Friday, December 26, 2014

Excuses

"Has anyone seen the Christmas Cake?" I ask as I shove stuff around in the fridge.

Our youngest son and our grandson were playing a video football game, The Hubster was reading on the couch, eldest son and daughter-in-law were in another room watching a movie.

I waited a couple of minutes, looking in a few cupboards just in case someone hadn't realized it needed refrigeration, then asked again.

Youngest son suggested that perhaps oldest son had finished it off. I was just about to walk down the hallway to see if there was any left when I glanced at my spouse's face.

It was twisted in a grimace that could only be guilt or shame.

"Sweetie," I inquire as gently as possible, "Did you eat the rest of the cake?"

Sweetie's foot at the end of his left leg perched across his right knee began to flap furiously. He steadfastly stared at his book and remained mute.

"Steve!" I spoke more sharply. "Do you know what happened to the rest of the cake?"

"Yes!" he barked. "I ate it! I didn't get any last night!"

"We had brownie sundaes for dessert last night, Dear, not cake."

"Well, I didn't get any and I should be allowed to eat anything I want!" insisted He of imagined dessert deprivation.

"But Sweetheart, there were two big pieces, or four small pieces left!" proclaimeth I, growing aggravated. "We could have each had a piece as well as the two kids. I wish you could have checked with me before eating it. It was there when I put our dinner leftovers away a little while ago!"

"You told me three weeks ago that I talk too much and you didn't want to hear me speak again!" blurts Hubby.

My exasperation was growing.

"True, but that was in response to your third day of yabbering on and on about something that was done and over. I told you that we couldn't go back and change that situation, so we just had to live with it. It had nothing to do with the cake tonight!"

"Well, but you once said..." He seemed preparing to launch into other situations and excuses. 

I held up my hand to stop him. "Never mind. I'm going to bed."

I grabbed my phone and book, and I did exactly that.

With no excuses, lol.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Holiday Angst

Mele Kalikimaka!

Yes, Merry Christmas from the shores of Oahu in Hawaii. This year's holiday giving is a trip for us, all of our kids and their families to this tropical paradise. No shopping, no wrapping. Simple.

This is a tough time of year for my Aspie Hubby. Christmas is full of rituals and traditions that seem silly or make no sense to him whatsoever. He resists gift giving. He says he should be able to give gifts just because he wants to, not because he is 'required' to.

Steve hates the decorating. He refuses to participate in any way, shape or form. If we have a tree decorated, lights up or stockings hung, you can be sure that it was done by moi.

I have to admit that The Hubster whole heartedly embraces the baking end of Christmas. He will devour every last cake, pie, cookie or candy that I make, or that we are given. Often in the middle of the night, so that when I get ready to head off for a get-together or party the next day not a morsel can be found. He is really good at quoting, generally in an abrupt, loud voice, "First come, first served!"

Yah, right.

With the exception of fruit cake. Thank you, dear Lord, for allowing me to be the sole lover of that tasty confection in our household. I have strived over the course of my adult life to share my passion of this holiday treat with my family members, as well as mince meat pie, but to no avail.

Long ago I realized that if I have absolutely no expectations for the holidays, I will never, ever be disappointed. I suppose that works for any situation over the year, for that matter.

I figured out years ago that I can alleviate much of Steve's holiday angst by purchasing my own gifts and checking with him a week or two before Christmas Day to see if he wants to wrap them himself. His preference is not consistent from year to year, nor from day to day for that matter.

I made the mistake of letting him 'do' my stocking for Santa the first year after we were married. Santa brought everyone else candy canes, chocolates, pocket games, cute little toys and gadgets, travel sized toiletries for an upcoming trip, and a personalized beanie baby peeking out of the top of each stocking.

Except for mine. My stocking had two mandarin oranges, a handful of almonds and walnuts in shells, and an ink pen. Black ink, of course.

My two oldest kidlets looked at me in horror.

Daughterlet burst out in tears. "Momma, you were NAUGHTY this year!" she wailed. Eldest sonlet hung his head in shame and refused to look at me the rest of the day. At the tender age of twelve, I can just imagine the 'naughty' connotations he was envisioning. I was rather embarrassed myself.

"What? What's wrong with that?" bellowed our Santa stand in, thoroughly perplexed. "Oranges and nuts are good for you!"

"Exactly Dear," I flung over my shoulder as I headed to the kitchen to refill my coffee cup and dry my tears.

I went off to calm Daughterlet, and then spent the day trying to figure out what I had done wrong to 'deserve' such treatment. As you may guess, Steve was utterly at a loss to figure out where he had 'gone wrong'. Fruit and nuts are healthy. A naughty person receives coal. He was certainly happy with his stocking, but refused to share a bit with me as by the time we were able to discuss the matter he had consumed every morsel.

He did give Daughterlet his beanie baby.

Santa has taken total responsibility for all stocking filling ever since, and everyone is happy, although I've heard from reliable sources that there has been some contemplation over the years to just put a few lumps of coal to someone's stocking, lol.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Color of Love...

is rain.

Yep, I know that rain is technically clear, but in this photo I can see how much my husband loves his son.

