Monday, July 30, 2012

What is Normal?

“That’s not normal.”
“What is wrong with you?”
“When will they find a cure for Aspergers Syndrome?”
I am finding more and more that living with a man with Aspergers is really not so different than living with any man. Each has his own distinct idiosyncrasies. Each has his own strengths and weaknesses. I’m not quite sure what there is to ‘cure’. Steve’s unique gifts and talents far outweigh his weaknesses, though our difficulties in communication can still be frustrating.
I continue to read as much as possible about Aspergers. I do know that there is a movement to separate A.S. from the Autism Spectrum. To state that one is trying to ‘cure’ A.S. seems to me to be similar to trying to ‘cure’ brown eyes or brown hair – what, into blue eyes and blonde hair? That’s a horrifying thought.
An Aspie lacking the ability to empathize is really more akin to lacking musical talent. I am able to carry a tune, but I play the radio with far more adeptness than I can the piano. I can manage a stick drawing far better than creating a Monet-type watercolor, and my linguistic skills are far better than my hubby’s. His basic nature is as introverted as mine is extroverted. That has nothing to do with his Aspergers trait of single-mindedness, which isn’t anything that needs ‘curing’ either.
Temple Grandin states that she does not wish to be ‘cured’. She states that her unique ability to think in pictures is something she wants to keep. She says that she would never want to become ‘normal’ if it meant losing that skill.
As I contemplate my hubby’s annoying habits, I have to honestly face my own annoying habit.
There. I admitted it. I do have more than one.
And I do lack many skills and good habits that others may have. If I were to adopt all those skills and habits, I would not be the wonderfully unique individual that I have been created to be. While I would be remiss if I chose to ignore talents that I have been given, I shouldn’t pine to be someone I’m not.
Nor should I dwell on ‘wishing’ my husband is someone he’s not. If he had diabetes or developed severe food allergies I wouldn’t love him any less. I would indeed have to change my grocery shopping and food preparation routines, but that wouldn’t change my feelings for him one bit. Fact be told, I’d probably be even more protective of him.
So ‘normal’ is a matter of perspective. When it comes to human nature, I am not really sure if there is such a thing as ‘normal’.
Laugh out loud – I do know for a fact that it’s not me!

Sunday, July 29, 2012


This season’s baseball is done. Kidlet’s team didn’t make playoffs so we have no games today. It was our last tournament. Finished. Completed. No more. It’s a very happy/sad time. Football practice started a month ago and Kidlet will be playing until early November. But he and I will miss baseball.
Because yesterday was such a long day, with us leaving the house at six in the morning and arriving home shortly after nine last night, I was thrilled to see a partial pot of coffee left from yesterday. Yes, sadly, I am one of those people who reheat coffee. I figure if there’s no floaty stuff on the surface, then a good boil in the microwave will take care of any other nasty stuff in the java itself. I am a child of a child from the Great Depression. I was raised to be thrifty.
My husband, however, is cheap. There are no two ways around it. The lengths and depths of his cheapness can still astound me.
Back to my coffee this morning. Steve is heading down the front hallway to take the dogs out for their first morning constitutional. I had pulled my reheated cup out of the microwave and just taken a sip when the intensity of the awfulness fully hit. I instantly spewed my mouthful of coffee across the pantry door, cupboards, surrounding walls and tiled floor.
“AAAHHHHGGGGHHHH!” I cried. “Steve! What is wrong with the coffee?”
“Ummm, I just ran more water through the leftover grounds yesterday afternoon.” With that he and our pups dashed out the front door. It closed with a resolute thud.
I dumped the rest of my cup in the sink and began to mop up my mess. Holy moly, fried cannoli. Once again I am reminded of my dear spouse’s and my differences. I am sure that there are many of you readers that would shudder at my ‘thriftiness’ and those who would agree with Steve’s ‘cheapness’. Beauty, and progress, are in the mind of the beholder. I don’t think it has specific Apsie influences.
My hubby and I both like a ‘good deal’. We love saving money when possible. But I rarely clip coupons. If I do, I end up in the grocery store for hours with my calculator trying to figure out if buying the couponed item is worth it over my usual brand. I read labels and compare ingredients. It’s convoluted and frustrating.
I hate shopping, so now that our local store has their coupons online I just go on their website, pick the coupons for the items I already use, and voila! The coupons are applied to my final purchase at checkout. I can be in and out of the store in…. well, if you exclude the time I visit with everyone, under fifteen minutes. (Add the visiting time and it’s about an hour and a half.)
My hubby loves to go to garage sales on the last day in the last hour. He is thrilled when the homeowner offers to let him fill his pickup will all of the leftover stuff for five bucks, or sometimes even free. Car parts, tools, old machinery, broken lawn mowers, weed eaters, hedge trimmers, snow blowers. Whatever has (or in this case ‘had’) any sort of engine, my Sweetie latches on for dear life. He loves his treasures.
I really can’t talk as our house is full of our dearly departed family members’ leftover crap. Everyone says, “I just knew how much so-and-so meant to you so here is their paper doily collection”. I don’t have the heart to say “But we have enough stuff of our own. Please don’t give that to me. I don’t need it or want it. I loved so-and-so dearly, but I can’t use any more stuff.” I’m pure chicken that way. I hate hurting people’s feelings.
My fresh pot of coffee is done brewing, so I shall go grab a cup. Perhaps today would be a good day to clean out the garage. I wonder if Steve has any friends who would like a free pickup load of stuff.
Anyone out there collect paper doilies?

