Along with three sobriety apps, I downloaded SAM on New Year’s Day. It has tools for dealing with anxiety and a chat room, and encourages users to track their anxiety. The past couple of weeks of tracking my feelings has been something and I learned a few things. I still don’t have a clear idea of […]
It has always bothered me that I am an A student who always got B’s. The reason why I lost marks in school often had absolutely nothing to do with whether I knew the answer or not. It had to do with how well I expressed myself, which is something that many Aspies struggle with, and something I struggle with today. It also is definitely not solely confined to the classroom either. I have lost friends, jobs, romantic opportunities because I struggle with how I express myself.
It is completely infuriating and makes me want to scream that I lost marks on exams because of the legibility of my hand-writing. Teachers would think that it was fair that they dock marks or half marks because they had a hard time reading my writing and if they had to work harder they felt it was only fair that they reduce my mark because of it. Do you know how much this makes me want to scream. I could argue how legibility of hand-writing isn’t very important in this day and age and plenty of people get by with atrocious hand-writing. There is a joke that has some merit that doctor’s notes to pharmcists look like the dog’s breakfast. That any important document in this day and age people type. That the advancement of computers and how cheap they have becomes makes quality penmanship all but obsolete. I am not making that argument even though I would have been fine with that argument when tasked with observing elementary school students working on their hand-writing skills while student teaching. If things progress the way they are there is a good chance that penmanship will be even less important in the future. It is possible that all students in the first world will be doing all note taking and examination using laptops. This may or may not be the case, I am not going to try and predict the future, or whether this is already happening in many schools in North America. It is especially likely that this is already the case in many university classrooms in North America. I am not going to make any bold predictions about this, however, because I really don’t know. I have always been useless at predicting the future. Especially when it comes to people’s actions or behavior. Once again, that has to do with my Aspergers and the fact that I have a hard time reading body language, therefore, I have an especially hard time figuring out what other people are thinking as I am not reading the clues fast enough. Therefore, I make far too many foolish decisions, just ask anyone who I am or used to be friends with.
I am not going to make the argument that penmanship has become all but obsolete, because, I still use handwriting a fair bit and I can’t see this ever changing. I am extremely scatterbrained, I have a hard time paying attention to detail. Another place where I lost a lot of my marks as a student. Anyone reading my writing before it goes through a dozen hands of people editing it can attest to this. It’s sad because each time of my voice is lost, but, it is the cost that needs to be paid in order to have something that anyone else can read or would want to read. Therefore, if every student was assigned a laptop to do all their work on, I would end up forgetting it at home or at school just the way that I ended up leaving important textbooks at home or at school. Therefore, I still scribble notes on anything I can get my hands on, knowing that anything that I scribble, other than phone numbers, there is a good chance that I will remember. I am not bragging, I am merely pointing out that the brain learns how to adjust to make up for some of our shortcomings to the best of it’s ability. The blind develop excellent hearing. As such I have developed an incredibly memory that sometimes throws in my face that I lost marks and as a result, scholarships, as a result of my disability. How can you pay attention to detail when at every moment, your brain is unable to censor out thousands of other details that you are taking in such as the fact that the casing of my computer is black. I am aware of this, yet, I keep noticing it out of the corner of my eye as in, yep it didn’t change colors because that is not something computers do. This ability may have been useful a thousand years ago, but, is a burden when trying to write anything in the modern world. It’s a challenge right now, and it was a challenge in the classroom when I was a student. I also have to use my handwriting when taking down queries while on the phone at work. Then I am supposed to pass on these queries to someone else to work on. My shorthand is fine, if I am there to explain to someone else what I have written, but, this is not always possible as they may be away from the desk when I have to hand it on before assisting another patron, going to a different part of the library or going on break. On a recent annual report of my work my supervisor said I was a good employee except for when it came to taking down queries at the phone. This is the adult world equivalent of losing marks once again, for the same problem. There are different words for the same things, I am no longer not going scholarships I am not getting promotions. Tomato, tomato.