Steve is not a sports orientated guy. If he had his druthers, Super Bowl Sunday would consist of table laden rhapsodies of food and snacks, with nary a sign of the infamous ball game in sight. All of the TVs in the house would be tuned in to the History or Military channels. 

Preferably both on split screen.

Our youngest kidlet is the d end on strong side. He is in the foreground on the right side of this photo. The funny thing is that I didn't even notice Steve at first.

In the background, in the bright orange Carhartt raingear he received from his parents as a birthday gift, holding one of the side markers, is my husband.

In between the two are hot, sweaty football players and hundreds of millions of gallons of skin soaking rain. 

Even as cool and wet as it was, the players are still steaming.

I hate being cold and wet, so I was safely tucked away in warm layers of clothing, swaddled in a waterproof fleece blanket, perched under the massive roof above our high school's wonderful stadium on a canvas stadium seat that keeps my 'seat' warm and dry.

Go team!

Frankly, I don't know how Steve can stand out there hour after hour in the deluge. I would be a whining, sniveling mess. When I, and others around me in the stadium, thank Steve during half time for volunteering on the team's chain gang, he simply shrugs and says, "No problem".

Uh huh.

After we got home that night and The Hubster had changed into dry clothes, I asked him how he endured the nasty weather.

His answer humbled me.

"I love Kidlet," he mumbled hesitantly.

Now that I have this photo, I can clearly see that.

Well done, Sweetie!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Go Left

My dear husband, with his Aspergers Syndrome, is most definitely inflexible in his rigid thinking. Once his mind is made up, there is no changing it. Cast in stone, cemented in, absolutely no reconsideration. Period. End of discussion.

Sometimes he recognizes obstacles, sometimes not. 

He gets things mixed up. He won't admit it. Nor will he own up to making mistakes, or misunderstanding directions, or having mis-remembered conversations, or just plain old forgetfulness.

I forget things. I misunderstand. I get things mixed up. But I'd like to think that I own up to them.

I tend to point at objects in our house, asking the kids to go grab me that 'thingamajigger'. It can take me a while to remember the names of common household items like 'pen', 'cup', and the kitchen 'whatchamacallit' - I mean 'towel'. By the time I come up with the correct noun, they've already delivered the requested item and are long gone.

Kind of like my short term memory.

Steve, however, can't seem to remember the names of our bible study leaders, whose home we go to weekly, the kid's various schools or sports teams, or where the scissors go after he is done using them. We end up buying him new tools regularly because he doesn't put them back as soon as he finishes with them. And we have to endure his wrath as he is convinced that one of our kids or myself have taken the specific tool and hidden it from him.

The Hubster has occasionally taken steps to try to break out from his single mindedness. He comes back hours, or sometimes even days after a blow up and tries to figure out where things went sideways. Then he attempts to rationally, and calmly, approach various differences in the future. 

I truly try to remain impassive as he 'sounds' these things out loud to me, being as non-committal as possible on my own views. After all, my spouse is convinced that I am always right, so who am I to disillusion him?

LOL - not! Sometimes it's me that has to go left! Or just leave, in which case he is left talking to himself - or the dogs, whomever is left last!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Dogs rule...

At least in our home.

"Steve, why is the front door open? It's only 47°F out!"  

"I think that they might have to go do their business," answers my Aspergian Husband of many years.

"But Sweetie, there's a dog door in the basement for them to use," I respond, as a cold breeze flails the curtains of the livingroom.

"They might have to go too badly to run all the way downstairs. I don't want them to have an accident in the house," rings a slightly irratated voice from within the depths of our home.

"When is the last time they had an accident in the house?"

I stand near our front door and wait for an answer.

And I wait.

And wait.

I look at my phone. It's been five minutes since The Hubster's last response. I walk towards the kitchen where I believe Steve's voice had been coming from with a strong north wind buffeting me along the hallway.

No Hubby.

I check our bedroom and bathroom. 

No Hubby.

I run down stairs. No Hubby, no dogs, but the dog door is indeed open and it's access flap  is ready and waiting for canine egress and ingress.

I run upstairs, calling for my spouse. I try to keep a neutral tone and refrain from puffing. Those stairs must be steeper than they were last year. Hmmm.

Back in the main entryway with no spouse or canines in sight, I shut the front door and head off to do the never ending laundry.

"WHY IS THE DOOR SHUT?" comes a furious bellow followed by a crash as the freshly closed door now swings wide open and smacks against the shoe rack behind it.

"Sweetie, the dogs aren't even in the house!" I proclaim. "They are already outside, as were you!"

"Well they might come in and have to go out quickly!"  protests Steve. "Why do we ALWAYS have to do EVERYTHING your way?"

*Sigh*

Just wait until next week when I have to go buy another ton of pellets for our pellet stoves that heat our house. Then someone will be screaming bloody murder because we went through the current ton too quickly.

It really is a dog's life, lol.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mary Mary Quite Contrary

Learn something new every day.

Good advice, very true for today. In preparation for a seminar that I'll be attending today with my daughter on womens' leadership roles and empowerment, I was reading some articles and ran across a term that I either didn't know, or don't remember learning about.