Friday, July 27, 2012

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

My husband loves to think that he knows everything. At least yesterday he did.
Today he thinks he’s an idiot and knows nothing.
Tomorrow, I haven’t a clue as to his frame of mind. Some of his thinking is Aspie driven, some is ‘male’ driven, and some is just randomly his own. It doesn’t help when he has family members telling him that there is no such thing as Aspergers, that he most certainly doesn’t have it, and that he needs to divorce me because all I ever do is try to ‘control’ him.
Hmmm. I wonder who really is trying to exert control.

Steve recognizes and acknowledges that he is very absent-minded. The other day I had to walk him step by step on how to turn the oven on. He had completely forgotten how to work the electronic pushbutton controls. We’ve had this oven set for almost two years now. You’d think he’d remember.

For years now my Sweetie has been battling a very large two section gate on our fencing that opens to his ‘junk yard’ for parts cars behind his shop. I grew up in a family that was in construction trades. I watched my dad, uncles and cousins all build their own homes and spec homes on weekends as they worked in commercial construction during the week. My dad actually worked on the Space Needle here in Seattle back in the early 1960’s, and there was a photo of him with his co-workers on the front of a Life magazine issue.
When Steve bought the lumber for his shop fence, I quickly sketched out a couple of diagrams of building ideas, and suggested how the gate could be built since it would be large, heavy and on uneven ground.
“Do I have to build it your way?” he challenged, as I showed him my paper.
:”Well, of course not,” I answered. “Since you work on cars and with metal, not wood, and you don’t have any construction experience, I thought I could share some of my knowledge and experience with you.”
He ignored my scribblings and walked away. He built a six foot fence with barely ten inches of post sunk in the ground. He wouldn’t cement the posts in. He wanted to save on lumber so he put the posts twelve feet apart and put twelve foot lengths of fencing in between.
Needless to say, he built two twelve foot long ‘gates’ that had two wimpy hinges on each side that sort of swing together in an attempt to shut. Mostly they just drag on the ground and don’t close. But it’s his fence and his project. I’ve kept my mouth shut.
The other day the Hubster came storming into the house after failing to get his gates open. He charged over to Kidlet and informed him that he was to help fix the gates on Saturday.
Whoops. Kidlet has baseball and won’t be home until late. Hubster wasn’t happy.
I had just about opened my mouth to mention that if Steve had built his gates the way I suggested to start with he’d be having no problems with them now. Fortunately I was able to gulp some coffee down and stifle my impulse. It wouldn’t do anything other than cause strife at this point.
But I do love that sign. Men, take heed!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I was making lunch for Kidlet and his friend today when I found a bag of baby carrots in the fruit bowl. I was grabbing a couple of apples to cut up for my two favorite metal-mouths and noticed some plastic sticking up from under the bananas. As I moved the fruit around to see what was underneath, I realized it was not fruit, but veggies. My husband likes to pack his own lunch and usually packs baby carrots. Why they were put in the fruit bowl instead of the veggie bin in the fridge is a mystery.
I had a warning light come on in my car. “Coolant sensor failure”. I know what that means. So I asked Steve if it would be difficult to pick up a new one for me and change it out. He asked me if he could look at my owner’s manual. I suggested that he would probably get more info from the repair manual, but he was welcome to look. So, for the next half hour or so, he did. Look, that is. Nothing in the owner’s manual about changing the sensor, just the coolant.
So then he went and got the repair manual. Another half an hour went by.
“Did you find it?” I asked.
“No, it doesn’t cover it at all,” replied Hubby.
Hmmm. That seemed odd to me. So I picked up the manual and flipped to the index at the back of the book. Under “Coolant” it listed “temperature sensor” in chapter 6 page 16. I flipped to that section and there was a full page of photos and instructions for locating and replacing the sensor. It took me almost ten seconds.
