I was in the kitchen the other morning preparing a pork roast for my trusty crockpot because I already knew I wouldn’t feel like putting in much effort when it came to dinner that night. I was almost done; the pork had been seared, potatoes and onions chopped, beef broth added, all I had left was to add salt, pepper and garlic.
Typical for a Monday morning, I was being lazy and didn’t feel like putting together my garlic zoom; it had been disassembled for a thorough cleaning the night before. Instead, I pulled out my standard garlic press. I find the garlic press easy to use, especially mine. It seemed to be pretty sturdy, well-constructed, and had a nice big handle with a rubber grip so I wouldn’t drop it. Yes, I said it seemed to be sturdy because somehow I managed to break it. It snapped at the joint that connects the two sides together with absolutely no effort whatsoever.
I cannot say that I was particularly surprised, C.P. has plenty of quirks. Some of my favorites include the startle reflex and the inability to control the volume of my voice. By far the most impressive of these quirks is something I like to call the “C.P. death grip.” This is a common quirky ability present in those with Spastic Cerebral Palsy, and is characterized by sometimes uncontrollable grip strength.
This particular quirk has caused a lot of frustration over the years. The garlic press is not the first thing I have broken, crushed or manhandled to the point of destruction. I cannot be trusted with juice boxes, origami masterpieces, or apparently well-made garlic presses. A friend recently told me about an unintentional tug-of-war game she had with a cashier when she simply could not let go of the twenty she was trying to pay with.
As frustrating as my death grip can be at times, it is also one of my favorite C.P. quirks; especially when I can call upon this strength as needed. When my kitten batted at a fishing pole and got a hook snagged in his cheek, I snapped a 30 pound test line with my hands alone. I am the “it” girl when it comes to opening jars, and this grip has also saved me from many falls.
Though this quirk is considered to be part of a disability, it is also an advantage, a real life super-power. Even the times it has worked against me are good experiences. They are unique, they are funny, and I learn valuable lessons, like if I am going to be lazy and use a garlic press, I should probably get one with a warrantee.