Amygdala.

The amygdala (Latin, corpus amygdaloideum) is an almond-shape set of neurons located deep in the brain's medial temporal lobe.
Shown to play a key role in the processing of emotions, the amygdala forms part of the limbic system.

In humans and other animals, this subcortical brain structure is linked to both fear responses and pleasure.
Its size is positively correlated with aggressive behavior across species.
Conditions such as anxiety, autism, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and phobias are suspected of being linked to abnormal functioning of the amygdala, owing to damage, developmental problems, or neurotransmitter imbalance.

Boy oh boy, doesn't this explain a lot about my Aspergian husband!
We had one of those "Julie can't do anything right" days yesterday. Judgement made by my spouse, not by me, by the way. I had a great day.
We spend Sunday removing 400 square feet of Brazilian Cherry hardwood flooring from a friend's newly purchased home. She is replacing all of the carpeted areas on her main floor and couldn't match the hardwood satisfactorily, so she's having all new flooring put it. There should be just enough wood to floor our livingroom.
Barely.
If you are contemplating such an endeavor with an Aspergers Syndrome spouse, regardless of how strong that spouse is, DON"T. Period. Live and learn.
Regardless, we finished in just under eleven hours. What a job. I did tell Steve that we would leave the wood planks in our respective SUV's for a few days as I unloaded each piece, removed any remaining nails or staples, washed each piece with Murphys wood soap, and dried the pieces. I would then move all the furniture out of the room, rip out the carpet and pads, make sure that the floor is entirely level,  and lay down kraft paper. Next I would arrange all the tongue and groove planking  tetris style to best utilize every piece 
It's going to be a big job. Good thing I am retired; I wouldn't have time to go to work!
Okay dokey, you say, so were lies the problem?
The wood in Steve's Explorer. That was my downfall.
I folded down his back seat to lay down all the six foot planks while shorter pieces went into my Jeep. Steve doesn't drive anyone else to town where he meets his carpool to go to work. He parks his rig in town. He does not drive it until the carpool drops him off back in town and drives home. Again, alone.
Um, you say, and exactly what is wrong with that?
He forgot his thermal insulated lunchbox in the car yesterday because he 'normally' sets it on his backseat with his computer backpack. Since the wood was in the back he had to put the backpack and lunchbox on the front seat. He actually set the lunchbox on the floor instead of the front seat as he was afraid that the lunchbox would fall off of the front seat (even though the front seat is larger than the back seat area that he normally sets it on). When he grabbed his backpack at the carpool meeting spot he didn't notice his bright red lunchbox on the floor and went off without it.
At lunchtime he had go to the company cafeteria to buy lunch. He accidentally stood in the pho' soup line, which was long, instead of the salad line, which was even longer, so he was late back to work.
All my fault. Except that he forgot his lunch box by the microwave last Friday and by the front door last Monday. Not my fault. He's just very forgetful, or preoccupied, or just plain contrary.
I'd rewrite that nursery verse, but I can't seem to come up with enough words to rhyme with "Stevie"... lol 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Too Many Books

Hubby went to an Asperger meeting last night. He really enjoys hearing about other Aspergians' frustrations in dealing with NTs. He says he doesn't talk much, but laughs a lot.

I bet. I can just imagine his hyena-like hysterical bellow that he often forgets to control in movie theaters and restaurants, the one that make the kids and I cringe. 

He hears about actions that are similar to his own, so he doesn't feel alone in his oddities.

Library books, for instance.

When Steve is interested in a subject, he immediately hits our local used bookstore and the internet to search for books on that topic. I wish that Amazon offered 'buyer bucks' like eBay does. We spend a small fortune on books each year. Good thing I know how to resell them on Amazon and eBay when he tires of them.

He also orders books from the library. It's not unusual for my husband to check out twenty or thirty books at a time. Kids books, adult books, fiction, nonfiction, magazines, videos, dvds. When he enters a topic into 'search' he checks out or reserves each and every single title listed.

Last night Steve came home jubilant. Someone had confessed to currently having over five hundred books checked out from the library.

All at the same time.

Never mind about lugging them all home and back; where in the world would one set that many books at one time?

Huh.

Right now The Hubster only has twenty-two library books stacked next to his recliner. Yes, on the floor. I guess that he never had a librarian in school who ranted on and on about the appropriate places to store library books as I had. 

"You never, ever, ever set a library book on the floor!" she'd rage.

So I never, ever have. Nor 'dogeared' a book, set it down splayed open, or let any pet within a hundred miles of it. Well, maybe within a foot or two.

Looks like I have something else to be thankful for today.

Actually twenty-two things, lol.

Monday, September 22, 2014

L.A.L.

This sign pretty much says it all.

So many times I am upset at situations of my own making or design. Things that I purposely allow to bother me.

Unmet expectations.

The need to be 'correct'.

Stubbornness.

Lack of knowledge or understanding of Asperger or Autistic behaviors.

Judgement of my life in comparison to NT couples' marriages.