Therefore, I am not frustrated about having lost marks, because, penmanship is not important. What bothers me the most, is that this is not something I ever just shrugged my head at. No, this is something that I worked hard at for many years with a physical therapist in a children’s rehabilitation center. I spent what now probably equals hours working on my fine motor skills doing exercises where I simply crossed x’s and made o’s, among other exercises in order to strengthen the muscles in my fingers so that I was better able to hold a pencil so that my writing would readable.
Another way that I and other Aspies have a hard time communicating is that we never use the right words. We have a hard time adjusting to the proper decorum of a situation. For instance, we will use too formal language in social situations so that we come off stiff, and in work or classroom situations we come across as too informal. This obviously came across in my writing, as more than one professor has commented on it to me. They said things I simply cannot give you an A even though your answer was technically correct because you didn’t use the right kind of language. What he meant by that, probably, if I can interpret what he was trying to say is that my words didn’t flow smoothly and they came across disjointed. Do you know where I hear that, that I sound disjointed, stiff or wooden? In social situations. People seldom use these words, they will talk more about how our conversations just have no flow, but, this was the assessment of my social skills when I consulted a relationship advice columnist who just happens to be my friend’s mom. I wanted to know why I had such a hard time romantically, when people who seemed like real losers; people who would cheat on their significant other; act physically violent towards them; spend all their money gambling and live in their parents basements well into their late thirties, were having much more romantic success than I was.
I had a bad dream where I was back in the classroom, and was losing marks meaninglessly, like a quarter mark off for my handwriting, and only got eight out of ten on a test in a theater class, last night and woke up and felt compelled to write this about it. You know to seek some kind of closure, like that it is meaningless to worry about marks, but, now that I am done it still really bothers me. Marks are important, they are a deciding factor where you end up in life, what university program you get into or whether or not you get that promotion. It’s not the same for the arts, but, between you and me, I still have no clue how that works how or what decides who ends up where. I do know that having challenges communicating definitely plays a large role in any area of life that you can think of.
If you have read either of my previous books, the one that is actually out, and the one that only comes out in July, you’ll know that I am a screw-up. I want a girlfriend and dating me is the last thing on any girl’s mind. I have failed at my dream career and I have fallen into comedy, which most likely will only ever be a past time. The chances of me making a living from my writing, is almost as bad as the chances of finding out that we are all stuck within the Matrix.
The chances of more than a thousand people ever reading one of my books is pretty dismal. Yet, I continue putting them out there, simply because I find them therapeutic and I hope someone else will find them useful as well.
I may die alone with limited travelling done with friends and guess what all of that may just have to be good enough. I have no control over many facets of my life and therefore, all I can do is my best and hope that things go my way. If they don’t that doesn’t mean doing things is in vain that just means that you have limited control over your life and you have to keep putting yourself out there and hope for the best. I enjoy writing so if it never makes me any money, then that’s just too bad. I also try to be the best person that I can be, and if that doesn’t win people over, while that’s just tough shit, because I don’t know how to be anything else. If I did, I would be, but, really since I don’t I can’t go around beating myself up because of it. I have screwed up friendships and done things I would not have done again if I had a second chance, but, guess what we don’t get do-overs and if you are constantly beating yourself up about your regrets that kind of sucks.
Therefore, always strive to do your best and if that’s not good enough, while that’s too bad because it kind of has to be. After all it’s your best.
