Tuesday, September 25, 2012


“I don’t pretend to be Captain Weird. I just do what I do.” Johnny Depp
“I’m one of those regular weird people.” Janis Joplin
“I use to think anyone doing anything weird was weird. Now I know that it is the people that call others weird that are weird.” Paul McCartney
“Know what’s weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change. But pretty soon, everything’s different.” Bill Watterson
“I never set out to be weird. It was always other people who called me weird.” Frank Zappa
To give a slight twist to a line from Forrest Gump, weird is as weird does.
I was reminded this morning about how unique and different each human being on this earth is. Thank you Lord that there are no other humans exactly like me. What a scary thought.
While many of my husband’s Aspie traits can make him appear ‘weird’ to those around him who aren’t aware of his Aspergers Syndrome, there are many things about me, a neurotypical (someone not on the autism spectrum), that may be construed as being weird also.

I am a woman who hates shopping, loves cars, baseball and football, and prefers to ‘play’ with the boys rather than dress up and go out with the girls.
I love cooking and ‘homemaking’, but hate house cleaning.
I love to read, and I love writing fiction or about specific life events, but I hate to write notes or letters.
I adore throwing parties but hate going to other people’s homes for parties.
I love Facebook and I hate LinkedIn.
I’m weird. My life doesn’t make sense to many people, but my husband ‘gets’ me. Oddly enough, I usually ‘get’ him now that I’ve been educating myself about Aspergers. I'm being to  understand a lot of our communication ‘breakdowns’. More importantly, I realize that a lot of his ‘odd reactions’ are done out of ‘mind blindness’ and are not direct actions against me.
We are weirdly compatible, and I’m just fine with that.
Isn’t that weird? lol…

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Act My Age?

“What’s wrong with how I am acting? I thought you liked humor,” grumbled my esteemed Mate to my now-cowering-form under the side of the linen tablecloth.
I peeked over the edge of the table. Amongst the crystal stemware and china, I could see heads turned towards us, dozens of pairs of eyes focused on the ridiculous folded linen napkin perched upon Steve’s head. A hush had fallen over the room.
I cringed some more.
“Sir, would you care for a fresh serviette?” our waiter politely questioned as his hand reached towards Steve’s cranium.
“NO!” barked He whose head wear was causing the disturbance. The Hubster then whipped the offending cloth off of his noggin and onto his lap. Picking up the menu, he balanced it on his hand while I held my breath, wondering if it would next adorn the upper regions of yon spouse. He did indeed open it to peruse the dinner offerings held within.
I slid back up and let out my breath. Helpmate, indeed!
Keeping that dining experience in mind, I now rarely book an expensive restaurant for celebratory events. A nice trip to Chuck E Cheese's is more my husband’s style. When he is comfortable, I am comfortable.
Browsing the web, I ran across more info on dealing with Aspie/NT relationships on "Dealing With an Aspergers Husband".
·                     Aspergers men in particular may find conflict almost intolerable.  They may hear a difference of opinion or an attempt to explain a different perspective about a situation as conflict or a criticism of who they are.
·                     Neurotypical women especially tend to want their spouse to understand them and their feelings.  However, they need to realize that this is something they may not be able to get from their Aspergers spouse.  Some change may be possible, but the neurotypical spouse may need to adjust his/her expectation, and find other places for support without being unrealistic about what they expect from their Aspergers spouse.
·                     The most basic elements of speaking and hearing are the most important issues that the Aspergers-Neurotypical couples may have.  Aspies often have a very difficult time hearing negative emotions expressed by their spouse.  They may refuse to communicate, but then end up lashing-out in a very hurtful way later on.

I can so relate to these things. Steve hates conflict. I don’t like being embarrassed. If I state my feelings about the embarrassment, Steve takes it as criticism. He does tend to dwell on the perceived 'criticizing' and tries to ‘get even’ later on, usually by breaking something of mine. Passive aggressive behavior.
Overall, I find it easier to ‘adjust’ my expectations. I have lovely kids and friends to dine with at ‘fancy’ places. I can create my own happiness and allow Steve the freedom to be himself.
And, most of all, I can laugh – although sometimes it is much later on…

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Bananas, nuts, crazy, wild, ballistic, cuckoo. Mad, daft, demented, lunatic, insane, barmy.
Are those with Aspergers Syndrome mentally handicapped?
I was reviewing comments and messages for this blog, and had mentioned to Steve how amazing it was to me to know that my blog has been read in over one hundred different countries around the world.
“Isn’t that fantastic?” I asked.
“No,” he responded, “It’s scary.”
“Scary?” quizzed I. “How is it scary?”
I wondered if he was concerned about identity theft, or something along those lines.
“All those people thinking that I am mentally handicapped is scary,” he explained.
I was stunned at Steve’s response. Say what?
I immediately did a search for Aspergers and mental ‘illness’. Google referred me to a post by Rachel, a mom of an Aspie (her blog is listed below).

