wine for a solid month to justify this purchase? Think of the money I would be saving really—because now I wouldn’t have to order that crystal decanter on ebay. It actually began to feel like the bottle itself was free!

I knew what I had to do: I took strong hold of the Sugar Kelp Infused Gin right then and there and made my decision. I was a grown up. I could definitely be a gin drinker and I would definitely have the most gorgeous mouthwash anyone had ever seen.

5 months later, the bottle is finally empty. Full disclosure: I didn’t really convert to a gin drinker, and most days it actually felt like a chore to mix up a cocktail and deny my real craving for a simple glass of wine. But I did it. I soldiered through in the name of design. I knew that the bitter cocktail was a small price to pay for the ravishing bottle that would be waiting for me after the last drops of alcohol were consumed.

This work of art now sits atop my bathroom vanity with the palest shade of mouthwash available—no more neon green clashing with my Egyptian Cotton hand towels. It brings me joy each and every day, and that’s really the moral of this story. Life is short. Drink the gin.

Now, if anyone has any tried and true hangover cures—please send them my way!

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