Since I really wasn’t sure what to paint for our prompt of “fresh” today, I looked over and noticed my glass of water sitting there and thought it would work. My glass was sitting on the windowsill with light streaming through it and looked kind of cool. Although, I soon discovered it was devilishly difficult to paint, but my mind was already made up. A tall drink of water is an old-fashioned phrase used to describe a tall thin man, usually handsome, but originally this wasn’t a requirement. As idioms go, it’s a bit weird and doesn’t make a ton of sense. Literally translated it would mean, “My you’re quite tall, I’d really like to drink you!” which is equally disturbing and not something you’d like to hear from a stranger at a party. Or anyone really, it’s just odd. Versions include a “long drink of water” which is worse, and a “cool drink of water” which is marginal, but still sounds a bit ridiculous. Telling someone they’re tall is like reminding a blind person they can’t see. I”m certain in both cases, they’re already perfectly aware of it.
Even updated phrases are a bit silly and it’s why I don’t like crowds where “small talk” might occur. I’ve never been good at this and am still not sure how to do it properly. It’s a form of talking while making quite sure you’ve completed the conversation saying absolutely nothing at all. In business meetings with a bunch of men, the conversation often turns to sports, which means nothing to me. If I say, “I don’t watch sports” the room turns to me stunned like I just said, “I like to murder small animals.” The good part is that while heads around me are exploding, the conversation blissfully ends. I’ve never been one to pretend to be something I’m not in order to fit in. I’ve never really had a desire to fit in. It seemed like a waste of perfectly good creativity to blindly act like everyone around me. I don’t find comfort in it at all. No, for me, being happy is just bouncing along being whatever you really are knowing that you’ll eventually bounce into someone who appreciates you that way.
I’ve been this way since I was a child when my poor mother would coax me to participate with specific children in the neighborhood. For some reason adults seem to think a bunch of young kids the same age should get on perfectly fine. As if being the same age was enough to have in common. It’s not. “Why don’t you play with Michael? He’s your age!” my mom would say. “I don’t like him,” I’d reply. “He only talks about dodge ball and smells like burnt cheese.” It wasn’t like the adults were held to those expectations. “Oh, my you’re 46? I’m 46! I had no idea we had so much in common!” Looking back, I was probably just a pain in the ass, and I’ve now learned that everyone has something to teach me, even when our interests don’t quite line up. But I’ll always gravitate towards creative people. They have a fresh perspective and share that inability to fully fit the norm. Even if they try, they’ll still be standing just outside the crowd and that’s the person I’ll head to first if I’m actually at a party. And then the talk is never small and always refreshing, like a tall glass of water.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!