One pump is not enough

EC: How Bubbly Should Sparkling Water Be?
Credit: Photo by Steve Lupton via Getty Images

The atmosphere is warming at an unsustainable pace. The fate of millions of Americans' healthcare hangs in the balance. The installation of our government may or may not have been influenced by shady foreign forces. So let's talk about how much carbonation is right when you're making sparkling water at home. That seems like the sanest conversation we can have right now. I think about it pretty frequently because I drink an astonishing quantity of homemade sparkling water, mostly so I don't pick up my Diet Coke habit again. Two to four liters a day! That's very gross! Instead I drink sparkling water that I make at home with my SodaStream, and I spend far too much emotional energy worrying about the level of carbonation in the bottle I'm about to open.

If I made it, it will be fiercely fizzy. I screw the water-filled bottle onto the machine and mash the button until it snorts and shrieks so loudly it unnerves my dogs. This is quite likely overkill, but I'm in a sort of nihilistic place as of late. If the world is indeed teetering on the edge of madness, why not bubble it up. Why not?

My husband, however, is incorrect. He's a wonderful man, and we align on most of the other important marital matters: kids (not having them), money (it's good to have some), DVR use (you can watch ahead, but you have to sit through the episode again if the other person hasn't seen it), but on this, we differ violently. He seems to be of the notion that a button tap or two is sufficient carbonation, but he is sorely mistaken. It's like hearing your favorite song, but muffled through a padded wall. It's not totally flat—it would be less disappointing if it were—but there is enough of a tickle that it's just a sad ghost of the seltzer that could have been. Like haunted water.

But I don't bring this up with him or attempt to change his ways. He is a grown-up man with tastes and opinions of his own, even if they do not precisely mesh with mine. If he were to read this and say "Baby, have I truly been under-fizzing you this whole time?" I wouldn't deny it, but I wouldn't expect him to suddenly get aggressive with the bubble button on my account. We live in a society where everyone can and should get to be the master of their own carbonation levels, and besides, this is just one of the compromises in a modern marriage. You take the fizz you are given, and you say thank you. Then you go into the kitchen, open each bottle to see if it's hissing hard enough and if it's not, you run it back through the carbonation cycle until it is. If he's noticed that I do this, he's never mentioned it. Maybe he never will. With everything else going on in the world, I suspect the issue might never bubble up.