*Sigh*

I try to snap out of it by going online to read blogs and posts by others dealing with their own Aspergian traits, or those of family members and loved ones.

The key, I think, is 'love'.

I never expected adult behaviors from my toddler children. I did try to teach them by example, as well as verbal instructions. We practiced new situations. We role played challenges and problems. We rehearsed and giggled and laughed.

Strange as it may seem to regular NT adults, these same methods often need to be used with my husband. Sometimes even over, and over, and over again.

I see in various discussion groups and blogs the annoyance, frustration, and even anger at the necessity of this basic truth in our NT/Aspie lives.

It is so very true that there are moments when I don't 'feel' the love. Doesn't matter. I married for better or worse. I just had no concept at how much 'worse' it could get at times.

I would not tolerate physical abuse of myself or my kids, but I'm reminded that there are times when what I consider to be 'verbal abuse' is nothing more than semi-typical Aspie blunt/rude/blurt/bark. 

I can choose to ignore it. I can go for a walk, put music on with headphones, go out to run errands, distance myself from the tirade. I can choose to not participate.

No, I don't always laugh. No, I don't always apologize immediately. And no, recognizing those things in our lives that I can't change doesn't always dawn on me at the moment.

My life is what it is. I am very thankful for all of you out there who are sharing in this strange and ever evolving journey with me.

You are much appreciated!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Trip to Normal

It's Saturday morning and our home is peace-filled.

Yes, The Hubster is off to a breakfast meeting for work. Manlet is sleeping off his high school football game from last night. Our dogs are done patrolling our property for nocturnal marauders that may have uninvitedly left strange scents whilst said pups were snoozing. Stretched full length across the livingroom floor, they are once again snoozing.

Such is a dog's life. At least in our home.

As I nurse my third cup of coffee, I contemplate my day thus far.

Darkness still permeated every corner of the house when my eyes popped open this morning. I tried to lay still in order to avoid waking Steve.

I couldn't. Lay still, that is.

Slipping out of bed as gently as possible, I slid into my robe and fur-lined mules and quietly let myself out of our room.

Not a single creak or noise so far.

Traversing the hallway, I attempted to enter the kitchen in order to make coffee, but the dogs were instantly at the basement door begging to be let up.

Shoot.

Letting them enter our main floor abode means that they will make a beeline to Hubby and wake him up. Finn, unfortunately, is able to open doors. Sadie is close on Finn's tail, so into our room they bound. 

"Ooooohhhhh!" squeals a falsetto voice. "What do we have here?"

'Ummm, Dear Husband,' I think to myself, 'we have dogs.'

"What a good boy! What a good girl," drones an irritatingly high pitched monologue. The Hubster's normal tone is a rich, full bass.

I cringe. My spouse's falsetto voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me, although I wonder how many people these days even know what that sounds like since everyone tends to use whiteboards now.

As I fill the coffee pot reservoir and dump fresh grounds into the filter basket, the thumping and whining continue to echo from down the hallway. I can hear the dogs making noise also.

Now, if I would have woken Steve up, there would have been a near knock down, drag out fight. If the dogs wake him, no problem. Makes me wonder if I can be reincarnated as a canine companion to him. 

Which would give a whole new meaning to "I hate to say it, but your wife is a real dog".

lol

Or would that just be normal?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Everything You Think...

"where are you?" flew a text to my hubby from my phone. "we are in the car!"

No response.

We wait a few more minutes before I request Manlet to go back in and try to find his father.

Not as in the "Luke, I AM your Father" moment, but simply "Dad, we are leaving now."

*Sigh*

I personally have a hard time being patient. I can adopt a whirlwind persona at the drop of a hat. I am also able to sit quietly and read for hours at a time without medication. When I feel 'jumpy' I simply have a cup of coffee. 

Not so with Steve.

The Hubster has his mind sets. That can be good or that can be, well, irritating.  Especially when we are trying to go somewhere.

Punctuality is not one of my spouse's strong suits.

Minutes march on.

It has been a calm and quiet week on the emotional front in our household for a change. Steve's parents sent him birthday wishes that arrived prior to the actual anniversary of his 'birth' day, which had him floating on air with joy. Add to that a special barbeque at work on Steve's actual birthday (coincidental though it was), followed a phone call to him from an uncle that rarely keeps in touch, and a lovely steak dinner prepared by moi (eaten together at the diningroom table after Manlet's football practice) put the finishing touches on a pleasant day. Daughterlet prepared a wonderful meal at her home with her fiance, and our eldest son couple of days later. 

My mother forgot, but she's forgetting many things these days. No worries though, as Hubby went to bed full and happy each day.

Calm and quiet until now, that is, since he's disappeared.

Fifteen minutes have elapsed when Manlet comes dashing out of the house, The Hubster trudging a ways behind. His face is screwed up in a grimace. 

"Where were you?" I demand through my open window. Realizing my voice was probably shrill, I took a deep breath as Manlet jumps behind the wheel. Oh how I love having a chauffeur. It allows me more time to calm myself.