Last weekend, I ran a super successful event. Beforehand, I was nervous no one would come to the Vegan Handmade Market, but in the end the turnout was so good, many of the vendors said they had the best sales of the year there, better than ComicCon! Even while everything was going good in the busy […]
Over the past few months, I’ve frequently gotten the impression that the mental health services in Winnipeg are set-up in ways to discourage people from using them. Going to an open house at the Anxiety Disorders Association of Manitoba (ADAM) is as easy as showing up to one of two monthly sessions (which is a […]
I really felt like shit about myself last week. Despite knowing better, I was judging myself rather harshly for not being able to take care of myself properly on my own. And then you all stepped in and set me straight. An acquaintance responded to the status update about last week’s blog post on my Facebook […]
It’s never worth getting laughs when it comes at the cost of your soul
Writing stand-up comedy jokes is extremely difficult. It is much easier to write whole chapters than a thirty second joke. That could be, because after you have been doing comedy for a while your inner editor papoos any joke you think of as not as funny as the last one. When I was starting out, I found writing jokes super easily. Whether that was because I had years of insight built up just waiting to be written down on a page and then told in front of a live audience that is one possibility. The other possibility is that, when you are first starting out, you don’t know what a funny joke is. Therefore, anything that remotely tickles your funny bone must be absolutely hilarious. The truth is, none of these original insights are really that funny. It takes a bit of time, before you learn how to tell the difference between a good joke and something that is only funny if the other person was there at the time. Therefore, many comedian’s first jokes are inside jokes that you have to have been there to understand why it was funny. You have to have shared the experiences. After all, these jokes are what got us our laughs before we started doing stand-up comedy. In addition, the first shows are mostly for our family and friends and we don’t have a chance to go up to complete strangers and hear what they thought of the joke. We are too busy celebrating.
Once family and friends stopped coming, however, then you have to perform for a room of strangers some of which are other comedians who will be bored out of their minds if we try and tell inside jokes. This is when we start developing our inner editor and start learning how to tell the difference between a rubbish joke and one that is actually really funny. Once that inner editor begins to grow inside of us there is a trade-off. We start telling quality jokes that are universally funny, but, at the same time the quantity of jokes greatly decreases. Therefore, we start repeating old jokes over and over again, praying for anything to tickle our funny bone so we have something new to tell on stage. At this stage, we are usually sick of our jokes, but, we are also addicted to the rush that we get from performing and having an audience laugh.
The laugh becomes the ultimate high. You will do anything for that laugh. Even cross lines that you would never have considered crossing before. For the most part I started off as a good person. At least I like to think I was. Maybe, the pain from frustration at social attempts started to make me more bitter. Therefore, I started justifying things that I shouldn’t have. When someone explained to me that being asexual means that you can still have sex, you just are not interested in it, I thought that was hilarious. After all, to me it sounded like the complaint that all the comedians were making about their wives.
Therefore, I thought, ha being asexual isn’t something unique, it is something all middle-age married women go through. Therefore I wrote out a joke that I planned on telling on stage. In my mind, it was the only really funny joke that I had written in weeks. I knew it was going to get me the laughs. That rush of ecstasy. The drug that I am most addicted to. One of the other comedians begged me not to tell it knowing that by telling it, I would be crossing a line that I could never come back from. I would be joining the dark side with all the other asshole comics throughout history. There is no talking a drug addict out of taking that hit, however. They know that it might hurt people and they regret it, but, they need their high more than they need anything else. Drugs have destroyed families, ruined friendships, destroyed promising careers and yet, an addict is an addict.
Therefore, I went on stage. I started with my old standby starting joke of telling the audience that I have Aspergers and that I am better than them which got me less laughs than I was used to. I told my new tags for one of my old jokes about how two girls came up to me at the bar this one time and asked if I really had Aspergers because I wasn’t like one of their cousins. I then told a few other jokes and didn’t get my fill of laughter. Therefore, I told my new joke about asexual people. It got me the laughs I so desperately craved. Yet, when I got off stage and went to talk to one of the other comedians he was like “well was it worth it?” I wasn’t going to admit that I had crossed a line. I was high on laughter after all so I wasn’t going to let him ruin it for me. He was just jealous. When I saw how upset the comic who had begged me not to tell the joke was, I was like whatever. One of the other comedians has a joke about Autism. No one gives him shit about it. I am supposed to just laugh it off, so it’s okay to make fun of Autistic people but not asexual people screw that! Also, how many times do I need to pretend that I am okay when someone who isn’t Jewish makes an anti-semitic joke. Everyone is just chasing that high.
