In the bar a glass full of beer is common. Beer from the tap is said to be better than from a bottle or can. A bar gains more notoriety for having more choices on tap. As wine is best straight from the barrel, beer is better straight from the keg. Let’s go get a beer friends have said.
I always enjoy hanging out with the guys. We meet at the bar and figure out what to drink. Usually we get a pitcher; Coors Light is often a popular choice. A couple of the guys’ head up to the bar, one of them comes back with the pitcher of beer in one hand and 4 glasses in the other, the other went for moral support. The pitcher is set on the table and glasses are handed out to each guy.
It’s a normal weekend scene at bar tables around the world. Everyone around the table receives a glass. They pass the pitcher, each pouring their beer as we begin catching up. The pitcher seems to have a life of its own making its way around the table. I follow every move it makes dreading its arrival at my glass. The pitcher gets closer as the panic rises in my body. Finally it slides its way next to my glass, signifying my turn to pour myself a beer, but I can’t. There is not enough balance in my wrists to lift the pitcher, balance the glass, and pour the beer. I realize these things, but they don’t, as I try hiding what I perceive as a weakness.
I have chosen not to drink before in similar situations, just let the pitcher sit in front of me; someone will pick it up when they need more in their glass. This time I could ask someone to pour me half a glass, as a full glass would be impossible to balance. The thought of who sits on each side of me comes to mind. The fear of being ridiculed pulls at my emotions. Experience reminds me some friends’ help with no thought, while others’ might snicker over something I can’t control. Even with half a glass I’d need to be careful bringing it to my mouth with a shaky wrist. I could stay frozen by awkwardness, claiming I don’t feel like drinking. My cerebral palsy may remain hidden, but I won’t feel part of the group. Asking for someone to pour half a glass means I can drink with the guys, but I’m still the strange one.
It all runs through my mind. My time is spent weighing the options instead of engaging in conversation. The pitcher reaches my glass; I ask for help, to my surprise they’re happy to pour. I get half a glass of beer. The beer sloshes a little as I lift to take a drink, but doesn’t spill. As I finish up my glass of beer, my buddy pours another half a glass without a problem. After a couple hours of catching up we head our separate ways in agreement to meet up soon. On my way home I ponder the trouble I had asking for help. It would be nice to have the ability to pour my own beer. Accepting I can’t makes me thankful for buddies who are happy to help.