the "water cup"

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Indulge me here, please.

JUST BECAUSE I choose to drink water at a restaurant, does that mean I should get a smaller, crappier cup in which to drink it? Does it mean I'm any less thirsty than the person who chooses to drink dehydrating sodas or the person who feels compelled to pay almost $2 for an iced tea? NO it does not. In fact, if I want to drink water, does that perhaps mean that I may be--gasp--thirstier than the person drinking Dr. Pepper?

A Remedy: I have started asking for a "regular" cup when ordering water. Today, for example, Jesse and I were at Lenny's. Upon checking out, she reached for a cup much like the one pictured above.

I made kind of an get-in-on-my-secret type expression, and said, "oooh, do you mind if I have one of these regular cups? I promise I'll only get water..."

she hesitated: "ooh, do you promise? you know, we have police who eat lunch here..." (funny, eh?)

me: "ooh, I promise. I just want to take the cup with me." (thinking: those clear cups are so junky how can anyone use it more than once!)

Usually I do not meet with this much resistance when asking for a "regular" cup. I actually consume so much water (really non-alcoholic liquid in general) that the refill ratio of clear "water" cup vs. "regular" cup is probably 4:1. I know this sounds extreme.

And yes, it's understandable why a restaurant would want to give clear cups to supposed water drinkers (or Sprite drinkers too, let's be honest)... but this does not mean the cups themselves should be smaller. And that much smaller, at that!

Those who choose to properly hydrate should not be penalized.


  1. Nor are people less thirsty because they are eating breakfast, which suffers the same bias.

  2. I get water only at restaurants and always suffer with the "water cup." I guess I understand the need for it, but couldn't they pick a clear one the same size as the others?

  3. Agree on all fronts. Unfortunately for me, I'm usually the one drinking the dehydrating diet coke.

  4. Yes, but HERE is your ethical dilemma, my friend (I thought about this in the after-lunch hours): The regular cup (merited as it is) is also styrofoam and therefore non-biodegradable. What then shall we do?

    In the spirit of your Fed Ex Green Crusade, let us all bring our own cups out to lunch. Refill with water or soda as we wish (and as we have paid for), then take them to our own abodes for washing, thus earning ourselves a justified discount.

  5. LOVE that idea, jess! i didn't even address the styrofoam factor at Lenny's ... but it's not like those water cups are super-awesome for the environment?
    don't you get some sort of discount if you bring your own cup to starbucks nowadays?

    i definitely reuse the cups at newks and central bbq, fyi

    and both of those places have put up no fuss about it if i ask for one but just got water

  6. Les, I actually need to post about my new favorite love: the insulated plastic Starbucks cup w/ plastic straw. It is awesome for your summer iced coffees and such, and yes--you do get a little discount!

  7. I experienced this at Subway last week. Not only did I get a flimsy "water cup" but I wasn't even permitted to push the water button myself! I was told, "You get the ice but then give me the cup and I'll get the water." Just what I need, more germs on my cup lady! I feel your pain Leslie!

  8. Amen!

    That is my one and only complaint with Panera. Have you seen their water cups? They are the worst. Seth has to fix himself like 5 to keep from having to get up every 2 minutes. It's ridiculous. I like the bringing your own cup idea!

  9. i have this conversation all the time!!


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