Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Tag: Asperger’s syndrome

Better Work Habits

Remember those? I don’t, either.

I have been home with a cold, and feeling diseased and gross. I used up an entire box of tissues (DISCLAIMER: one of the smaller cube-shaped ones) (with roses on it!) (OK, I BOUGHT OUT WALGREEN’S ENTIRE SUPPLY OF THOSE, ALRIGHT??)  in a day and a half.

Secret Santa at work gave me a fuzzy throw, decorated (in a rather macabre fashion) with cat heads, and it is the WORLD’S SOFTEST THING. So sometimes I sit there just feeling it. Yes, I have a Security Blanket, and woe to the one who attempts to take it from me.

MY APOLOGY TO THE BUS SERVICE

–Their new changes are only half as annoying as I portrayed them to be. Further details are too boring to present here.

PINK & RED ALL OVER

Valentine stuff has been spotted at Area Drugstores. It has been at Walmart since December, I’ve been told, but Walmart is evil and I don’t go there. Aside from their corporate policies, any place with aisles higher than my head needs to be no bigger than Walgreens, or it makes me nervous.

AND SPEAKING OF MY NERVES…

I was thinking of all the people who’ve said (over the past 30 years), “I could never work at 911! I couldn’t handle the stress!” After all the jobs I couldn’t handle the stress of, why am I still here?

You know what I’ve found most stressful about the job? In the early 90’s, they decided we would benefit from training with/observing other agencies. So we had frequent “field trips”–to the ambulance service, firehouse, the new jail, basically anyplace they could think of. (Luckily, the visit to the morgue was optional, although the visit of the Crime Scene tech with grisly color pictures was NOT, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, THE WORDS “CRIME SCENE IN-SERVICE” STILL FILL ME WITH HORROR.) I thought, What ever happened to the job I agreed to, where I go to the place and just stay there until I leave?

Now, I don’t handle unfamiliar settings very well. (Yeah, I know, how can they become familiar if I don’t embrace new experiences, etc.) So, while I was supposed to be absorbing new information, I would be sweaty-palmed and queasy, thinking about how far away from home I was. And mandatory police ride-alongs were the ultimate “state of frozen horror,” as Nick so eloquently puts it.

I’ve actually become better about that whole thing with the years, but this was back before I’d developed any coping mechanisms. But even now, talk of road trips–travel generally, in fact–or variations in planned itinerary, or TOO MUCH itinerary (you know, “While we’re across town, why don’t we stop at That Other Place, too?”)  makes me uneasy.

So, do you feel like you understand me now? Neither do I. Understand myself, I mean.

 

 

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True Confessions

{Note: There was originally a line here that I edited out, and I can’t figure out how to make the white space go away, so I substituted this line in its place. Carry on.} {Yeah, I know this is more than one line, but I care insufficiently to do anything about it. Proceed.}

“YOU’RE NOT AUTISTIC, YOU’RE JUST ECCENTRIC!”

On the Anonymously Autistic blog, where I’ve been loitering lately, I found the official diagnostic definition here. (<== Look! Did you see that? I made a link! My first ever! This Blog School is turning out to be worthwhile after all! Maybe I better restrain my enthusiasm until I publish this and see if it actually works.) Leaving aside the obsessive way in which I carefully checked off each of the listed attributes and rated them for level of severity, I think I can put your doubts to rest with two simple observations:

  1. I rock back and forth when I listen to music. They call this “self-soothing” behavior, which I originally took issue with, thinking, “How would I feel if I didn’t do it? Oh–nervous and twitchy. OK.”
  2. As I walk along {“I wonder what went wrong, with our love, the love that was so strong…” Sorry. Too much listening to music.}, I often recite sequential lists of dates. I will not bore you with how these dates are selected.
  3. OK, make that 3 observations: I have difficulty recognizing people’s faces if I encounter them outside of their accustomed settings–colleagues outside of work, parishioners outside of church, Nick pretty much everywhere, etc. (I worked with that poor thing IN THE SAME ROOM, ON THE SAME SHIFT, FOR A YEAR–or so he claims–and don’t remember it.) My husband is the only exception. So if you run into me at Walgreen’s, or follow me down the street in your vehicle hoping to give me a ride, expect a blank stare initially. The only way to avoid that is to live with me for years. No, I’m not inviting you to move in.

