Typical bar encounter at a gig last night.
I grabbed some cash and went to the venue but when I got to the bar I saw the dreaded sign “cards only”.
A drunk bloke waiting at the bar saw me about to ask the bar staff something and aggressively told me to wait my turn pal as he was first.
I asked if the bar downstairs was also card only and barman said yes which meant I was unable to buy my own drink.
So I explained to the drunk bloke that I couldn’t buy my own drink and asked him if he’d like to buy me a drink instead. I waved my wad of cash at him so he knew he’d not be out of pocket.
He said no - not really but then agreed in the end as he understood my predicament and knew he’d get my money. So I went first and ordered my drink… a ginger beer! 😝
Drunk bloke hits the roof and says fucks sake man you’re not having one of them after all that - like I was insulting his newly offered friendship purely on his imagined contract of me asking for an alcoholic drink.
Now, it’s actually none of his business what I drink, but nevertheless I had to decide how to play this one coz he wasn’t happy and the barman was waiting to see how this one went.
So I leaned in to the drunk man and very careful explained that I’m in recovery, which I’m comfortable saying, but me and him were not getting on too well at this point so I had hesitant about it coz sometimes people don’t understand. He was a big man, fairly well tanked and already pretty pissed off with me for butting in and then requesting his help.
Something clicked in him as he heard me say this and he instantly understood what I’d explained. He visibly softened and relaxed and asked me how long.
Six years I said to which he replied he’d once done ten before lapsing. Done Fellowship and everything he proudly explained but had fallen back in it.
He tried to give me my money back but I firmly reused it and gave him enough for his own drink too. As we parted he looked me in the eye shook my hand firmly and I know what he was thinking by his new body language and strong eye contact. It was “Fair play pal, I get you”.
Over the past few years I’ve had quite a few drinkers quietly tell me they wish they could quit or cut down and in that brief contact of a handshake I felt him set himself an intention to review his own drinking.
Telling this story here as I’m sure other non-drinkers will also have been “tutted at” for having a soft drink in a round. It never fucking gets easier does it unless you are with understanding mates. And to those of you wanting to review your own drinking, my advice is to listen to your heart and do whatever you feel is right for you, whenever that will be.