“Here it is Sweetie!” I handed Steve the book.
“That’s not it!” barked He. “That says ‘temperature sensor’ not ‘coolant sensor’.”
“But Sweetie, they are one and the same!” says I.
“You said “Coolant Sensor”! You didn’t say “temperature sensor”! See here? I wrote it down just the way you said it. You get things all scrabbled! Why won’t you just admit you are wrong?” fumes Hubby.
Eeyyii yyiiieeee! I thought about pointing out that I think he means ‘scrambled’ not scrabbled, but figured it was easier to keep my mouth shut. Steve has enough miscommunications every day that leave him feeling like a big dope.
So many people don’t have a clue when it comes to dealing with a person with Asperger’s Syndrome. Because it takes Steve a few minutes to process verbal communication, he often will just stare straight ahead with his mouth hanging open, sometimes his lips even moving, as he tries to figure out what he thinks he heard. Sometimes if he isn’t ready to listen (as his mind is already busy with his own thoughts), he only gets some of the words spoken to him. Sometimes he will stare overly long at someone else while being spoken to which can make him appear strange or weird. Many times his eyes will shift all over the place in order to not make eye contact with the speaker which is interpreted as  being dishonest or creepy.

My hubby may be an Aspie geek, but he’s not any of those other words. And when it is all said and done, I can actually change out the sensor myself now that I see where it is located on the engine. The instructions are simple and clear.

Let’s just hope I don’t ‘scrabble’ anything when I’m under the hood. I like my car just the way it is!

Sunday, July 22, 2012


“I love you” are probably the three most powerful words in any language, but can be so hard to believe if not followed up by action on the part of the speaker to the speakee.
Asperger’s Syndrome can greatly hamper said communication.
I did it again last night. I said those dreaded words. “What is wrong with you?”
Granted, it was late and I was tired and a bit frustrated. But it is absolutely silly of me to expect normal 'logic' from my esteemed spouse.
After a busy chore-filled day, Steve took me out to dinner. I really appreciated not having to think of preparing a meal. Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook. I just grow weary of having to come up with meal ideas. Tell me what to cook with the ingredients I have on hand and I can make just about anything you want.
The little diner that my Sweetie took me to had a bluegrass band playing. They were fantastic. We sat out on the patio in the warm summer dusk eating pulled pork sandwiches and tapping our feet to incredible music. Local friends that came in after us joined us at our big patio table, so I was able to converse with others while Steve chewed, smiled and rocked gently with the rhythms.
As the conversation at our table ebbed and flowed, someone mentioned tractors. My hubby’s ears perked up and his head swiveled around. Tractors are close enough to cars that he was finally interested in something we were talking about. The others at our table looked surprised. The gal sitting next to me commented quietly, “So he speaks!”
Laugh out loud, yes dear, he does. Let’s hope not too long!
Heading home Steve and I talked a bit about it. That’s when he informed me that it was ‘impolite’ to speak while someone was performing and he had been embarrassed by my behavior.
Say what? It’s a cafĂ©/beer garden with live music on the weekends. Didn’t he see that people were chatting at all the tables around us? The musicians are used to it; they expect it. If it was truly improper then why was Steve the only one in the entire place who wasn’t talking to anyone? Why did he start talking the minute a subject that interested him was introduced?
And then I said “It”.
“What is wrong with you?”
I am sorry, Sweetie. I realize that sometime in your life you were ‘shushed’ at a musical performance, thus cementing the ‘no talking at performances’ rule in your mind. Unfortunately, sometimes that is the ‘rule’ and sometimes it’s not. For the rigid Aspie it can be very hard to differentiate or understand.
Which is why you have me as your helpmate. There is nothing ‘wrong’ with you. You and I together make a 'whole'. We complement and complete each other. We fill gaps in knowledge or experience for each other.
I love you!

