Ooops, I did it again. I totally binged yesterday. Who’s fault is it? Ultimately, it is my decision to imbibe vast quantities of alcohol, so I should be in control of this behaviour. But I gave up the illusion of control a very long time ago. There are always factors involved in behaviour, so let’s analyze these factors.
First of all, as inferred with my opening sentence, I have a history of binge drinking. That in itself is a factor. It started when I was 14. We have this nice tradition of the grownups from the village riding on a wagon pulled by a tractor, drinking and singing, once every year. When I was 14, I sat on this wagon for the first time as a man. I had been on that wagon at a younger age, but I didn’t drink then. So, drinking on that wagon was an initiation rite of sorts. When I drink alcohol, I am subconsciously reminded of this initiation, and I feel like a man. And I learned to stomach one of the possible consequences of binge drinking: that the esophagus is not a one way road, and drinking alcohol increases the chance of things coming out. I didn’t puke yesterday, FYI.
Now you know why I binge on alcohol in general, but I don’t do it every day. I don’t do it on a regular basis, either. I do it to relieve stress. And I’ve got plenty of that. If you consider a normal work week in Germany, a regular 9 to 5, including a break, you get 35 hours of work in 5 days. 4 weeks in a month, and you’ve got 140 hours. Because of a critical sirthandedness at work, I work up to 250 hours every month since October last year. Even though the work itself is rather laid back, 7 weeks worth of work every month is physically exhausting. I need every free minute I can get to relax, forget about work. Alcohol ist the best legal relaxation helper. It’s not good for your body or soul, but not relaxing is worse. Oh, I could, and I should go to the gym. And I would. But going to the gym isn’t particularly social, and being social is the other big relaxation helper. Alcohol, being a social drug in our society, gives me the opportunity to experience almost total relaxation.
I provably would have drunk less hadn’t I been stood up by two friends: Chris, and Vinni. Originally, I wanted to meet with Chris before I went to dinner with my old flame Julia. I had planned two hors with Chris, and since he totally doesn’t have any time management skills, he couldn’t make it.
I can drink a whole lot in two hours. Half a bottle of whiskey later I met with Julia. So, for an hour and a half I drank only diet coke. That should illustrate the point that being stood up by friends increases my consumption of alcohol. And I couldn’t have just stayed at the pub longer to drink more. The pub closed at 8. 8 A.M.. That’s when I left, drunk as a divorced scottish skunk.
Vinni was supposed to meet me at 10 last evening at our usual watering hole. At 10:30, I finally got a hold of him. Vinni has a condition that could be described as chronical absent-mindedness. He totally forgot to tell me he would’t come. So, I had to drink with complete strangers. Well, 30 minutes and two beers after I met them, we weren’t strangers anymore. We like drinking, yahtzee, and Manowar, that’s all it really needs to have fun.
Next day, not so much fun. Pretty much every bone, ever joint, well, every cell attached to a nerve ending aches. Again, my most reliable theory in life is confirmed: the more it hurts, the better the fun.