More minutes melt by as The Hubster opens the car door, pauses to check the bottoms of his shoes in case he's accidentally stepped into something that shouldn't be on the carpets of the car, then slooooowly settles himself into the front passenger seat. 

Manlet is itching to put the car into drive but waits for his father to close his door and fasten his seatbelt. Kudos to our son. He's handling this far better than I.

When Papa Bear is finally firmly ensconced and ready for travel, Manlet guns the engine and pops the gearshift, our metal steed in motion at last.

I continue to wait for an explanation.

It wasn't until we reached our destination that Steve chose to share his thoughts.

"I figured you guys wouldn't be ready on time, so I decided to fill the dog feeder and water bowls," states the Questionee.

"Were they empty?" I quizzed.

"Nope," proclaims He of Slow Motion. "I filled them when I got up this morning."

I sat stunned as my menfolk alighted from the car.

Turning around, my illustrious Spouse stared at me.

"Hurry up!" He barked. "You're going to make us late!"

What else was I to do but laugh?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Scrambled Thoughts Please - Hold the Toast...

Steve is again on a quest to eliminate 'Aspergers Syndrome' from his medical charts.

I bet you can guess who's been trying to convince him that he's not Aspergian.

His current theory is that he has adult ADD/ADHD. Many sites, such as Helpguide.org, list traits that easily apply to my Hubby. 

The main difference between AS and ADD/ADHD is the ability to control or change ones behaviors according to studies.

Steve definitely has trouble communicating with others in social settings. Unless he's able to pontificate about his single focus interests of cars or guns, he mostly remains silent.

In an Aspergers forum thread other Aspies describe similar experiences. 

The person with ADD/ADHD, however, never shuts up.

Circleofmoms.com has post after post after post describing their 'chatty' kids. A common attribute seems to be the ability to negotiate or change the behaviors.

Not so with Aspergers.

The Hubster's stock reply when I point out his regular misunderstandings of situations or communications is, "Good point."

To which I respond, "If it's a good point, then why don't you change (fill in the blank)?"

His response is always a surprised  "Oh!"

The same reaction, the same response, the same outcome - which is no change.

Another forum equates Ataraxia with Aspergers. Interesting read, especially the self medication, though I seldom consider Steve's demeanor as Zen-like. More like shut-down, turned off rock-like.

Not peaceful or even peace-filled. Just existing. 

I do know that our society as a whole reacts to the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD much more positively than a diagnosis of Autism. But if you were to observe The Hubster's quiet, somber disinterest at a party, you would be truly shocked at an ADD/ADHD label.

I, on the other hand, would wear that label quite well.

Would someone pour me some more caffeine so I can sit still please?

LOL

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Be Yourself...

My dear Ozzie friend Lynda D has nailed it. Her blog Living In The Land of Oz has the perfect quote from Oscar Wilde on her masthead.

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."

This week, middle of August, has been wet and stormy. Highly unusual for the greater Seattle area. High humidity, thunder and lightening, high winds, power outages.

Our household has experienced similar 'weather' patterns in a certain spouse's emotional state.

It's enough to make me go "hmmmm".

Sometimes Steve grows discontented with life in general for no apparent (to me) reason. Sometimes it can result from stress at work. Sometimes it's simple frustration with a car project he's working on. Occasionally I swear he has PMS.

His birthday is rapidly approaching. Expectations are a jumble to him. Our families run the gambit from ignoring birthdays, to forgetting them, to quiet celebrations, to out and out joyous week long festivities.

Yes, I am the latter type as you may have guessed.

Last couple of years The Hubster's parents have forgotten his birthday until a week or two afterwards.

Hmmmm.

Steve is not adopted. He lived with them for eighteen years. I am not exactly sure how they could 'forget' their first born, but it crushes his soul.

My in-laws routinely exclude us from family events or they invite Steve only. No spouse, no kids allowed (except for all of Steve's siblings' families and their ex-spouses). Steve's family vehemently deny his Aspergers Syndrome. They send emails offering to pay for him to divorce me and 'return' to his 'family'. 

In short, they refuse to accept him for who he is. They want to control his 'windows'.

Which is very sad, as my husband is an intelligent, though often quiet man who is welcomed at all other get-togethers and gatherings we attend. Apparently he doesn't fit his parents or siblings criteria or expectations. True, communications in close one on one relationships can be challenging for my Spouse, but gosh, no one is perfect.

Besides, as his wife I am the only one who is allowed to be irritated with his behaviors, right? 

lol

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Importance of "Why?"

The subject of depression has been in the news of late due to the recent demise of a well know celebrity. I have long known that depression is a common condition that runs tandem with Aspergers Syndrome.

Last year Nomi Kaim addressed this issue in her article Asperger's and Depression: Inside a Common Paradox  

My Aspergian hubby has always struggled with depression he says. He is rather quiet by nature so it can be difficult for me to tell if his mind is miles away or if he is depressed. The very nature of his syndrome often drives him to 'aloneness', but should I respect that or should I press him to find out his mood or feelings? If I ask him about those, will he even recognize what they are?

It's such a fine line we, who love an Aspie, must balance at times. 