After the high started wearing off, however, and I was looking for anyone to justify my behaviour I had to come to the stone cold conclusion. I had crossed that line and that there was no coming back from it. I had sold my soul for laughs and it totally wasn’t worthwhile. The other comedians were going to look at me different from now on, and I might have cost myself a friendship and what had I got out of it? A few laughs at an open mic, which will never lead to anything bigger.
I can’t really take steps in going backwards after all, what can you do? You can’t really apologize after all it’s easy to apologize if it’s an accident. This was no accident, since he had already told me not to tell the joke. You also can’t pretend that in a do-over you would have done anything differently. After all, a drug addict is a drug addict and they will do anything to get their fix no matter who it hurts. All you can really do, is move forward and realize that it’s not worthwhile. Try and maintain what self-respect you have, after all it can’t all disappear after telling one joke. I didn’t murder anybody. If that person wants to forgive you and move forward you do that. Otherwise, you accept that they have made their choice and still move forward.
Tags: Aspergers, Comedy, Neurotypicals, satire, the gym, weightlifters
The gym is often an Aspies biggest nightmare. There are always so many people there, so many machines going, and so many distractions. It really is just a matter of time, before something gives an Aspie sensory overload. Whether it’s watching the weights go up and down on the machines or the grunts from the serious weight lifters who are really doing much more weight than they should be doing, in my opinion. If you can’t do it quietly, without all the noise, then you are doing too much weight and you should tone it down a little. I am also trying to get my own exercise here, at the gym, without having to focus on what other people are doing.
Then there are the weight lifters themselves. When the world can feel completely unpredictable to you, because of all the chaos waiting to happen, it can be a scary place. People often don’t follow the rules. I don’t mean the rules that are posted, but, the rules of logical interactions which Aspies are all aware of, but that many other people don’t seem to know of or at least ever follow. For instance, when talking to someone, unless you two are hugging, you should always maintain body space of at least three meters. With all the chaos behind ever corner, weight lifters, these behemoths of men and women who don’t seem to have any fat to them, or cuddly bits, as I like to think of it, are extremely scary looking. You know that those muscles on the weightlifters have absolutely no practical application in today’s modern world and that they are just there to cause pain if they snap. Really, someone should restrain these “athletes” before it gets to this point, and explain to them that they are big enough, and getting any bigger really is an unfriendly, aggressive thing to do. Instead, we have to watch these people out of the corner of our eye at all times, while we try to lift our reasonable amount of weight.
Then there is just the pure number of people at the gym that is threatening. Look, I get that they also need to exercise and are just doing their thing. I understand that, but, as an Aspie I don’t like large crowds at the best of times, unless, it’s from the safety of the stage, and there is a pretty large distance between me and them. There is just so much potential for things to go wrong, when it comes to large groups. There is potential for all of their interactions to cause me sensory-overload or turn into a large mob and do something unreasonable, like keeping American Idol on television for so many years. Without large mobs, Paris Hilton’s music career would not have been a thing. People are infinitely more reasonable as individuals and they’ll assure you that there is nothing to like about her music, but, as soon as they turn into a large group, her music thrives; it is mind-boggling.
That is why I am going to keep to jogging outside, where it is quiet enough to listen to my own thoughts over the roar of traffic.
My struggles with my dating life have been well-documented in this blog. Nonetheless, I have been extremely passive when it comes to changing anything. Therefore, I have decided to challenge myself to change that. I am going to try joining popular dating websites such as Tinder, Plenty of Fish; find a match maker in the city; as well as take other steps that I am not aware of at this point to find someone who is willing to date me. I am going to try and update this blog with how my journey is going every 2-3 days, therefore, it will not be as finely polished as my Winnipeg Jewish Post articles or my book.
