altAs Porter handed me the large, wrapped, rectangular box, he told me that my birthday present came at the recommendation of a friend from choir. I confess that my heart sank a little. As dear as our choir friends are, there's not one of them that knows me well enough to have any idea what would or would not make a good birthday present.

I was wrong.

It turns out the recommendation was general, not specifically for me, and Porter made the connection with the occasion. But even he had no idea how successful a gift it would be. Neither did I, at first.

It's an RTIC tumbler. It holds 20 ounces, and is so well insulated that if you load it up with ice and a cold drink it will stay cold for hours. (I'm told it's equally good with hot drinks, but mine's a summer birthday, so there has been no occasion to try that out.)

But what, you ask, makes that so special to me?

It's a matter of the right innovation at the right time.

I like to keep a drink handy throughout the day. It's usually a cup of tea, even in the summer. I've often thought water would be better, for several reasons:  drinking more water, not drinking quite so much tea, and having something cold instead of hot in the summer. But It's never quite worked out. Ice melts quickly here, and I'm not much in favor of lukewarm drinks. True, hot drinks cool quickly, but that's what microwave ovens are for. Whenever my tea cup goes missing, I'm most likely to find that I've left it in the microwave.

Glasses of water are more prone than mugs to being knocked over and spilled—not a happy thought when working near electronics. Water bottles are safe, but I get annoyed having to open them every time I want a drink. Moreover, no matter what the container, ice water makes it sweat profusely, either making a mess or sticking to the coaster—or both, as the coaster falls off with a loud clatter and a spray of water all around.

I know—First World Problem. Whine, whine, whine. I'm not justifying my complaints, but explaining why the RTIC tumbler was perfect for me.

It keeps my drink cold. It can still be knocked over, but less easily than a glass, and the lid makes a spill less extreme. You don't need to use a straw, but I like to, and the opening is just right for the large-diameter straw I prefer. The insulation makes it comfortable to hold, and the cup doesn't sweat at all.

Sometimes, the best way to encourage a good habit is to have the right tool, and the insulated tumbler turned out to be the perfect too for me. I still enjoy my cups of tea, but now I'm drinking a lot more water instead.

Ice cold water on a hot summer day, there, handy, whenever I want a drink. Nailed the habit of better hydration in one simple, inexpensive gift. Priceless.

Caution:  The cute Swiss flag sticker is not original equipment. Porter bought a tumbler for himself as well, and we needed to distinguish them. His has a blue-and-white Luzern flag sticker.

Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, August 28, 2016 at 8:11 am | Edit
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I need to do this - drink more water.

Funny. I looked at the name and said R-T-I-C tumbler, then the light bulb went off: R-tic (arctic - duh!)

Is it dishwasher safe? If not, can you fit your hand in to wash?

With our new electric tea kettle, I don't lose my tea cup in the microwave at all. I tend not to reheat cold tea, but make more hot water.


Posted by dstb on Sunday, August 28, 2016 at 9:50 am

Unfortunately, it's not dishwasher safe. But I find no problem washing it by hand. Maybe Billy's hands wouldn't fit, but mine do fine.

Posted by SursumCorda on Sunday, August 28, 2016 at 3:53 pm

When people are cleaning the kitchen, no one seems to "see" the items like this that need to be hand washed. Billy got a mug from one of the colleges he visited and it sat on the counter for days. When I went to was it, there was no way I could get my hand in, so we decided to put it in the dishwasher. If it makes it great, if it doesn't, oh well.

Posted by dstb on Monday, August 29, 2016 at 8:01 am

You are correct. A friend gave Bill and I each a YETI tumbler (like yours, different manufacturer). I love it. When I had shoulder surgery last fall, I used it every day. I was sleeping in a recliner (I don't even like sitting in a recliner). I was awake off and on during the night and was often thirsty. It kept the water cold nearly 24 hours! Heaven.Got me through the recovery!

Posted by Phyllis Martin on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 4:58 pm

Hi, Phyllis! Thanks for your comment.

Posted by SursumCorda on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 6:17 pm
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