Where the “high-functioning” thing (or maybe just “maturity”) comes in is, I’ve learned to not display my weirder traits in public, and I’ve also mastered Life Skills 101 (although I’m not sure about Life Skills 201). For example, not knowing how to dress properly got me in trouble at 3 different jobs. Since there were no dress codes to tell me exactly how to proceed, I just wore what I did when I wasn’t working. Back then, that involved lots of see-through shirts, halter tops, and black goth-y stuff that hadn’t yet become fashionable. So one supervisor told me, “Just because there’s no dress code doesn’t mean you can wear whatever you want.” See, I’d thought that was exactly what it meant. The “obvious” alternative–looking around to see what other employees were wearing–simply never occurred to me. How did I eventually discover that tactic? I read it in an article. Combine that sort of thing with my belief that making sustained eye contact with anyone will turn me to stone, and you can see why employers used to edge me out as soon as they could figure a way that wouldn’t involve paying me unemployment benefits.

Along with Life Skills, a structured and/or familiar environment helps a great deal, so I know just what to expect. I also have various Rules, so I don’t take forever to make decisions like, Where should I sit on this bus? What color underwear should I put on today? (Although I actually make those particular decisions in the reverse order from the way I just listed them.) (You know, it JUST OCCURRED TO ME that I could solve that one problem by just buying all-white underwear. You learn something new every day!)

Also, here (again from Anonymously Autistic) is an example of how one can “build” small talk “from the ground up,” so to speak.

Well, that was somewhat embarrassing, but I’ll live. Enough about me and why I’m weird. I’ve already dawdled over this post for too long, afflicted with “but what if they don’t want to read about my problems?” Well, if you don’t want to read about my problems, YOU’RE IN THE WRONG PLACE.

WHAT OTHER PROBLEMS DO I HAVE?

I have scratchy glitter on me from carrying Christmas packages. This is not optimum.

BUT LEST YOU THINK ALL I DO IS COMPLAIN…

I’m happy because I discovered rose-scented Vaseline for my lips.

AND, IN THIS SAD AND DESPERATE WORLD, I NOW HAVE A HERO!

“Real-Life Grinch Caught On Video Stabbing Inflatable Snowman.” Yes, Yes, YES!!!

 

 

The Myth of Scratchy Glitter

A few people have gently suggested (well, Nick not-so-gently) that maybe I should post something. And Blog School prompted, “If you post regularly for six months, what would you hope to accomplish?” I hope to accomplish posting for six months, obviously, now that I’ve established that you can’t take that for granted. And, daring to nag me further, “If you blog regularly for the next year, what would your goals be?” I believe I made myself clear in my very first post that I GOT NO GOALS. This is just inchoate rambling. If you find it charming, good.

ENDLESS DRAMA CANNOT CHANGE

I dreamed I was a political prisoner, and one of my captors said, “You know, I’ve always hated you.” I found this ominous, under the circumstances.

FASHION POLICE ALERT

I like to visualize the outfits on suspects described to us by 911 callers. My previous favorite was the guy who shoplifted a whole outfit, from hat to shoes, in shades of blue and white. But the best possible outfit was produced by a woman who was described as wearing “a black top with unicorns on it, and no pants.” You know, no pants goes with everything.

911 OVERHEARD

“So there’s an eyeball in the middle of your rug staring at you?….Ma’am, we can’t help you with a spider.”

DID YOU KNOW?

…that calling 911 is not like ordering in a restaurant? You don’t get to specify what happens. For example, saying “I want him arrested” doesn’t make it so.

Caller: I want to report my car stolen. This guy said he was going to fix it, but he didn’t, and he’s got it locked in his garage and won’t let me have it. {Turns out, by the way, that she hadn’t paid him, which she didn’t mention when she called.}

Me: Ma’am, that’s not a stolen vehicle. That’s a civil disagreement, and you need to contact an attorney.

Caller: But there’s no contract!

Me: That makes no difference.

We went back and forth with “Does too!” and “Does not!” for some minutes, before I finally said, “I’ll send you an officer anyway, so he can tell you the same thing I just told you,” and she talked over me and ended with “And I’m going to get a stolen report!”