The first day of this challenge I went through my various pictures on Facebook and asked for people’s opinions which ones to post on my Tinder account that I am going to create. I received lots of positive feedback about the pictures that I had selected so I was going to use the ones I had posted on Facebook yesterday. The only problem is that my apple account has seemed to lock me out and not let me add any new apps to my phone. When I tried to join Tinder on a pc computer it took me to a porn site when I logged in which I quickly logged out of realizing that was not what I was looking for. Therefore, I have been foiled by Tinder and will focus on Plenty of Fish right now. Why did I choose to use this website? Mostly because it is free. When I joined eharmony and another paid dating website it did not get me anymore success than I did with the free dating website, therefore, at this point I am going to stick with the free ones and if this is unsuccessful after trying for a few days I will switch to a paid dating website for a month. I am sceptical about my future success on a dating website as these are all about creating great first impressions which is something that people on the Autism spectrum have difficulties with.
Nonetheless, my dating success in general is limited and I have to start somewhere. I work in a tiny office and only with five people, therefore, asking someone out in the workplace would make my life extremely difficult whether she accepted or not. I also know I have to start somewhere so that is where I am starting. I am also out of school, not that I ever had any success asking any girl from my class out, but still that is one way people meet others. I may take a writing course or two in the spring time.
People with Aspergers are never a woman’s first choice. We often come across as socially awkward and inappropriate. We may not pick up on cues as to when to change conversations, or when to end one. We have a hard time making eye contact, which is an extremely important quality in a potential mate. But from our point of view, neurotypical people often have their values messed up when it comes to dating. For example, males will often choose women based on physical qualities that make them look young, an innate pedophilic tendency. Additionally, they place too much emphasis on boobs, which are essentially just fat, and ass which I am not sure how anyone can objectify and sexualize. Gross! Often placing a higher value on personality traits than on physical traits, Aspies don’t discriminate by age. What we find really sexy is a woman who is tolerant, warm, patient, compassionate and funny, which is, granted, much harder to find among Neurotypicals than a pretty face and a tiny waist.
Unlike Neurotypical males who can find females attractive purely on physical qualities, Neurotypical women judge mates differently. They are more likely to judge guys by the way they are dressed, whether they are well groomed or whether their clothes suggest they have money which in turn suggests that they would make a “good mate”. No matter how much of a feminist they are, Neurotypical women in my experience have generally been taken in more by outer signs of success than by inner qualities. They generally want a guy who will make lots of money, and will overlook the guy who will treat them with kindness every day that they are together. Sad but true. Women with Asperger’s are more likely to look for more important qualities such as whether someone treats them with respect. Though what do I know, I have been unable to connect romantically with any of the women with Aspergers I’ve met.
Women are also more likely to find a man doing certain activities such as fixing a car, showing off athletic prowess or doing a bunch of other sexy activities, like getting a really great tax return. These activities that make a man sexier to women are areas that I will never excel at because of my Aspergers. That doesn’t mean that people with Aspergers don’t have their own good qualities. We are extremely loyal, kind and caring. I am the first person to make sure that everyone engaging in an activity gets to participate if they want to. I would go through hell and back for my friends. We are also very close with our families and value them more because we know that they have got us through many difficult times.
These qualities generally, however, won’t get us picked over a guy who is charismatic, good looking, or wealthy or a combination of these characteristics. Do not get me wrong. Neurotypical men also have their values messed up when it comes to the other gender, which I have already mentioned such as placing too high of value on butts and boobs.
Therefore, I was amazed when Alizza agreed to go out with me. It had only taken 28 years to find a woman who was willing to give me a chance. I just hoped that it wouldn’t take another 28 years before I finally convinced a girl to kiss me. I met Alizza and her friend Karen at an open mic at a local bar. I hadn’t had high hopes going into the show as it is generally not the best-run open mic in the city and I pretty much used it as a venue to test out jokes. That way, if the joke fell flat on its face I would not lose as much face, in terms of my reputation as a solid comedian.
