What can I say about Scott's drinking? It's seamless. I don't notice how much he drinks until the next morning when I'm taking out the trash before I go to work. He gets up for a cigarette, and opens a new beer. Another cigarette, another beer.
I knew we were drinking a lot back when we first started dating. It's my M.O. to get tanked on the first date. But it's also my M.O. to all but stop drinking once I'm in a relationship. I don't need it to calm my nerves anymore. I'm no longer constantly second guessing myself; I'm no longer damning myself. When I reached that point with Scott, I was still in the pattern of buying the cases of beer. Only now I would consume maybe three of them. Because I had severely slowed down my alcohol intake, I told Scott I wasn't buying the beer anymore. And I haven't since that day. My checking account bounced back into the black, and I was back on budget with my finances.
But I also stopped noticing that there was at least a 12-pack of beer circulating through the house every day. Another cigarette, another beer.
Then one morning, I saw a bottle of Jaeger when I went to tie up the trash. Usually I know when he brings a bottle home, but somehow I stopped noticing that too. He's so seamless. He said the Jaeger would enable him to drink less beer. But the Jaeger changes him in ways the beer does not. The only times Scott would ever yell at me or talk down to me was when I saw the little green bottle on top of the trash the next morning:
"Why are you yelling at me?"
"It's the only way to get you to understand! I would say something and you don't react. I have to yell for you to get it!"
"So I bring it on myself? I deserve to get yelled at?" I learned there really is no point in trying to reason with a drunk person.
When we hung out with my friends, we would always have to leave early because Scott got too drunk. We did it when we met M-Joy, we did it at the Beer Olympics, and we had to do it at Friendsgiving.
Not to mention the drunk peeing. Things of mine Scott's drunkenly peed on, in order:
- The couch
- The bed
- The shower
- The laundry hamper
- The oven
So I made the decision. No more liquor. I sat down with him at dinner one night and I told him 30 days—starting that day, November 17th—no liquor. He could have his beer, but the liquor changes him.
"What if I don't agree to this?" he asked.
"Then I'm going to seriously think about this relationship," I retorted.
"What? You're going to leave me?"
"Yes." I said it, but I wasn't sure I could do it. I just wanted him to think I meant it.
"I refuse to lose you over alcohol. 30 days," he agreed.
And, to cover my ground, I also told his sister Thanksgiving day of our deal.
"Good!" she said. "But why just 30 days? Why not for good?"
"I was hoping it would lead to that."
"You know, he doesn't need to drink. At all." After she said it, it became official. Every single member of his family has now pulled me aside and told that to me. They all ask me under their breaths if he's drinking and tell me he doesn't need to do it. I smile and say I'm watching him, but I wonder why his family is putting this onto me. Why are they making it my responsibility? We're not married. Scott is their son, nephew, and brother—why don't they tell him themselves?
I already know the answer to that: they already have and they're hoping I'll be able to make the difference.