Friday, July 20, 2012

The World as Seen by My Aspie Hubby

Earlier this week our daughter posted a request for some of Steve's viewpoints.

"I'd love to hear his perspective on how you deal with this. Could be interesting to turn the table. Just a thought."

So, Dear Daughterlet, here are the links to his writing!


Unhappy Face

My phone buzzes. Incoming text from the Hubster.
“Where on the keyboard is the 'unhappy face button'?”
Say what? I call him to inquire.
“I am trying to comment on my truck forum regarding a 1963 Power Wagon PTO conversion involving aluminum housing. The factory winch bumper has no fairlead rollers. The fellow needs to weld A-frame mounts. He doesn’t want to bend the springs if he's got too much torque on the A-frame. Aluminum welding with a 115 volt feeder won't give you the same bead as 22 guage from a 230.... ”
“Okay doke, Sweetie,” I reply in puzzlement. “What does that have to do with an ‘unhappy face button’?”
“Weeellllllll,” and my spouse’s voice trails off.
I walk to the storage closet to grab a duster. I know that Steve is now thinking. It can take him just about the same amount of time to formulate his answer to me as it takes me to dust the living room. So I do. And he does.
“If a specific desire for an M-37 with a hemi is eminent, you’d have to first pull the stock 6 with L head. You’d have to locate a good 4 speed tranny and then…”

Again his voice trails off.
I am now onto the dining room. I love my dining table and chairs until it’s time to dust.
When there’s still no response from the other end of the open line (which I just checked to make sure I didn’t lose connection), I ask Sweetie if he is still there. I now hear keyboard noises. Steve always makes sure he presses (pounds) hard enough to active the keys.
“Steve, are you there?”
“Hummmnnmmm,” is the reply.
“Steve, I really need to get going. What about the ‘unhappy face button’?” I quiz.
“Hmmmfffph! I didn’t think it could be done! The adapter plate for the bellhousing would screw up the factory PTO unless you bolt an NP420 in. That’s why. Which button is the ‘unhappy face’?”
“Sorry Sweetheart. There is no single ‘unhappy face button’ on the keyboard. You have to use…”
“Well, why didn’t you say that in the first place?” Hubby interrupted. “You made me waste my words!”
With that I heard a disconnect. Which is accurate in more ways than one, lol.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

“It’s Complicated”

