Not Sure What To Make Of This

I often wonder if there is something wrong with me and the way I think and interact (or don’t, as the case usually is) with other people.  Actually, I have thought known suspected this since I was very young.  For a short time, I imagined myself a misunderstood genius.  Then I got some humility and figured I was just depressed.  Eventually I decided it was my personality quirk, and by this time I was 40 and a lot more comfortable in my own skin anyway, so it wasn’t as big of a deal as when I was, say, 14 and really wishing I were more like other kids (while at the same time feeling glad that I wasn’t like other kids).  (Is it still angst when you’re happy about your issues?)

Last month I took the Meyers Briggs survey and my personality type came back as INTJ, which is apparently very rare, especially for women.  That suited me just fine, as I really like being odd.  Or, more honestly, I really didn’t want to be typical.

Recently, I have been reading about Aspergers Syndrome and decided to find out what, exactly, are the characteristics of a person with Aspergers.  We hear the phrase “Aspergers Syndrome” and “autism” and “autism spectrum” all the time, often times interchangeably.  I wanted to know the difference and, almost as importantly, how a person got labeled as such.  This led me to an online test.  Now, I realize I just wrote the words an online test, which should probably raise suspicion in my own mind as much as it likely does in yours.  Regardless, I took the test.  And guess what?  This online test says I probably have Aspergers.

Your AQ Test Score is: 34

The official criteria for Aspergers Syndrome is an AQ score greater than 32.
According to statistical analysis, 26 – 31 Is a borderline score. 86% of people with this score can be correctly classified as having Aspergers Syndrome. Enter your email address below to our receive our free mini course on Asperger’s Syndrome.

Huh.

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Random Dream Sequence

Last night I had the strangest dream (and yes, I do believe those are song lyrics.) I rode my bike to my grandmother’s house. Already you know this is a dream because my grandma lives on the west side of town, and there’s no way in hell I could ride my bike all the way over there. In fact, this dream conveniently began with me pulling into grandma’s driveway, so even when unconscious, I know my limitations. I parked my bike against the hose reel in front of her house. Some vague dream-like things happened, most of which I can’t remember now, but what really stood out this morning as I lifted my head groggily from a drool-soaked pillow was looking for soccer shirts and my missing son (I do not have a son, by the way), who was still alone at the mall at 6:10 pm on a Sunday. He was 4 and wanted to be independent so I gave him two uncashed checks and sent him on his way, thinking he would chicken out and come back. He called my bluff, though, and spent the afternoon wandering around the arcade and a glasswares sale at Macy’s. Now it’s become a nightmare, because I really have nothing good to say about Macy’s, yet I had to spend a considerable part of my sleeping hours walking through a dream version of the store looking for my nonexistent child. During a glasswares sale, nonetheless.

At some point, my husband showed up to grandma’s in a tiny scooter that looked like a toy truck, and wanted us to drive that over to the mall to find the boy. I asked him how on earth he thought we would fit a child in the back of this scooter, let alone our big butts. Subconsciously (how can it be subconscious in a dream? Is there a sub-subconscious?) I think I felt he was being pessimistic about our chances of finding “Austin”. I’m sure claustrophobia never entered into the picture.

The police had found Austin, fortunately, though he was charged with check fraud since I forgot to sign the checks over to him and he got some kind lady to do it instead so he could get fries. Then I was back at grandma’s, where my bike was still hanging on the hose reel but it had been completely stripped by some neighborhood hoodlums (probably led by my son).

Sun frame Pictures, Images and Photos

I then panicked, realizing the girls were supposed to be at a soccer game, and started hunting for their uniforms. They eventually turned up in a strange mini-refrigerator in my grandma’s bedroom. O4 didn’t want to wear hers because it was frozen stiff and she couldn’t move in it.

I have no idea what all of this means.  All I can say is, Austin, you’d better get mommy’s money back.

Running From The Commentary

So since I have been posting daily (and very faithfully, I might add), I have noticed a huge increase in traffic on this wee little blog.  I’ve also noticed a huge increase in spam.  Every time I check the comments queue, there are at least two or three spambots sitting in there like cockroaches in a jar.  Seriously, I find them that squicky.  What is the deal here, people?  Why, if we have affixed the same moniker as one of the most inedible edible substances on earth to this sort of activity, do people insist on doing it?  Do they think that someone will accidentally click through the false post, discover they’ve been tricked, but then decide to give up their credit card number instead?  It doesn’t make any sense to me at all.

Of course, if you’ve got nothing better to do, are a real person (i.e., not a spam bot) and would like to say hello, I sure could use a real comment in my queue these days.