My nature is to be very verbal. I know that I can drive people crazy. I think that my parents were able to 'deal' with my verbosity due to the era that I was raised in. 

In the 1950s and 1960s, we kids were shoo'd out the door after breakfast to either school or play at large in our neighborhoods. We were fed lunch on the back porch at noon sharp. Since none of us owned watches, little alone cellphones as kids have nowadays, I can only assume our stomachs were well tuned timers that let us know that it was meal time.

After school we went straight home to change. Regardless of school or summer, we were expected to be home and washed up for supper before our fathers arrived. Once our plates were clean, out the door we'd go to play until dark. Children were to be seen, not heard.

Steve's moods definitely swing from  sullen to gloomy to glum and back. Over twenty-one years I've had difficulty in seeing any major changes from medicated to unmedicated states. He rarely discusses feelings. That tends to be a guy thing, I believe.

However, I know that it often drives me to distraction to have to explain so many things my Hubster. It's very similar to being followed around all day long by a three year old. There are so many times I'd love to just say, "Zip it!".

"Why do we have to put towels in a separate wash from all the other clothes and linens?" mutters Steve as he empties his dirty clothes basket into my sorting baskets in our laundryroom.

"Because towels pill up and leave nasty lint balls on our clothes and sheets that feel lumpy and scratchy to you," I respond automatically, exactly as I have for the last one thousand one hundred and fourteen weeks since we married.

"But why do they do that?" my spouse inquires. 

"Gosh Steve, I don't exactly know. Maybe you can look it up on the internet, then tell me!" I mumble through clenched teeth. Repetitive questioning can have that effect on me. My answer to him has been the same week in and week out over all these years.

What I tend to forget is my Apsie mate can often dwell on questions such as these that turn into irrational (to me) fears that will keep him awake at night, and absorbed him with worry during daylight hours to the point he can't concentrate at work.

What is so upsetting to him? The concern that he might forget this 'rule' and accidentally put a washcloth or hand towel into the regular clothes that I might miss while loading the washing machine, thus ruining his 'employment' clothing that he might wear to a big presentation at work that would cause him discomfort or distraction to the point that he would mess up the meeting and get fired.

None of those thoughts would have ever crossed my mine. In fact, even after earthshakingly dreadful events in my life, I have always slept well. I'm not a worrier.

Living with Aspergers has caused me to slow down; to be on the lookout for different dimensional rational and thought processes from Steve. Part of being in our relationship is to try to be the strength to balance any of his weaknesses. We've been made into, I believe, two parts of a whole. One single being melded together from two separate entities that has ebbs and flows, highs and lows, metes and balances. 

I just have to remember to be extra patient and sensitive to my spouse's countenance.

Or lack there of.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

Groundhogs Day

I love comedies. Bill Murray is one of my favorite actors. From 'Saturday Night Live' to 'Ghostbusters' to 'What About Bob', he has kept me laughing my frustrations away.

Except for Groundhogs Day. I haven't enjoyed that movie since I realized that my Aspergian husband and I are doomed to repeating our bungled communications and actions day after day after day.

I really am trying to pull a 'Bill Murray' and learn from the previous day's blunders. Unlike Bill's experiences in the movie, I've yet to convince my hubby that we can do/think/say it differently.

I try really hard to explain to Steve why it crushed me when he used the weed eater on my English Country garden, and why I burst into tears at the sight of that mangled green mess in front of my bay window along side of our front walkway.

"But you told me to weed-eat it!" The Hubster proclaims indignantly.

"No, no, no Steve," I replied, trying hard not to sob. "I asked you if you would have an hour to spare today to help me weed it."

"WELL I DIDN'T!" erupts my Mate. "And by using the weed eater it only took me SEVEN minutes!"

I stare at him incredulously.

"But you killed all of my flowers!" I protest. "I've been collecting those plants and flower seeds for years!"

"Well," states my Spouse, "There are no more weeds are there! Won't the flowers grow back?"

I continue to stare at him, speechless. I turn on my heel and walk away.

Steve doesn't like to do things unless he fully understands the reasoning behind the action. Having Aspergers Syndrome means that he very likely will never fully understand most of the things I work hard on in and around our home.

He refuses to put dishes in our dishwasher when he is done because he is insulted that I move things around to make room for other items later on. According to him, once placed in, that item can never be moved again, or else I am indicating that he is stupid.

"But Sweetheart, I move everything around, even things I put in myself!" I try to explain. "I never know exactly what will end up in there, or how best to fit it!"

"Why do you have to control everything?" Hubby demands. "Why can't we do it MY way?"

*Sigh*

"Steve, I bought this nice cabinet to set right here by your recliner to keep all of your magazines and books in so your stacks aren't on the floor when we vacuum, and so they don't topple over off the end table," I volunteer informatively. "That way you can stack them any way you wish in the cabinet and then close the doors."

"Why can't I use the floor or end table?" blurts The Hubster. "This is MY house too!"

*Sigh*

"Why should I have to make the bed when I'm just going to get back in it tonight? Why are there all of these pillows that we don't even use? How are the sheets going to air out if I have to pull the blankets and quilt up? Why..." he mutters as he stomps off to the bathroom to get ready for work.