In our current social networking world, this phrase is often used to describe a personal relationship status that’s probably about to end. The party/parties involved might be hoping to work things out, or are in denial about their separation or even singleness.
In the Aspie world, it’s an excellent description of day to day living.
My husband still finds it hard to accept that he simply thinks differently. He will ‘beat himself up’ for it. Just this morning we had another discussion about his ‘different’ thinking.
We are installing new pellet stoves that hold more fuel at one time, and have thermostats to regulate heat production. The thermostats need to be mounted on the wall and I want Steve to help me with the installation. This needs to be done at a time we are both home together and both available at the same time to work together. Please note the emphasis on ‘the two of us’.
As Steve was waiting for the coffee to finish brewing enough for him to fill his commuter mug, he was musing about drilling holes to mount the thermostat box tonight. I reminded him that Kidlet and I would be gone for football practice.
“So what?” queried Hubby.
“Remember? I really want you to help me with the installation. I won’t be home tonight.” I responded.
“I can do it myself!” retorts He. “I don’t need your help!”
I erupt in laughter, thankful I didn’t have a mouthful of coffee.
Hubster grumps at me. “Why don’t you think I can?”
“Because your brain thinks differently. You have dyslexia and you do things backwards. You don’t think it’s necessary to square things up or use a level. You can’t read and follow the directions. You think you know it already, and that the people who wrote the instructions are stupid and wasting your time with needless steps. You use the wrong types of tools with the wrong sort of screws and nails, saying that it doesn’t matter! Well, Dearest, to me it does matter. I want to be there when you drill the holes and try to line things up.”
Steve was quiet. Then he declared, “You are right. I’m stupid.”
“NO, NO, NO!” I insisted. “You are not stupid. You are very, very smart – in many areas. But your brain is wired differently and it doesn’t always process things the same way. Remember, you and I have different roles and jobs in our family, just like your company has thousands of different people in a multitude of different jobs. They don’t expect you to know everything about running their company, or want you to be able to do every job. They hired you for your specific knowledge in engineering. You have worked there for twenty-five years because you are very smart and have the skills needed to continue doing whatever it is you are doing!”
I then ask him if he puts himself down because he wears glasses. He responded that of course he doesn’t. I pointed out that if his vision isn’t perfect and it doesn’t affect his intelligence, then why would he put himself down because he isn’t good at construction? I am, so I just need him to assist me!
Steve blinked a few times, and then adjusted his glasses. I could see the wheels and gears turning in his head. He nodded a few times, absently grabbed his coffee and lunchbox, and headed out the door. I’m sure he will be thinking about this for a day or two. Then he will launch back into this discussion as if no time had elapsed.
I just hope I remember that this is what we were talking about at that time – lol.

Monday, July 16, 2012


We lost. All weekend. After an incredible nine run comeback Kidlet’s team lost by two in the final inning of their first game. Second game they won, but lost by forfeit as this tournament had a rule that pitchers could only pitch four innings per game, and one of ours had pitched five (whoops). Next game the wheels fell off half way through and final game was Kidlet’s rotation to the bench. I was disappointed.
And yes, Mom’s attitude was the one that was bad; not Kidlet’s. He says he just wants to play baseball. I have so much to learn from him.
After arriving to our casa dulce casa, I had to deal with an angry, withdrawn hubby who had been at home guarding the fort while we were gone. The minute I stepped in the door he had expected praise for vacuuming the house. I did thank him briefly, but without the lavished praise he thought was his due. The Hubster was very disappointed.

Hello! I’ve vacuumed twice or three times a week for twenty years now with no praise. Hubby doesn't get it.

Our new dog, a German Shorthair, is very, very strong. He doesn’t really listen to Steve. He’s well behaved for me, but (alas) I wasn’t there this weekend. During a walk his harness broke. Fortunately he loves car rides so all you have to do is open a car door & he will jump right in. When I received the text that the harness had broken, I suggested that Steve use the choke collar instead, which would also help correct the lunging which broke the previous collars and harnesses. Steve managed to break the choke collar. I was disappointed, but handled that poorly by becoming angry with Steve. No excuses. I behaved badly.
“I will never ever walk that dog again!” the Hubster informed me.
I should have respond, “No problem Dear. Kidlet can walk his own dog. During our next tournament I will send Dog to Manlet’s house to visit.” But I didn't. I allowed my disappointment domination over my attitude.
Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. wrote a good article in Psychology Today on ‘How to Deal With Disappointment’.
"Even when you have a great life, you may not always get what you want. Everybody handles disappointment in his or her own way. Some pout, a few get angry, and others go into denial. So how do you handle disappointment, and is there room for improvement?

Pouting is a common response, but feeling sorry for yourself only blocks you from achieving your goals and moving forward in life. Okay, so it didn't work out; too bad, so sad. You need to get off your butt and do something constructive or fun, because life is a limited window of opportunity, and you really don't want to waste your time on what doesn't work. Better to seek out other opportunities or find a positive distraction.