After reading the blog several times, I sat and thought for a bit. I decided to ask Steve about his perception of his mental health.
“How are you mentally handicapped?” I asked my Sweetie. “Are you unable to be married or have a family?”
My hubby conceded that he wasn’t.
“Are you unable to be employed or maintain employment?” After all, he just had his twenty-fifth anniversary with his company.
Again he answered in the negative.
“Can you function in society, albeit a bit differently at times, but still attend public functions, family and friends get-togethers, social events, and such?”
Steve acknowledged his capabilities in these areas.
Granted, he does experience periods of mild depression or anxiety. We all have our own foibles. But does this manifest into mental illness or handicaps?
“So exactly how are you handicapped?” I inquire.
He had no answer for me.
To which, I believe, is the answer.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


We all recognize creativity when we see it. We witness human ingenuity all around us daily.
Then we see “Mickey Mouse” attempts at projects and we laugh. Hee hee hee!
My sweet hubby is a ‘Mickey Mouse-er’ to the nth degree. He comes up with some of the most unusual or bazaar adaptations for projects and “quick fixes” that I have ever encountered.

One time he couldn’t find the paddles for our boat so he fashioned a pair out of shovel handles and laminated boards. They were fantastic, but I made the mistake of laughing when I first saw them, so he burnt them. After spending hours making them! I was furious as they were so ingenious. I didn’t even have time to take a photo of them.
The Hubster loves duct tape. There is no end to the repaired items around our house that still have life due to that wonderful Johnson and Johnson invention from WWII. Steve was the first one I knew of who utilized the different colors, breaking away from the traditional gunmetal grey. The bright red on a blue dog feeder can be startling, however.
We went camping this last weekend. Daughterlet and her tribe met Steve just north of our town so they could drive together to Eastern Washington, setting up camp during daylight hours. Kidlet had a football game, so I went to that. Manlet worked late, meeting us at our house after the game so we could carpool over to the camp ground.
Sitting in the stands at the game I got a frantic text message from Steve. He had forgotten the big tent’s poles. I had him call Manlet to explain where they were in the garage. Manlet found them and through them in my car, along with extra leashes for Daughterlet who had her two pups and no leashes.
I’m not sure why, but it seems inevitable to forget something on a trip. I ended up forgetting a book and a can opener. I did have a new Readers Digest in the car so I managed to keep my mind busy early in the mornings before everyone else woke up. Daughterlet had brought a can opener so that worked out great.
Kidlet’s football game ended up lasting three hours and forty minutes. I thought they’d be done by nine-ish. By the time the team got out of the locker room it was 11 p.m. We still had to dash home, load up my car and drive over the mountains. We pulled into camp shortly before 1 a.m. I figured Steve would either still be up waiting for the tent poles, or sleeping in the ‘boys’ tent. It was neither.
In the headlights we could see our big Army surplus canvas tent standing semi-erect near a picnic table. Turns out Steve and Daughterlet’s friend were able to thread a large rope through the top of our tent and tie the rope off between two trees. They then tied the side ropes to the grommets where the poles were to be inserted and anchored the top sides at nearly their regular height.
Yes, it was Mickey Mouse’d, but it worked! I was exhausted, so I was able to step into our tent, slid into my jammies and fall into ‘bed’. Steve had inflated our queen size air mattress and put our two sleeping bags together. Since it was just under 40° I appreciated his warm sleeping body to snuggle up to.
The next morning Hubster and Kidlet did put the tent poles up all around the tent. They left the original rope that was holding up the tent, but I managed to refrain from saying anything about it. After all, what did it really matter?
The second night a huge storm assaulted us from over the mountains. The wind was ferocious, the rain torrential, and the poles and anchor ropes on one side of the tent blew over. I woke up to one full side of the tent hanging directly above my face. I hustled outside and reset the poles and ropes. As I started my coffee, I realized that the only reason that the whole tent didn’t tumble down on us was due to the original rope that Steve had jerry rigged the first night.
Thank you, Lord! I do love Mickey Mouse, lol.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Echo Echo Echo…

Early Saturday morning I’m sipping coffee and working on the laundry. The house is quiet and I’m humming a Phil Collins song to myself. One of the dogs is lying at my feet, his ear twitching occasionally to reassure me that he is still alive. My feet are moving of their own volition.
“No, I can’t dance, I can’t talk, only thaaang about me is the waaay I walk…” Toe, heel, toe, heel, swing, tap, swing go my feet.
Immediately there is a deep bass echo from the doorway of my laundry room.
“Only thaaang about me is the waaay I walk…”
I jumped about two feet straight in the air causing the dog to yelp and leap also. My coffee cup goes over into the sink, but as I had already emptied it, and it didn’t break, no harm, no foul.
“STEVE!” I blurt. “Don’t sneak up on me like that!”
“What?” says He. “Only thaaang about me is the waaay I walk…”
Fortunately the radio isn’t playing, as the Hubster is tone deaf. His bass voice is wonderful, a capella, but try to match an actual tune…
I say good morning to my husband, then try to kiss him around the jumping dogs, as our other one had followed him down. Though I try to catch hold of my now dancing mate, he is too intent on his echoing to stand still for a smooch.
Whether it’s in conversation, watching TV, or at the movies, Steve involuntarily echoes words or phrases out loud. It’s really irritating at times, especially in the movie theater.
Usually it’s something he’s not heard before, or something he, and usually only he, finds amusing.  I refuse to watch Sponge Bob with him.
It is comforting to know that other Aspies will do this too. It can make a conversation difficult when my hubby echoes my words. (see blog on echolalia)
“Hey Honey, how was your day?” I ask as he comes in the door from work.
“How was your day?” he echoes.
“Nope, I asked you first,” I reply.
“I asked you first,” he echoes.
“Okay, never mind”, I retort as I walk away.
“Never mind,” comes the echo. No footsteps follow me, but I hear continued echoes of “never mind” filter through the house.
And, my friends, that is the rest of the story! 

