A person playing pool and all the balls are clearly marked with bullseyes on them.

Don't Let Me Win

Recently, my cousin and I went to Dave and Buster's to celebrate his birthday. To set the scene, there are a few things you should know about me...

Competitive, but am I skilled?

The first thing is: While I am extremely supportive to everyone in almost every aspect of my life, but when it comes to being competitive, I LOVE to talk trash. I say this because a few months prior to this outing my cousin and I played pool. He scratched on the 8-ball meaning I WON. I literally bring up my victory every chance I get and Dave and Buster's was no different.

On that night, I was already starting with my shenanigans before we even began the game. This leads me to the second thing you should know about me: Despite all my trash talk, I have no official pool table skills and 10 times out of 10 no plan when I shoot my shot! Nonetheless, I still have all the confidence in the world when I do. 

Accommodating for my vision loss?

That night, my cousin let me take the first shot to break up all the balls. I knocked the first solid ball in the hole and he said, “Okay. You're solids and I'm stripes.” In preparation to take my next shot, I asked him if the ball that I am aiming for is the purple one or the 8-ball. He replied, “Oh wait. Would it be easier to just play any ball?” I respond quickly with a snarky “Don’t let me win cause I can’t see,” to which he laughed and held no mercy.  We continued the game; he won and I, being the great opponent that I am, congratulated him on his victory.

Being treated differently due to a disability

This specific interaction brought up an important theme: Most people with disabilities do not want to be treated differently due to their diagnosis. We know what we need in order to execute a certain task. For me being able to participate in a “normal task with normal people” is a victory all in itself.  It is totally fine to ask for accommodations at any time.

Bumpers for bowling

After we finished playing pool we went bowling. In this activity, I did request an accommodation: bumpers. In this case, it was not because of my eyesight, it was simply because I am a terrible bowler. However, my request was denied by cousins, and in the end, I made the choice not to bowl.

Not always accommodating

It just goes to show that sometimes in life people will accommodate your request, and other times they will deny it, which is totally fine in certain settings. I just know that if I want to bowl with the bumpers that I will have to go bowling with my four-year-old son and not my 30+ year-old cousin. Take risks, as John Maxwell says: “Fail early, fail often but always fail forward” … at least that’s the way eye see it.

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