Well, she did not get her wish, which led to…

“I want to file a grievance. That sergeant didn’t do anything he was supposed to.”

Me (genuinely curious): “What was he supposed to do?”

“Take all our information and charge this guy with auto theft.”

I said, “Well, you could call internal affairs, but that won’t turn it into a stolen vehicle.”

She screamed, “What a bitch!” and hung up. Hey, maybe she was the person who hated me in my dream.

BLOWS AGAINST THE EMPIRE

The city still doesn’t provide us with paper towels in the break room, thinking that’s a luxury the taxpayers shouldn’t have to underwrite. But after the dispenser in the restroom had been refilled, and the previous roll with just a little left on it had been put on the top of the dispenser, I made a Command Decision and took that roll into the break room. Next time I looked, it had been brought back into the bathroom. ACCEPT IT! THE CITY WANTS YOU TO WAVE YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR UNTIL THEY DRY!

I ASK YOU TO JUDGE BETWEEN US

I was walking down St Joe the other day, and a car on a side street had its snout stuck into traffic. When I started to cross the street, it pulled back, so it was no longer impeding my progress. I nodded, acknowledging the courtesy, and crossed. Then I heard someone yelling behind me, “You never even looked!” I turned around, my mind doing its usual clumsy gear-shifting in spontaneous human interactions–“Why is that person yelling? Is he yelling at me? Who is that guy, anyway?” Bear in mind that I was thinking that last as I was LOOKING AT HIM. It took a moment (about as long as it takes when the newscaster says, “And we’re live with our reporter on the scene” and said reporter just stands there blankly for a moment until they hear the prompt in their ear) before I realized it was a certain Nick, with whom I have a passing familiarity. He was wriggling with excitement and delight at seeing me so unexpectedly. He was accompanied by his mate and his–well, “spawn” is such an ugly word, so let’s just say “cubs.” He said they’d actually been stalking me for some blocks, waiting to see if I’d notice. As, he implied, any normal person would have. The question I put to you, FanBase, is, Do people normally peer into every small black car they pass, to see if they know someone inside? I thought not.

 

A Typical Post

“It has been two months since you last posted.”  Yeah, about that…I’ve received a couple of requests. In fact, Nick is biting his lip until it bleeds.

Remember that I was in Blog School? Well, why would that give me Fear of Posting, especially on a blog I ALREADY HAVE? Because I am what I said I am, to quote the eminent Eminem. Speaking of which…

HOW I WEAR A “SUPPORT AUTISM” T-SHIRT

“Hey, is the print on this shirt navy blue?! I thought it was black! So I wore black pants! I better go check it in the sunlight to make sure. Oh, good, I was right the first time. That could have bothered me all day.” It wouldn’t have ruined my day, exactly, but I would have had to wear the same shirt with the correct pants at my earliest opportunity.

Anywayz, let’s pretend the last 2 months never happened, OK? OK, my first assignment was to write a post, of a sort which could be considered typical of what one might find here. “Like a mission statement, letting us know your blog’s focus.” Well, I got no mission, and I got no focus. All I got is a bunch of Andy Rooney-esque rants.  And to those who say Andy Rooney rants make one seem old, I say, Bite me. {“But you told me never to bite you again!” Nick whimpers. “After what happened last time…” Long-time readers, if any, will notice that his I.Q. has gone down steadily over the course of the blog,  like what they did with Homer Simpson.} Actually, I can remember a mission statement of sorts from a previous post–that I want to be the S.J. Perelman of my generation, and my generation doesn’t even know it needs an S.J. Perelman. But now that I think of it, Fran Lebowitz filled that position. So I got nothin’.

See, there’s something you can typically find on this blog! A flurry of punctuation and sentences you can’t diagram.

WICKED GRAVITY

Title stolen from, I mean courtesy of, Jim Carroll.

I think someone is sticking pins in voodoo dolls of us. First I got bitten by a dog in March. (I still have jaw marks on my leg.) Then Rom and I got a disgusting oozing rash on our arms, which (eventually) disappeared as mysteriously as it came. Then on May 20 I dislocated my finger, which is still in therapy, trying to recover from its trauma. Then on August 2 Rom, not to be outdone by some old finger, fell off a ladder and broke his heel. So now it’s like the blind leading the naked (phrase stolen from the Violent Femmes) around our house. Actually, the blind leading the naked would work out pretty well, if you think about it.