Sometimes we get mad at ourselves because we have unintentionally hurt someone we love, or perhaps we feel like an idiot because we did or said something stupid. The truth is that someone who really cares about you will not hold your foibles against you, and you need to learn to do the same for yourself. Just make a brief apology and move on. Everyone involved will be better for it, especially you."

I have some apologizing to do today.
Then I have to get Kidlet to football practice and his orthodontist, take a run through Costco, fill the car up, do laundry, clean out the car and wash it, then do the rest of the house cleaning.

Yes Dear Husband, there is more than just vacuuming. In fact, the floors probably need vacuuming again, now that I look at them.
Disappointment usually comes from unmet expectations. I will try hard to not expect anything today other than hoping that I shouldn’t have to apologize for much tomorrow.
I need to read some Erma Bombeck or Dave Berry. It’s time to laugh.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


“I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not so sure…”

My dear hubby’s voice trailed off. I nearly split my britches trying not to laugh as I know he is serious.

Decision making can be one of the toughest parts of Steve’s daily life. There are so many things that he just doesn’t get around to doing, and I’d imagine, in part, it’s due to his conflicted feelings and thoughts about what exactly to do. He tends to over think things.

As I sat in bed reading last night I heard thumping from the kitchen, which is directly on the other side of the wall from our headboard. I got up to see what was going on.

We’ve recently added a new dog to our family and he is wickedly smart. Finn can open doors to let himself in or out. He is able to open coolers. A few days ago Steve caught Finn running down the hall from the kitchen with a bag of cheese rolls dangling from his mouth that, prior to the blatant theft, had been in the bread drawer. Our other dog’s favorite food is bread. Sadie passes up steak for a dinner roll. So to find out that Finn can open the bread drawer and bring Sadie a ‘snack’ was a shock. A couple of mornings ago Finn jumped up to the counter and ate Kidlet’s bacon off his plate as I turned to get the eggs out of the pan. Cheese Louise, Kidlet was sad. It was the last bit of bacon.

As I entered the kitchen last night, I flipped on the light as it was pitch dark. There was Steve bumbling around.

“What are you doing, Sweetie?” I asked.

“I’m trying to figure out what to eat,” says He.

“Why are you in the dark?” I quiz.

“Because I don’t know if what I want is in a drawer or cupboard, in the fridge, or in the pantry,” came the reply.

This actually makes a great deal of sense. The main kitchen lights would illuminate cupboards or drawers. The fridge has it’s own light, as does the pantry. My Sweetie is majorly into saving energy, especially his own at times.

“How about making yourself some popcorn?” I suggest.

Relief floods Steve’s face. His body visibly relaxes.

“Perfect!” declares He.

After slipping back under the covers, I keep my book in my lap for a bit and contemplate what my day would be like if I had to agonize over each and every decision I made. Certainly some of my past would have been easier had I given a little more thought to some of the decisions I have made. But overall, life would seem paralyzing if I had to operate minute by minute as Steve does. Perhaps he weighs each outcome. Perhaps he analyzes every scenario. Perhaps he is just stumped as to his choices.

Life does have its ups and downs. Decisions can be hard at times. To be truthful, sometimes I scream and sometimes I enjoy the ride. I’m just glad Steve is riding with me.

Please pass the popcorn.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Seems like a simple word.

It’s the realization of a fact or truth and coming to terms with it. The willingness to believe that something is true. Toleration of a situation without protest.

A monkey can accept that it can’t soar through the air like a bird. A bird can accept that it can’t swing through the trees like a monkey.

But we humans often refuse to recognize or accept our own limitations. It can be one of the toughest things about Asperger’s Syndrome.