*Sigh*

"Why can't I drink water out of the same glass that I leave by the sink? It's just water! Why do you keep switching my glass? How do I know if it's mine if you keep switching it?" roars my Spouse in the kitchen.

"All the glasses look exactly the same!" I protest. "You wouldn't even know if it was your old one or a clean one if you hadn't seen me switch it!"

"Why are you soooooo CONTROLLING!" shouts my Mate.

*Sigh*

I believe one of the hardest things about marriage to an Aspie is the Groundhogs Day phenomenon. 

Of course there is a flip side to it all. Steve tends to forget the days that I get mad, and ignores the days I am irritated, lol. Perhaps we should go watch a comedy!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Jeep Thrills

My hubby is a cheapskate.

No condemnation, just fact. He tries to buy the cheapest available thing no matter what the end result will be. Funny thing is, he ends up spending tons more money than if he purchased quality, and not always much more expensive, items.

Case in point: car parts.

I found an older Ford Explorer in excellent shape last fall. It was listed at $400 due to the automatic transmission having gone out. It was the second tranny failure on that particular rig which the people had purchased new, so they didn't want to deal with it any more. They just wanted it out of their driveway.

Heavens knows we really didn't need another car either, but I love a good deal.

Manlet and I were smack dab in the middle of an exciting Seahawks game on his fifty inch tv in our mancave when I spotted the vehicle listing in our local online trading post. I ran upstairs to grab Steve who was sitting in front of a crabbing show in our livingroom with a half dozen books and magazines opened around him. We jumped in my Jeep to hustle over to our neighbors' house before anyone else got there. The listing was all of seven minutes old.

Even though it was dark, we could tell the rig was in excellent shape. It smelled good. All of the leather seats were perfect, all of the buttons, levers, windows, and radio/cd player worked. Driver's door has to be locked with the key instead of the remote, but hey, the price was right!

I figured it would be about a thousand bucks to have the tranny rebuilt. Steve could slip out the tranny and drop it off for rebuilding, then put it back in. Easy peasy. He has the tools, a tranny jack, and the inclination for tinkering on cars. Perfect car 'flip' combo. The money above our investment could go towards a car for Manlet as he would be turning sixteen and getting his drivers license.

And no, he didn't want to drive the Explorer. Silly Manlet. He wants a Wrangler or a CJ5 or 7.

I peeled out cash machine money to the now-former owners, grabbed the bill of sale and title to transfer, and Steve drove the car home with me following, albeit slowly as the rig wouldn't up shift.

I was back in time for the second half to start. And yes, of course, my beloved Hawks won. And yes, they ended up winning the Super Bowl. 

Gloat, gloat.

Meanwhile, The Hubster comes home from work late one evening and dashes excitedly through our front door.

"I found a tranny for the Explorer!" says He. "It was only $100!"

"Did you drive whatever vehicle it came out of to make sure all gears work?" questions I.

"Well, no, but the guy told me that it worked fine before his wreck," assured my Spouse.

"But you have no idea if it really does?" I asked. "Can you take it back if it doesn't?"

"Well, he is moving to New York tomorrow, but when he met me at Walmart he looked like a good guy," stated Steve. "He was driving an old Dodge pickup."

Oh dear.

Of course you know that the used tranny, after taking out the old one and putting in the new one, plus a new pressure plate and tranny fluid for another $100, didn't work.

All Steve said was, "Oh."

Flash forward to a few weeks ago.

I sent Steve off to have the original tranny rebuilt. It costed $975. It worked when Steve put it in.

Uh huh. Plus another $100 to replace the new pressure plate he broke taking out the broken used tranny, and all new tranny fluid. I made sure that he didn't reuse the 'fresh' stuff he had just put in. Who knows what was in that old, used, broken tranny.

Steve drove the Explorer to and from work to make sure everything worked well before we put it up for sale. Ends up that the thermostat housing needed replacing, $25 on eBay, along with two temp sensors at $25 and $10 respectively.

Except that he went with a cheap second sensor which didn't work when installed. So we ordered a second one for $22. 

Yep, the cheap one didn't work because it was the wrong part. So the more expensive one also didn't work because it was the wrong one. Once opened and installed those parts weren't returnable.

I asked Hubby to take the original sensor to our local auto parts store to get the right sensor. He couldn't as he had thrown it away when he ordered the first wrong one. But the parts guy figured out which one Steve needed by looking at the second wrong one. Steve paid the $27 for the correct second sensor, brought it home, installed it, and drove off to work this morning.

It worked just fine. I tried to point out that if he had just gone to our parts store to start with the two sensors would have been $54 instead of the $84 he has spent.

"I was just trying to save money!" says He.

*Sigh*

(Side note, that really is my 1946 Willys Flatfender pictured here. I love Jeeps!)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Who Cares?

If I had a dollar for every time my spouse said "My God! Who cares? What does it matter?" over the last twenty-one years of our marriage, I would be a very wealthy woman. 

