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Staying Hydrated

I have recently deleted the Plant Nanny app after I couldn’t deal with the public humiliation anymore.

The basic idea behind the app is that you tell it your height, weight, gender, age and activity level; and they use that data to tell you how much water you should drink in a day. (And I guess, potentially store that data somewhere to later blackmail you with? Jokes on them, I tell everyone my data for FREE, privacy is for boomers).

It told me based on all my metrics that I needed to drink 3.8 litres a day, a DAY, which is quite a lot. I got used to the regular bathroom breaks and half-full Pump bottles dotted around my house. It was probably good for me, I guess; but I can’t really do things by halves so was obsessive about feeding those little plants.

I got into a familiar and reliable habit where it would hit 4:30pm, I’d panic I hadn’t had enough water that day, and would drink two bottles in a row. I’d glug it down and press a button on my plant app, which would show me a little bouncy pretend Cyclamen, and I’d feel like I’d achieved something.

This app is SO freaking cute, honestly.

The problem with that habit is that I have another habit that bounces right up against it, and that is that I walk home for an hour at 5pm.

Ten minutes into my walk and I’d get a sinking realisation. Uh oh. Need to pee. No bathrooms around. My old commute used to take me through the MCG; a giant big ass stadium, which keeps all its bathrooms inside past ticket gates. This seems inhumane.

I’d shuffle past statutes. I assume they were sporting heroes. I don’t know who any of them are; which is not a slight against Australia but just an indication of my complete lack of interest in sports. Even if I have to name New Zealand sports stars, I get like… hmm. Drawing a blank. Come on brain, what have we got?

Wow. Seriously? Ok. Look, blog readers, I love you, and this is why I will share with you what my brain just suggested, in order:

  • Steffi Graff
  • Edmund Hillary
  • Taika Waititi

In the venn diagram of “New Zealand” and “sports stars”, we have two circles that don’t even touch.

Please someone hire me as a sports commentator.

Come on brain, you must have something in there. JONAH LOMU. There you go. Colin… Meads?! Wow. That’s a deep pull. Where did THAT come from? Good stuff, brain! We got there in the end! Proud of you, little buddy!

So anyway, sports knowledge notwithstanding, I’d be walking through the grounds of the MCG, shuffling past the statues, doing Lamaze style breathing. Waddling with my thighs pressed together, nostrils flared, podcasts paused so I could FOCUS. Purple faced and grimacing at walking up a slight incline; I must have made people think I was dramatically unfit.

I’d get mad at how the patriarchy gave women junk that doesn’t allow public peeing. Imagine if I could just nip behind a tree! But then I remembered that some men who pee behind trees get arrested and put on the sex offenders register, so they don’t have it any better. This is annoying. When I’m already stressed out or in a bad mood it’s doubly frustrating when I can’t arbitrarily blame it on the patriarchy.

There’s a point past the stadium where you reach Bridge Road, a mecca full of shops and businesses and pubs, a smorgasbord of loos. But I’m never sure of the rules about nipping into a pub for a pee. Are you supposed to be a customer? Is it fine as long as you don’t make a fuss? I’m never sure. So I’d have to act out an elaborate charade to make myself feel like I wasn’t going to get in trouble.

I’d wander in and pretend I was going to buy a beer later, or maybe meet a friend. Still breathing like I was about to deliver a literal baby, I’d look at the menu like, “oh, that’s a good IPA, um, really into that region, it’s very…. modern”. Then I’d glance around the bar like, “where’s Janice? I was sure she’d be here at 6pm”, before dashing into a stall, every face muscle tense, veins popping out of my head.

The next day, 4:30pm would arrive, and the whole adventure would start over again.

So that’s why I deleted Plant Nanny. Sure, I could have not downed bottles of water at the end of the day. I could have missed my goal. But that would have disappointed an app. And that’s just unacceptable.

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