I was reading Aspie Audrey’s blog a few weeks ago. Audrey and her therapist were talking about her dyslexia:

 “which, SURPRISE…often accompanies Asperger’s Syndrome (When does the list end?!)… we spoke about the day to day struggle of life skills I seem to face. We talked about limitations and acceptance. I thought I was a person who KNEW my limitations. Turns out I have not accepted what I know.
His words were ‘If you keep comparing yourself to the other[s]… you will feel guilty all the time for something your brain CAN"T DO… Driving is… something you may need to give up in the future. (My heart plummeted.) … This is not failing. This is accepting…We all have limitations in various ways. Some more than others. Believe it. Acceptence enables the person to tone down their emotional response, which makes every situation a bit easier…You have not accepted yourself as you are in these areas…You are not lazy. So why do you think you are if you accept these limitations? If you keep pushing yourself to be what you are not by expecting yourself to make meals or drive independently…you will not only fail but you will feel awful always.’”

Boy oh boy does this hit home for my husband and I. Steve is moderately dyslexic, and completely directionally challenged. (see my blog 'Directionally Challenged')

I have asked my hubby to be evaluated by a certified driving teacher, but he refuses. I won’t let Kidlet ride in a car driven by him. I occasionally will ride with Steve just to see if his claim is true that he has been consciously working on improving his driving skills. He hasn’t. I can hardly wait for Kidlet to get his driving permit next year so he can drive with his dad in the car. Perhaps Dad will learn a thing or two. Perhaps not.

I am sure that Steve doesn’t want to face giving up his license. As I age I contemplate life without the freedom to come and go with my own vehicle. Maybe I can convince youngest Kidlet to live at home forever and chauffeur me around.

On second thought, what a horrible thing to saddle him with. I will just hire myself a pool boy who can also drive.

Now that’s a nice thought….

Laugh out loud.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Boxed To Go

Hurray, it’s the weekend! Summer has finally come to the great Northwest (from Memorial Day weekend until the 4th of July it rains constantly here).

There are no weddings, graduations, birthdays, holidays, baseball tournaments, retirement parties or classes. Absolutely no plans what-so-ever.
We dropped Kidlet off at Manlet’s apartment last night so they could go play for the weekend, and Steve and I went out to dinner with a gift card I had from my birthday. My hubby was thrilled to have a ‘free’ meal.

The wait for a table was short even though the restaurant was busy. We had a lovely table in a secluded section with minimal noise around us. Our waiter was pleasant, and just attentive enough to meet our needs, but give us privacy to talk.

With bread, salad and drinks in front of us, we did just that. Or at least I did. Steve was busy digging into his fodder. It was just late enough that we were both starved. I do really wish that speaking burned up calories like running does. At least it slows my consumption down.
Work has been going well for Steve, and the new summer class that he is teaching was filled to capacity – a good boost for his ego. He loves sharing his knowledge, which (in his interest areas) seems limitless. My spouse is content, relaxed, and happy. He even smiled numerous times at me while looking directly at my face. Which makes me happy, of course.
As the evening progressed and our entrees served, we (mostly me) conversed, laughed, supped, and at last pushed our nearly empty plates away. We sighed contentedly while declining dessert.
Our waiter brought a take-out box for our leftovers, which Steve enthusiastically filled while expounding upon what a lovely meal it would make for his lunch the next day. My Sweetie loves leftovers. I do on some things, but others are best shared with the dog.
We exited the restaurant’s cool interior into the dusky warm evening. As we climbed into the car I opened the sunroof and all the windows. Seatbelts snapped shut, radio turned on, I hit the highway towards home. A huge orange moon was just rising to the east over the small town we live near. Great food in our bellies, classic rock gently thumping,  and warm summer air blowing through the car lulled us into a pleasant silence all the way home.
As I pulled into the driveway, Steve loudly gasped. I tromped on the brakes expecting to see deer or a bear or cougar directly in front of us. Since we live in a rural area we often see these critters around.
“Did you grab the take out box?” Sweetie asked.
“No, you filled it and it was on the table in front of you,” I replied. “Did you forget it?”
“Ummm, well, ahhh…” was the mumble from the passenger seat.
Oh well, just a slight hiccup in an otherwise perfect evening.

I laughed. Steve didn’t.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Technically Speaking...

