Drinking Fountain Confidence

Some say confidence is one of the most attractive features a person can have. In my opinion, there are a lot of ways to show confidence: keeping your head up and smiling when entering a room, being able to order at Taco Bell with unbroken eye contact and impeccable speech, wearing socks with sandals in public. But perhaps the highest level of confidence known to humankind is drinking fountain confidence. If you can look and feel totally normal while using one of these contraptions, you have reached a new height of self-assurance.

The difficulty of keeping your cool at the water fountain also depends on its prestige, which follows from least to greatest:

  • School drinking fountain
  • Drinking fountain outside of the Lincoln Memorial
  • Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’

Some people choose to avoid drinking fountains altogether, and for good reason!

First of all, there’s the issue of germs. While walking down the hall in my dormitory *cough* on the boys’ side *cough* I saw a sign above the drinking fountain reminding students that it was not a receptacle for body fluids of any kind. *SHUDDER*

The second reason most people just carry around water-bottles, is that the fountain is just too dang embarrassing. There’s the issue of the height of the fountain, which might cause you to break your back trying to get a drink. There’s also the problem of keeping your mouth at distance from the spigot, as not to seem like you’re practicing your french kissing. And let us not forget the issue of where to put your eyes. Close them? You look like you’re having a spiritual experience, and also you can’t see if the water will miss your mouth or not. Look ahead? You’ll make eye contact with someone passing by while your lips are puckered. Stare at the spigot? Best option. You’ll go cross eyed, but best option. Once you’ve gotten your drink, the pain isn’t over. The water will probably dribble down your face, leaving you feeling moist and uncomfortable. Mhmm I said moist and I meant it.

One beautiful Wednesday not too long ago, I had the most graceful experience with a drinking fountain that I will ever have. Maybe it was the fact that I was wearing my favorite jeans, or maybe this was all by chance. But I don’t believe in luck, so I think it was the jeans. But a miracle happened that day when I was feeling especially parched. I walked, without tripping, to the fountain and pressed the button like it was the “Next Episode” button on my Netflix: without thought. My hair was up in a sleek ponytail, and stayed out of the way while I sipped from the cool oasis. I didn’t make one slurping sound. And as I looked up, a cute guy was a few feet in front of me, smiling. With finesse, I wiped the single droplet of water from my bottom lip. “How’s it going?” I asked, as smooth as butter. I swear, I’m not even making this up, isn’t that amazing? I don’t expect my life to go that well again anytime soon.

I haven’t yet figured out how to recreate the formula of my extremely confident experience, but here are a few tips I derived for you to try at the fountain if you’re brave enough.

  • Either look down to avoid eye contact, or stare straight at the person walking toward you with a sultry expression, there is no in-between choice if you want to look confident.
  • Open your mouth as wide as possible to avoid splashes and spills anywhere undesirable.
  • Spread your legs at least shoulder width apart so that A) you don’t slip in any water on the floor from others’ failed attempts at drinking and B) no one is close enough to you to say something funny that will make you snort water all over yourself.
  • Be thirsty for something more than water. Freedom. Stop worrying about what other people think, take a drink in the most ridiculous way possible, and live your life.

Good luck out there!


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