Saturday, 23 June 2012

Mick & Ness: A Love Story

It is a truth universally acknowledged that every blogger or  would be writer will pinch those opening words from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (damn she was good). So I did.  Just to get it out of my system.

Anyway, according to our GP, (who is all too familiar with our history of woes, all of which are a gigantic saga of epic proportions, more weepy and melodramatic than a Danielle Steele novel) Mick and I are 'Two gentle souls who found each other.'

 More like two mega dorks from hell who couldn't find anyone else, really. And clearly she hasn't heard some of the swearing around here. Or seen me throw things when I have a  melt down. But perhaps she has a point.

As how we met is quite the touching love story. It goes like this. Cue the schmaltzy romantic music. Or not.

Around age 21, a long-time friendship and suddenly went pear shaped.  Distressed, I confided in a work colleague. 

"Don't worry about her, she sounds like a bitch," was her advice. "you've got other friends haven't you?"  To which the answer was a resounding - No.

"Oh," she said "well, you'll just have to make some."

Right. Easy peasy.  Especially for a painfully shy, quiet, introverted Aspie like me. (Not that I knew about the Aspie part at the time).  Then Jeanette, the work colleague, suggested I  should go to something called Rotaract.  I had no idea what Rotaract was really, but she was quite persistent. She gave me a number and said "If you don't ring up, I will!"

So I made the phone call, hands shaking, voice a whisper.  The cheerful sounding girl at the other end of the phone didn't seem to notice. It turned out that Rotaract was some sort of Community Service and Social Club for 18-30 year olds, which was sponsered by Rotary.

 "We're all going to Studebakers Night Club this Saturday, "  Cheerful Girl told me "you can come." Yay. I lurrrrve Night Clubs. Thumping 'music' and passive smoking are SUCH a thrilling way to spend a night out.

Subsequently, I ended up sitting there at Studebakers,  the following Saturday night, with a bunch of strangers, passive smoking, feeling awkward and answering the usual polite questions.  Among the strangers was Mick.  The only impression he made on me was that I thought he was really serious.  He was having a really intense, grown up conversation with some others about something really Accountant like, such as mortgages or the stock market.  I glazed over.

I kept going to Rotaract, also known as Rootaract, due to the high number of marriages among our friends that resulted from it.  Luckily, I made a good friend, Kim, and was constantly glued at her side at every Rotaract outing and function.   So, for the first time in my life I actually had something resembling friends and a social life, even though in reality I was still painfully shy and quiet.

We had many outings and functions and I'm sure all those wine tasting weekends at the Hunter Valley and Priest and Pro's Dances we had were extremely *coughs*, erm...helpful for the community.  At one such function Mick and I were chatting. I'd been going to Rotaract for possibly close to a year by now. During the conversation, Mick casually asked me out.

I have always been completely and totally clueless when it comes to flirting or catching on if somebody chats me up. Which is a shame, because it obviously happened ALL THE TIME in those days, in light of my striking resemblance to Nicole Kidman.

 Consequently, when Mick asked me, I so wasn't expecting it, that it took a full minute to register that he'd even asked me.  The moment passed and I didn't answer him.  I felt quite upset that I hadn't answered him and might have hurt his feelings and left him pining away. I have since brought that up years later, and he doesn't even remember, so he obviously wasn't pining at all. Hmph.

I agonised over it like a herione in a Victorian novel.  Like Lizzy Bennet did over Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.  Like Rachel McAdams and Ryan Goseling in The Notebook. Like Maria did over Captain Von Trapp. Kind of, sort of...

I gave it some thought and sent him a rather enigmatic letter indicating that I wished I'd answered him, like the dark and mysterious (ie. awkward and cowardly) person I am.  He asked me again, and we embarked on a date.  We went to the movies. Mick gallantly let me choose the film. So what did I choose for a first date?

Sleepless In Seattle. Save me.

You know. Tom Hanks. Meg Ryan.

One look and it was...magic. And all that crap.

Possibly just a tad over the top for a first date. Plus, it hadn't really happened like that for us. My first look at Mick, I glazed over. Oops.

A year later, he asked me to marry him in his usual blase fashion.  Over an Italian meal in a restaurant. With my parents present. I said yes. We finished our Veal Tegame and he went home to his place and I went home with my parents.  So romantic. I rang Kim and a few other Rotaractors and told them we were engaged.

The next day they rang Mick at work to congratulate him. He had yet to inform his parents and siblings.
We look slightly different now..sigh..

