I had a harsh epiphany about my on again, off again boyfriend/ex-boyfriend the other day. These exact words crossed my mind:
"He will never love me as much as he loves beer."
Ok, you can stop cracking up. Hilarious, yes. But it was a completely serious and honest thought. Sad, isn't it? I know, I know, there are those sayings about why beer is better than a girlfriend and the female response about why cucumbers are better than men, but all kidding aside, it's maddening and sobering to realize that no matter how sweet and warm I am, or aloof and challenging, no matter how much or little love I shower on him, no matter what memories we create or experiences we have, his greatest passion in life will always be another round of beers at Kai. This is a man who was unconcerned about how he would pay the next month's rent but nearly had an anuerysm when he realized the bar down the street no longer gave discounts for Yanjing ordered in bulk.
It's one thing to realize you can never live up to an ex-girlfriend who broke his heart, or his perfect mother, or know he'll never be more devoted to you than to his job, but it's truly frightening when you realize his search for the meaning of life ends and begins anew each time the bar closes and opens.
This didn't seem so clear to me when I was in Beijing since drinking is such a big part of the expat culture. But every once in a while you travel and being away from that scene and seeing how men in other parts of the world don't equate blacking out at brothels filled with Mongolian hookers to a successful weekend has lifted the haze from my brain.
Suddenly, I'm free. With this epiphany, I can stop wondering what's wrong with me because it's obviously his problem. "Problem" is a nice way of saying "raging alcoholic in desperate need of an intervention." But of course, in Beijing expat life, where a Monday isn't a Monday unless you hear the sentence "Man, I was so fucking hammered this weekend," or "Dude, I don't remember a thing after the 5th rack of shooters," or "I've never puked that much in my entire life," any suggestion of moderation would get you blacklisted as a party-pooping Mormon.
In reference to a previous entry in which a girl ranted about how her man left her in search of God, well, at least your ex-boyfriend is not worshipping at an alter that looks suspiciously like a keg.