I am very glad that I don't pull on my own hair when Steve pops off with his standard reply to anything he doesn't understand, doesn't like, doesn't want to  do. Otherwise I'd be bald.

Rich doesn't help bald.

The sad thing is that he cares about stopping on the freeway for a total stranger driving thirty miles per hour to merge on from an on ramp. He cares about his truck getting door dings so he parks on the opposite side of a parking lot from the front door of whatever store or restaurant we are going to.

Even though he has personally dented, crushed, sideswiped, smashed or otherwise marred his truck a dozen times already.

He cares about letting a person with two full shopping carts step ahead of him when I send him to the store to grab a single ingredient I just ran out of while in the middle of making dinner.

He cares about the possibility that one of our neighbors might be napping in the middle of the day when I've asked him for the hundredth time if he is going to mow the eight inches of grass in our yard or should I hire someone to do it.

It hurts my feelings that he doesn't seem to want to consider whether or not I care, or want to do things that would be pleasing to me.

Earlier this year, while buying plants for our expansive back deck's flower boxes and hanging baskets, I also purchased several sugarsnap pea plants. I did so because I know Steve loves them and I thought he'd enjoy having several batches of fresh pea pods to take in his lunch each week. I mentioned that to him while trying to explain that many married couples do things like that because they love their spouse and enjoy pleasing them.

To which he replied, "Well that's stupid! I can buy my own peas when I want."

*Sigh*

Steve also insists that he is empathetic. That when people state that Aspergians don't seem to feel empathy, they are dead wrong. He always cries about sad stories and movies. He feels empathy when dogs are sad or locked up. 

But when he forgets to tell me that he's going to be four hours late coming home on a particular day, refuses to turn on his phone to receive calls or texts and we sit waiting to have dinner until he gets home, he says that I am just too controlling.

"What about common courtesy?" I ask.

"You aren't my mother!" snorteth He.

Boy oh boy, Sweetie, don't I know it! You are always polite and courteous to your mom. Just not to me or our kids.

Oh, by the way, we care and it matters to us. I sure hope you read this today. Perhaps by the time you get home I can find something to laugh about.

And thank you for putting up the ceiling fan for me that I bought last year. It made the room much more bearable yesterday.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thoughts Can't Change Reality

*Sigh* Oh dear. Another vehicle dead in the water.

I really do love baseball season. I just hate car trouble.

After a desperate call to The Hubster, Manlet and I exit our now-inoperable car, then set out on foot to find sustenance for my hunger ravished ball player.

I think back to the last couple of weeks and wonder how my hubby can honestly believe the things his mind puts forth as truth.

My Jeep has been giving us fits for weeks. It seems to be something electrical. Steve thinks that he's fixed it and refuses to believe that it won't run after I had to have it towed home the weekend before last. He couldn't get it to run either.

Trust me, I don't have cars towed just for the fun of it. That weekend our oldest son had to drive 35 miles to come rescue Manlet and I. I don't call for help just because.

After accusing me of leaving my lights on to drain the battery or running out of gas, and following an extensive investigation by my spouse of the a fore mentioned Jeep, Steve finally admitted he couldn't get it running. 

Right. My diagnosis and judgement regarding my vehicles is pretty good. Something was wrong and the Jeep couldn't be driven.

Due to an impending trip across our state for another baseball tournament, I went and rented a vehicle. I didn't want to break down three hundred some miles away from home.

The Hubster stayed home and put another new tranny in our Explorer. He had already done that this spring but the $100 used tranny he found on craiglist didn't work. Neither did the phone number of the guy he bought it from. 

Yah, right.

"But the guy said that it worked just fine when he pulled it out of his wrecked car," states Hubby.

"I thought I asked you to actually drive whatever vehicle you were getting a used tranny from, or have the original tranny in the Explorer rebuilt?" questions me.

"It should have worked!" states The Hubster.

"But it didn't!" stateth I.

"But it costs so much to rebuild one!" blusters my Spouse.

"But you give so much money away to people who sell you parts that don't work!" respondeth an indignant Me.

Had I not walked off, this line of conversation would probably still be going.

Dial forward to two days ago. I jump in the now rebuilt tranny-ed Explorer. I drive Manlet and myself to a game. Game over, we jump back in to head off to grab dinner, then home. As I drove up a slight incline of an major arterial intersection intending to turn left, the Explorer began huffing and snorting as if it were out of gas. After Manlet assured me that he and his father had driven to the gas station the night before to fill up, I cut sharply across three lanes of traffic to my right in order to turn into a store's parking lot. The Explorer literally died right there in the driveway.

Hubby arrived about an hour later. Manlet and I sat waiting in the rig, pizza disappearing down my teenage son's throat at an alarming speed. Steve determined that the battery was completely dead. He had brought a different one with him.

"Steve! Why didn't you change the battery before you sent me off in this if you knew it was bad?" I asked. 

"Well, I thought it would be okay," said He. "It seemed to have a little juice left in it."

"But Steve, a car can't run without an electrical charge from a battery!" I thought to myself, for once able to keep that thought from escaping my mouth.

Holy moly, I just don't get his logic. Or lack thereof, lol.