"The rest of the story..." echoes faintly.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Two Sides

I can read backwards and upside down. It’s really helpful when the kids bring home notes from school as I can scan the note quicker than they can tell me what it’s about. Therefore, I can seem fully knowledgeable about whatever it is about as if the teacher or principal has already talked to me.   Somehow our kidlets tend to ‘fess up’ quicker if they think I already know about it. Works wonders on the soul.
I still cannot fathom my husband’s mind, no matter which way I try to read it.
I have a 1946 Willys flatfender Jeep. For some reason the gas tank ended up with tons of debris in it over last winter and I couldn’t get it running this last spring. The full filters kept clogging up. Cleaning the carb (there’s a sweet little 289 stuffed under the hood) didn’t help, so it sat all spring and most of this summer.

At first my hubby tried to talk me into buying a new tank. My current one is a custom double tank. Since I only get, (clearing throat), ummm, about 6 miles to the gallon, I need as big a tank as possible.
So Steve ended up pulling the tank for me last week and drained out the old gas. He’s been working diligently to try to clean the tank out with old chains and muriatic acid. Since the tank sits under the front seats he had to pull off the seats to get the tank out. It would be a great time to wire brush the floor boards, as well as the exterior of the tank and paint both.
Steve offered to paint. I’ve seen his paint jobs so I declined. He had just pored paint onto the roof of our house when he went up to paint “just for a minute” without putting down tarps. Our roof is steeply pitched so when he set the almost full paint can down “just for a minute”, the paint in the can spilled over the edge of the can and onto our roof’s black shingles. The color of the paint is a buttercream. It didn’t blend in with the roofing. He rubbed off all of the grit on over a square foot area trying to clean it off. He thought I wouldn't notice.

To say I wasn’t happy is an understatement. I was mad. Really mad. I asked Steve if we discussed the reasoning for laying down canvas tarps prior to painting. He agreed we had. Other than replacing the shingles, there isn’t a lot that can be done to fix the newly painted bald shingles. Good thing it’s on the far back side of the house.
Back to my Willys. I declined Steve’s offer to paint the tank. He said he had some black gloss Rustoleum. I told him I didn’t want my tank black gloss. He said that it would only be on ‘mostly the bottom’ of the tank. I insisted that it was my rig and I didn’t want the tank painted in gloss as the rest is painted in matted army green with a matte black interior. I would paint the tank myself, thank you. After all, I had successfully painted an entire Toyota pickup and a full sized Chevy Blazer in camo. I know how to rattle a can very well. End of discussion.
As Steve was ready to head out the door yesterday morning he mentioned that he was installing the tank in the Willys and would I like to fire it up? I told him that I would paint the tank and floor boards that afternoon as I needed to take Kidlet school shopping, so he would need to wait for a few hours.
That's when he said, “I already painted it.”
SAY WHAT? I couldn’t believe my ears. I asked him if we had just had a conversation about that subject a few days before. He affirmed that we had. I asked him what I had said when he offered to paint the tank for me. He acknowledged that I had said “NO”.
“But I already had black gloss paint and I didn’t want you to have to spend money and I needed to get that project done NOW and I can’t waste time waiting for you but you can go ahead and paint over it if you want to but I don’t understand why it can’t be gloss black on mostly the bottom…“ he retorted.
I was livid. I asked him again how he could interpret my “NO” for anything other than “NO”. He kept insisting that he had to get the project done and he was tired of stuff not getting done. Of course he didn’t mention his Buick that has been sitting in his shop and not drivable for the last seven years.
I tried to explain to him that you can’t just paint over gloss. It has to be sanded down. My Hubster just doesn’t understand anything about painting. He doesn’t ‘get’ prep work.
Still fuming, I left to take Kidlet school shopping. I love shopping with him. He’s a ‘run in & grab something’ shopper like myself. I’ve taught him well.
By the time we returned home, the Hubster had indeed wirebrushed all the gloss paint off with a drill and rotary brush. Today I will go buy the paint for the tank and floorboards.
I still don’t understand Steve’s sudden time crunch for getting my tank back in. I don’t know what it was about me declining his offer to paint that HE didn’t understand. He doesn't understand why he can't just do whatever he wants, and by gosh, 'who cares' and 'what does it matter?'
I’m trying to find something about this to laugh at.