My girlfriend is ambitious at work and aggressive at play. I can’t compete with her in terms of promotions and the size of her bonuses. When we go on a hike, her competitive attack of every hill leaves me wheezing on the verge of a heart attack while she is barely breaking a sweat. To call her confident and ballsy would be a great understatement.
It used to be when I felt slightly inadequate, I could go order a large stout of Guinness and feel a bit more masculine while she sipped on a girly cocktail like Cosmo or Manhattan.
Now, it seems she emasculates me even when we go to a bar.
Recently, she has developed an obsession with whisky. Preferably single malt. At least 12 years old. And neat or with only one large cube of ice.
Now even in the pub, she reigns with a small tumbler of amber gold and gets royal service from the bartender while my pitiful pint and foam moustache just gets pitiful looks.
I’m sure all of them are thinking, ‘he must be her little brother’.
I don’t know when it happened but suddenly, Hong Kong is full of whisky aficionados. My Shanghainese client used to brag about his cellar full of Lafite. Now, he is now using it for sangria at parties while restocking the vault with prized bottles from Irish and Japanese distilleries.
For some reason, whisky has grown especially popular with women.
Apparently, only about 15 per cent of whisky drinkers in the 1990s were female. Now, that number has risen to 37 per cent in America.
As a strong drink, whisky was always associated with power brokers and macho angst. In the movies, heartbroken men don’t cry, they ask for a double and then say, “just leave the bottle here”.
I guess it’s just another exclusive club women have forced their way into.
As they take over bars and sip expensive Macallan scotch or Crown Royal blend, even James Bond looks like a wuss next to them. He might as well replace his shaken martini with a Shirley Temple and a straw.
Personally, I think that’s why my girl enjoys whisky so much. It’s another way for her to make an empowering statement and shake up the old boys network. I’m sure it’s as satisfying as watching Angelina Jolie in the movies beat the snot out of a muscled thug or seeing Oprah top yet another power list.
Although sometimes it makes me feel not so manly when we go for a drink, I’m secure enough in my male identity that I don’t mind a girlfriend so strong and cocky – pun intended. I do have one concern. I just hope she doesn’t take up cigar smoking.