And what Typical Post would be complete without…

CRISIS IN PROGRESS: 911 OVERHEARD

“That’s not a terroristic threat, that’s a statement. Wait, how did we get from this to raping a child?”

“If you close the car door and keep the air conditioning on, I’m sure your cake will be fine until the police arrive.”

S.G. Is 3 Years Old, For What It’s Worth

BEFORE YOU I STAND, SINFUL AND SORROWFUL AND STUFF

It has been a month since my last confession, I mean post. I was attempting to have a period of, shall we say, discernment, because I discerned that I seemed to be repeating myself, and feared I was running out of stuff to write about. But how can this be, as long as there is…

CRISIS IN PROGRESS: THE PERFECT CRIME

Drug store clerk reporting a theft:

“The guy’s been in here before, and he always takes liquor bottles into the bathroom, and empties them into a container he brings with him. He’s thin, has a mullet and missing teeth, and always brings his wife who’s in a wheelchair, but I’m not sure she really needs it.” Could he be more perfectly-suited to his crime? All he needs is a tattoo that says “100% Honky” (there are actually several people in this town who have that tattoo, although they disagree on the spelling of “honky”) and a car with flames painted on the sides. We can only hope he has a meth lab waiting for him when he gets home.

Anyway, I am trying to find ways to make this blog a little less, well, impaired, but, y’know….Interestingly (or not–YOU BE THE JUDGE), no one’s dared to nag me for not posting this time around. Maybe you’ve abandoned hope, or perhaps you feared it would lead to whining.

WHINING

Everyone says, “Life isn’t fair,” but WHY ISN’T IT? We all agree that it ought to be, so what gives?

CRUEL AND UNUSUAL

There is software you can get (well, you can–I have a special old-folks computer {to go with my special old-folks phone} which keeps things uncomplicated so it’s not overwhelming, and I therefore can’t add software) which will delete your work if you don’t keep writing regularly. That’s supposed to be motivational. I guess it would be, in the same way that someone smacking you if you didn’t write would be–I’m not sure if I’d actually write more, or just curl up in a spiny ball of despair.

A WARNING I HAD TO GIVE ON THE AIR

“Subject has Asperger’s syndrome, cannot make eye contact, and may become violent when touched.” Since when is it a law that one has to make eye contact? Also, I think that not being touched by police sounds like a pretty good deal. Hey, I’m un-arrestable! It’s like another alert I had to give–“Subject is barred from jail property.” Score!!

 

 

Shut Up and Start Drinking

…actually, I find alcohol makes me talk. This post brought to you by a certain beast of my acquaintance, who accused me of being drunk, although I hadn’t even started yet. I guess that shows how much sense I make when I’m sober. I renounce him, and his pomp, works, etc.

IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE TO ME

I was reading about a guy whose psychological problems were made evident by the fact that “from childhood, he has always put his clothes on in a particular order.” Well, doesn’t everyone? It beats just standing there trying to decide in what order to put them on.

THE PERILS OF SMALL TALK

There are many, but let’s start with:

–Friendly female clerk at Thornton’s to well-dressed female customer:

“Oh, are you going to a wedding?”

–Customer:

“No, to a funeral.”

FROM THE COVER OF THE LATEST L.L. BEAN CATALOG

“The new sport everyone loves!” It involves standing on a surfboard in the water and using a paddle in some way, which I guess beats being up the crick without one. At any rate, I will not be doing it. Nor will I be racing across the Ohio River bridge. I was actually good at long-distance running in high school–the only gym-related activity I was good at and enjoyed–but being expected to pass over a body of water would cause me to curl into a ball on whatever bank I started from.

AN OFFER THEY COULDN’T REFUSE

CVS drove a truckload of money up to the owners of the properties at St Joe/Iowa, and their minions are now busily engaged in tearing stuff up and tearing it down to make way for the new store. What was once a house with a rosebush by the front porch is now, well, a front porch with a rosebush next to it. The bush is in glorious bloom, and I hope it isn’t slated for destruction. Perhaps I should adopt it. I could become the Rose Whisperer.

Hey, Nick–how about I have an apple ale before our ride-along? Just one, to take the edge off? No Intoxilyzer, right?

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