Minus the City – Beer Tears and Holes in the Wall

Jeff Fein

I’ve got a bunch of holes in the walls of my apartment.

Some are the size of fists and some are the size of feet. A few are the size of a mallet we have lying around our living room. One of the holes goes through two walls, effectively creating a porthole from my bedroom to the kitchen. We cover them up with posters. Eventually, we’ll cover them with plaster, or we’ll pay Buildings and Grounds to do it for us.

This destruction may seem abnormal to all you ladies, but it’s not. It’s about as common in the apartments of college-aged men as dirty dishes.

But at least our carpets aren’t stained with tears, like all you sissy crying girls.

Move over, Dr. Phil. I’ve pinpointed an essential difference between men and women, as well as one of the most important things we have in common.

The difference is that when women come back depressed from a weekend night downtown, they shed beer tears, which, according to urbandictionary.com, come about “when, after a few drinks, one proceeds to become an unhappy drunk, and begins to cry about anything remotely bothering them.” When men return home in a similar state, we punch holes in the wall or we punch each other or we rip the door off the bathroom. Stuff like that.

The common thread here is both sexes’ need for someone to get through this thing called life with. There’s a nasty lonesomeness that lies at the root of both the tears and the destruction.

College is chaotic, and it’s nice to share the ups and downs with a member of the opposite sex. Some people are lucky enough to do just that. We call those people “couples.” Those who aren’t so fortunate tend to resort to occasional crying or fisticuffs, or in my case, cuddling with a stuffed monkey.

When I was a camp counselor, we used to give our campers “IALAC” cards. “IALAC” stands for “I am loveable and capable.” When campers were feeling blue, they could look at their IALAC cards and remember that their lives didn’t suck. I’d like to seek out all of you criers and destroyers and give you IALAC cards.

Why? Because I get the feeling that a lot of people who turn into nasty drunks think they aren’t pretty enough or witty enough to love and be loved. You are! You are!

Within the decade, almost all of us will be blissfully married. (The rest, I’m sorry to say, will be cat people.) How do I know? Because our parents did it, and they’re pretty much like us, except older. Plus, we’re all talented and beautiful.

We’re all lonely sometimes. It’s okay. Everyone feels it. So feel it. Then put on your favorite band, as long as it’s not Radiohead, and let it be your IALAC card. Let it remind you that life doesn’t suck.

I realize that all this is as cheesy as a box of EZ Mac with a side of Velveeta. But it’s true, and it pains me to see all those holes in the wall and all those tears shed needlessly. Chin up, fellow person. You are lovable and capable.