I first noticed Karen after my set as they were only sitting two rows behind me. Three comedians later, it was Alizza’s turn to perform. I am not one of those people who argue that women are not funny. I know that there are many funny women out there, like Jen Grant, Elivira Kurt, Chantal Marostica and Tina Fey. I have noticed, however, that some women stand-up comics, when they first start out feel the need to show that they can be just as vulgar as any of the men who perform. Therefore, while Alizza was kind of funny, her set had more vulgarity than I would have normally preferred.
Therefore, after my set, as a way of striking up a conversation with the two of them, I went back to congratulate Alizza on her set. As soon as I started talking, however, Alizza told me how much she really enjoyed my set and offered me a hug. The physical contact made me feel all warm and gooey inside. Aspies appreciate the small things. After talking with her and her friend awhile, I went home and Facebooked Alizza, to ask her to go to Rumor’s Comedy Club, which is Winnipeg’s premiere, and admittedly only, comedy club in the city. I figured that I had nothing to lose. After all, what was the worst thing that could happen? That she said no? Who cares, after all, she didn’t mean anything to me at that point, she was just a pretty girl. I definitely did not think she was going to accept because I am very insecure when it comes to women. Therefore, it was a huge surprise to me when Alizza did accept. We had a pretty good night together, starting with me picking her up from her rehearsal for the musical theatre show that she was doing at the time. When we started talking and I found out her life story, I was amazed to find out that not only was she older than me, much older, but she had been previously divorced. It made me look at divorced women in a whole new way.
I realize that I am not most women’s first choice, simply because they don’t have their priorities straight. Therefore, I figured the best thing a woman can do to give me the best chance of success is to be previously married. See, if a woman marries her ideal mate who is charismatic and charming and finds out that he is also in fact, quite flawed, then she may look for other characteristics in a man. Especially if her ex’s flaw is that he is a cheater or a narcissist as some Neurotypicals are. After all, not everything that glitters is gold. Substance over style. Neurotypical people have a million and one metaphors about looking past charisma and looks, because, quite frankly, they often don’t.
Do not get me wrong, as I have been stressing, there are some good neurotypical men and women out there; they are just a tiny minority and are as hard to find as a needle in a haystack. A bad divorce also means that a woman may move more slowly before jumping into the next relationship, and may take her time with the next guy before she’s ready to develop romantic feelings. This lines up nicely with the interests of people with Aspergers, because we don’t always make the most favourable first impression. But I am pretty confident that, given enough time, we can find room in any woman’s heart through our positive characteristics. Still, I had the same challenges reading her as with any woman.
Nevertheless, I thought that I had done enough to warrant a second date with Alizza and that we had as much of a real connection as I have ever had with another person. But that second date never happened. She told me that she didn’t date other performers. But then she began seeing another guy, a younger comedian, and that was beginning to blossom into a romantic relationship. At the time I felt absolutely devastated. I also felt that Alizza had led me on, by letting me buy the tickets and think it was a date. She assured me it was a date and she had been genuinely interested, just not as interested as she was with the other guy, Kevin, who was probably rich, charismatic, or good looking.
I eventually recovered and became friends with her, even though nothing romantic or physical ever happened. I thought that we had a real connection. That led me to postulate that I had a lot to be excited about as I got older, and that I would have more success with divorced women than with women who had never been married and had traumatic experiences. I am not saying that all divorces are traumatic; I am saying that the more traumatic and horrible the ex-husband was, the better chance I have with these ladies. Also, that many neurotypical men are awful.
I don’t think anyone can really cherish compassion in another person until they have known what it is like to be with someone who only thinks about themselves. In my opinion, this is the only way that many males with Aspergers stand a chance when it comes to dating. Therefore, it is not unusual for them to begin having relationships later in life. Having them when we’re young adults is another societal landmark that we will miss completely. In fact that expectation is completely inappropriate when it comes to us.
