It's only about as tall as an old-fashioned milk bottle but stockier. It's made of heavy, hand-blown Polish glass, with elegant etching straight out of Alice in Wonderland: Drink Me.
It felt wonderful in my hand. I've always wanted a nice water carafe; I've never owned one. As I kept examining this one, I fell in love. The tiny price tag said $86. I put it down. I gave it a last look and walked away. I left the store and met up with my husband. We wandered the town (more about that later). We had lunch by the water, explored the neighborhood, visited shops, and bought some old books.
When it was time to go, we went back to Treats on the way to the car. There sat the carafe, looking handsomer than ever.
I picked it up, and put it down. I wished it weren't quite so expensive. Or quite so charming.
We left the store to check out the kitchen store next door. It was sparsely stocked and smelled of mothballs. But as we browsed in there, I knew I was done for.
I'd remembered a shopping lesson I'd learned the hard way, years ago. If I didn't buy the carafe, I would likely spend a few years regretting it — and never forgetting it— until another one finally turned up somewhere... inevitably at a much higher price. That's just how it is with me.
We left the stuffy kitchen store and returned to Treats, where I picked up the carafe for the third time and sensibly announced to clerk and spouse: "I really have to have this." Husband admitted he'd been admiring it all along.
The clerk was smiling the whole time as he wrapped it in newspaper and put it in a shopping bag. We bought an excellent toffee cookie to share while we were about it.
I figure the carafe will be well worth the price if it benefits my health. Every day, I vow to drink plenty of water, but I never meet my goal. With a charming carafe of cool water and lime slices on my desk, I believe I will finally become the heavy drinker I want to be. (Now I just have to clear a place for it. Tomorrow, I promise.)
It turns out that no shops in the Boston area carry anything by Emma Bridgewater — a big disappointment, if you ask me. According to her Web site, you can find her things at Shubies in Marblehead and Best of British in Newburyport.