It's been a busy, busy week and a half for our family, culminating with a fantastic 4th of July celebration with friends last night.
Of course Steve would have spoken thusly: “Technically speaking, we went to the home of our Kidlet’s buddy where there were other family members of the buddy that we had never met before because they live out of state and their infant had just been born.”
Kidlet had just ended a five day baseball tourney, plus the 4th is his birthday.
Steve would have corrected me.
“Technically speaking, the tournament was only four days for Kidlet’s team because they didn’t win their semi-final game so they didn’t play in the championship game which constituted the fifth day.”
Our Manlet laughingly pointed out his dad’s often used phrase last night. (Since our oldest son’s adulthood years nearly equal his kidlet years, he has asked to be referred to as ‘manlet’ - technically speaking.)
I suppose that I must be use to it, but after my attention had been towards that specific phrase, I realized how often my sweet hubby makes that declaration. I bet he thinks it to himself even more often.
That phrase apparently can be learned response as Kidlet uses it also, though he usually scores lower than I do on web-based Aspie tests, technically speaking.
Last night we had another typically odd conversation on the way home.
“Well,” blurts Steve, “It’s nice that Kidlet’s buddy’s parents have four kids.”
As he spoke this, we drove past the family’s eldest daughter walking down the block with her friend.
“No,” I responded, “They have five kids, two sons and three daughters. The middle daughter wasn’t there because she had to work. The little girl that was there is middle daughter’s daughter which, technically speaking, is their granddaughter, as was the baby who is the oldest son’s daughter. The other young woman in attendance at the party was their daughter-in-law, who is their eldest son’s wife and mother of the infant.”
“No!” retorted Steve. “I meant they have four kids in their house.”
“No,” I continued hesitantly. “Technically speaking, there is just one of their kids in the house. We just passed oldest daughter walking. The youngest daughter is outside by the fire with Kidlet’s buddy, the youngest son. So there is just one of their kids in their house. Oldest son with his infant daughter.”
“No!” said Steve. “I meant they have four kids living in their house.”
“No, Dear. Technically speaking, there are only two of their kids living in their house right now. Their oldest son and two oldest daughters live elsewhere, as do their two granddaughters and their daughter-in-law. Only their two youngest kids live at home.”
“I know that,” declares He. “I just meant ‘How many kids do they have?’”
“Well, for crying out loud!” says I. “Why didn’t you just ask that to start with?”
Technically speaking, of course.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Only Different

“I was thirty years old and had been married five years when I learned that I have Aspergers syndrome… Receiving such a diagnosis as an adult might seem shocking and unsettling. It wasn’t. Eye-opening, yes. Life-changing, yes. But not distressing in the least. Strangely, it was rather empowering to discover that I had this particular condition. In fact, the diagnosis ultimately changed my life for the better.”

The Journal of Best Practices David Finch – Simon & Schuster, Inc 2012
The book opens with Dave going through a self-help quiz with his wife. He says, “I found the questions rather amusing until we came to a section so personally reveling that it pulled the air from my lungs and made me forget how to blink.”
He ends up scoring 155 out of 200. He then asked his wife, “who is perhaps the most un-Asperger’s person” that he knew to take the same test. She scored 8.
Dave continues with his initial reaction after the test.
“I was not upset. I was not conflicted. The knowledge felt amazing. It was cathartic. And it made perfect sense. Of course! Here were answers, handed to me so easily, to almost every difficult question I’d had since childhood: Why is it so hard for me to engage with people? Why do I seem to perceive and process things so differently from everyone else? Why do the sounds and phrases that play in a continuous loop in my head seem louder and command more attention than the actual world around me? In other words, why am I different?”
For my husband, as is for many people with Aspergers, it can be a struggle to accept the diagnosis – self-administered or diagnosed by a medical professional. There are times his family members try to convince him he doesn’t have Aspergers, even though not one of them is a medical doctor, and even though he has been diagnosed by four doctors totally independent from each other. Even though the medications he takes daily help him function throughout his day. Even though he fits right in with his Aspie group that meets on a regular basis.
I was never looking for a cookie-cutter mate. Yes, there are challenges in communication and social aspects of our life. But I am thankful that Steve is my spouse. I sincerely hope that his family will lay off of him. It doesn’t help his depression that he struggles with. He is what he is. Different.
And that is just fine with me!