This can be annoying as there are lots of messages suggesting one should be finding your soul mate while you are still quite young. After all, all of the Disney Princesses married at the height of their beauty and youth. Many movie characters marry their high school sweethearts or meet in university. In The Other Woman, Cameron Diaz says that by the early thirties, there are no longer any great eligible bachelors to date and dating goes downhill after that. Ironically, Cameron Diaz was in her early forties when she filmed that line, an age in Hollywood most women are considered repulsive, unless you are Judy Dench, Meryl Streep or Julianne Moore. What Diaz says is true, only if you define a great eligible bachelor as charismatic and dreamy and are unable to have the maturity to realize the number of great guys who are now in front of you.
In addition, some people, scratch that, most people, don’t learn their lesson and will continue to go for the jerks just because they are charismatic, good looking and rich, or a combination of the three. There is no guarantee they will change. I know one girl who went out for several years with this guy who cheated on her, when she was out of town. She was heartbroken; nevertheless, the guy was such a charmer that even though he had had unprotected sex with another woman, and had possibly given her an STI when she got back into town, she eventually got back together with him. Their mutual friends, however, were not even loyal enough to tell her anything until she had already slept with the guy and he had already broken up with her. This guy being as self-centered as he was, after getting a second chance, then proceeded to waste his money on a drug habit. Not only that, but he was also extremely selfish when it came to the bedroom, something no Aspie has ever been accused of, partly because none of us has ever made it that far. I am not judging him or her as I don’t know what was going on in their lives that made them go down the paths that they did. What I am saying, however, is that she had her values out of whack and if, instead of going for the charismatic guy, she had dated a guy with Aspergers, she would have been much better off, because we are more loyal to anyone who shows us kindness. Guess what? She would still rather date another guy who was more like her ex, who had treated her so badly, than give a guy with Aspergers a chance. Because some people never change. No matter how many times they get burnt they will still be drawn to the hot flame. There really is no helping these people, which is just a sad fact of life after all she had many great qualities going for her other than her taste in men, since she was smart and funny and had a great laugh.
The fact that we have to wait until a girl gets her heart ripped out of her chest and stomped on before she will consider giving us a chance can be very hard on the ego of someone with Aspergers. I mean it is hard to stay positive, and do everything that you need to do to take care of yourself, to be able to take advantage of opportunities, if and when they present themselves to you later in life. It is very hard to see all of your friends in relationships or hooking up with sexy girls, and to continue smiling and believing that you too will one day find love.
It is very easy to try to compensate for these hurt feelings by turning to food and trying to eat away the pain. After all, these feelings are saying to you, “if no one is going to want to love you one way or another why prevent yourself from eating another chocolate, when food and your taste buds never chose your friend over you?” You never pursue chocolate actively, only to find out that there was information that you didn’t pick up on because of your Aspergers, that led you on to believe you had a chance, only to reject you in the end because of your flaws. If you listen to this voice, however, you end up losing because you are not able to take advantage of romantic opportunities as they present themselves. There is no reason why you can’t have the same joy you see your friends having with someone they really connect with, if you’re patient enough and let the divorce process and bitter breakups do the work for you. You can still have the romantic picnics in the park or hold hands with a girl in the movie theatre, you’ll just do it at age 33 (or in Cameron Diaz’s version in your early 40s) instead of 15, like other people around you will do. Do not get me wrong, I am not saying that this has to be the process for all men with Aspergers. I can only speak to my own experience which has been especially soul crushing. I still have not yet found the right girl.
I know one guy, Steven, Moshe’s uncle, who doesn’t have Aspergers, but who only settled down and got married in his forties. If he had given up on himself it is unlikely that he would ever have been able to stay positive and make this relationship work. He is now super happy with his new wife. Even though society said that Steven should have settled down earlier and married long ago, and that if it hadn’t already happened by the time he was twenty-five he might as well resign himself to being a bachelor forever, his story had a happy outcome. He did not follow the norm when it came to relationships the way they’re portrayed in romantic movies. But there is no reason we need to believe that they represent the only kind of happy relationships possible, or that we need to follow their rules, or we won’t find someone with the right values when it comes to romantic relationships. So, now I wait for Cameron Diaz.