Just A Little Neighborly Chat

We live in an older suburban neighborhood, and many of our neighbors are older folks.  A lot of them have been here for thirty, forty years, some even more. I like old people. They are so much fun to talk to; there’s something so pure and innocent about conversations with people from my grandparents’ generation.  So naturally, when the neighbor catty-corner behind us (an elderly widower in his eighties) started waving at us over the fence a few years ago, I waved back. Last year, we started chatting casually, then regularly. He’s got a lovely garden, and since we’re the only two on the block to grow any vegetables, it was only natural that we’d start talking even more.  Last fall, I gave him three wheelbarrows full of sheep manure and a jar of apple butter, after he gave the girls peonies from his prize hedge and me a sackful of lettuces.  We have a nice, friendly, neighborly rapport.  In fact, he rather enjoys gossiping about the other neighbors, particuarly the one whose property adjoins both of ours.

Rose*, next-door to me and directly behind Mr. L, is a bit kooky, to say it kindly, and on this occasion, Mr. L launched into a little rant about just how odd she really was. Apparently, Rose – single, in her late 50s or early 60s- is a little loose (elderly-speak for “slutty”), because she “came on to” her neighbor-to-the-rear one summer afternoon (translation: she propositioned him by inviting him over for a bottle of wine in the afternoon).  But then our conversation ended abruptly when Mr. L, after completely dismissing any notion of drinking a glass of anything with Rose, turned to me and said something along the lines of “you can come on to me anytime“. I laughed, smiled kindly, and instantly remembered a very important indoor task that had to be taken care of promptly.

Now, I didn’t really think Mr. L was serious, and I didn’t take offense (though I have to admit at being slightly weirded out). He knows I’m married; in fact, DH once helped him get his tractor unstuck from a root, and on another occasion helped him move a railroad tie across his backyard. Men bond when they work on things together. To think that Mr. L (who is 84, by the way) was hitting on me was just preposterous. But then, so was his little comment.

I didn’t think much of it, though.  I did mention it to DH just because it was so strange. He chuckled, and then we started talking about Rose and laughing because the thought of her coming on to Mr. L  was even more hysterical than the thought of Mr. L coming on to me. And so all was forgotten, until this morning.

We had quite a rainstorm last night, so Mr. L and I were both out early, surveying our gardens,  wincing at wilted lettuces and toppled tomatoes and trying to tidy things up before more rain comes this weekend.  I saw him over the fence and decided to see how his veggies had fared with the deluge.  So I slogged through Rose’s rear yard (a brushy mess and one of Mr. L’s pet peeves), and said hello, and he and I had a very nice talk about what had survived the storm and what had not.  And then, as our conversations often do, talk turned to Rose and her current escapades.  We talked about her daughter, who is in her early thirties and a looker (except he used the very modern hot, which seemed comical).  And then somehow, talk turned to age, and all the things that happen when you enter the twilight years.

“Don’t get old,” Mr. L admonished me.  I laughed, because it’s such a cute play on words, and just about every elderly person I’ve ever talked with has said it just like that.  “I mean it,” he went on.  “You have to keep active, or you won’t be able to do anything when you get to be my age.”  He explained how he had discovered some arthritis in his back, but immediately started going to physical therapy, and now he was able to bend down to tie his shoes again.  “Of course,” he said, rather wistfully, “some things you just can’t do anything about as you get older.  Some things just go limp, if you know what I mean…”

Oh, I hope I have no idea what you are talking about, Mr. L.  I laughed again, a little uncomfortably.  Exactly where was this conversation going??

“…but then you just have to improvise,” he concluded.

Did he just say that out loud?

I must have had a very strange look on my face at this point, and was really at a loss for words (what does one say, exactly, after that sort of comment from a man fifty years your senior? I ask you), because at that point Mr. L brought up our conversation from earlier this spring, the one where he sort of suggested that I should come on to him (were I so inclined).  I had rather believed at the time that he was just making a risque little joke, but now there was talk of limpness and improvisation and hot neighbors’ daughters and I really just did not know what to make of it all.  Maybe he sensed that his joke had gone awry, or maybe he decided that his advances (if that was, indeed what he was doing) were not being well-received, but in either case he tried to put me at ease by explaining himself a little more plainly.

“I can’t remember exactly the phrase,” he said, “but afterwards, I thought maybe you got the impression I was asking you for sex. ”

Oh, good lord.  I thought your generation didn’t talk about sex?  I thought you didn’t even know what that word was, for chrissakes.

“Ah, no,” I stammered, “no, I didn’t take it that way at all.”  Not really, anyway.

“Because that’s not what I meant, you know.”

Wait a minute.  Are you trying to say that you don’t want to have sex with me?  Why do I suddenly feel insulted?

“I just didn’t want you to get the wrong idea.”

Yeah… I think we’ll stick to talking about tomatoes from now on.

*not her real name, but damn close