We had our wedding a year or so later. Luckily I didn't know what was going to happen over the next 16 years or I might have run shrieking from the church. But I didn't.  It was quite an eventful day, so that might be a whole other post.

Put it this way, over the last 16 years we have certainly been through it all... for better, for worse,  in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer...

Hang on. Wait.

We actually haven't been through the richer part.  Even after Micky Blue Eyes promised me he would be millionaire by the time he was 40.  And he is turning a big number with a zero in it next year, and the number isn't 40. Hmph.  And  a big snorty honking sound even.

So I can only hope the richer part will be along presently. And then we can live happily ever after in wedded stress....oops, I mean bliss.

Linking up with Cathy from The Camera Chronicles for Flashback Friday.

Linking up with Kirsty from  My Home Truths for I Must Confess. One more time, for the good times.

Linking this up for I Must Confess AGAIN because I couldn't be bothered writing a new post  it's SUCH a touching love story.

Have you ever heard a more touching love story? I doubt it....

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

My Tragic Life as a Nerd Girl circa 1992

I remember when I used to live a tragic life. You know you have a tragic life when you're sitting at home on a Friday night, at age 21, watching Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, thinking "Something isn't right here."

It may have a been around this time that I went out with a person who was nicknamed Walrus. Because he looked like one. Using the term 'went out' rather loosely, in the sense of spending an entertaining evening passive smoking in his vicinity at a local night club. And I really, really hate night clubs.

My desperation sunk even lower however, when on one shopping trip, I was trying on clothes. There may have been lycra involvement and body suits.(I know, I can't believe that I wore that stuff. Or more to the point that I was thin enough to wear it 20 years ago. Sigh)  The sales girl was rather chatty and somehow the conversation veered to discussing that it was hard to meet anyone decent these days in the fast paced 90's (or the 'olden days' as my boys now refer to them). 

Next thing you know the sales girl whose name was Faye, if I remember correctly, ( and I only remember that because it is my middle name) said she knew some decent guys and could fix me up if I was interested.  Showing how utterly desperate I was I agreed and gave a complete  stranger, albiet, a seemingly nice, friendly stranger but nevertheless, a stranger, my phone number and permission to play cupid.
The following day she rang.  "Okay, I've got two guys," she began "now, they're not exactly Tom Cruises, but we're no Nicole Kidman's are we?"
"No, of course not." I concurred, secretly wondering why nobody ever seemed to notice my striking resemblance to Ms Kidman. I mean, I had the red hair and the erm...well okay, just the red hair, but that's a resemblance, right?

Obviously the resemblance is uncanny
It transpired that she had two possible guys for me, one had just come out of a break up, the other had never had a girlfriend before as he was very shy and quiet, according to Faye. "Like you." she added.  However, the only boyfriend I'd ever had at that point had been a complete wanker who'd been obsessed with a previous girlfriend so the latter guy actually sounded more appealing.

So it was all set.  We were going on a double date with Faye and her partner.  When we arrived to pick him up, he wasn't there. Not a particularly promising start. His Mum informed us he was at the Gym.  "Oh well, at least you know he works out." Faye reassured me brightly, trying to put a positive spin on it, as we headed to Penrith Panthers Leagues Club to wait for him to meet us there.

About an hour or so later a very reluctant looking young man arrived, staring at the floor, as if he was willing it to open up and swallow him.  After mumbling hello, he then proceeded to steadfastly stare at the floor for the entire night, not once making eye contact.  To make matters worse, neither one of us uttered a single word to each other, but sat there in excruciating silence, while Faye tried to make polite chat chat to diffuse the situation.  It was beyond awful.

The only thing more awful was yet another blind date I went on, this time arranged by some friends of the family.  We went to the Burning Log Theatre Restaurant, and made it through dinner and the show okay, but things disintegrated quickly when we ended up on the dance floor.  This guy obviously fancied himself as some sort of super suave and sexy cross between John Travolta and Patrick Swayze and began gyrating in front of me, urging me to "Move your body!"  Instead I just began to laugh at him helplessy.  Oddly enough, this did not seem to impress him.

On the way home he abruptly pulled the car over around the corner from my house, lunged over and stuck his tongue down my throat.  I remained completely unmoved by this display of passion. 

Needless to say, I never saw either 'date' again.  And I am very glad those tragic days are over. There was a very happy ending of course.  I met an enigmatic, brooding Mr Darcy type and went off into the sunset to live in splendour in a luxurious estate. Um, wait,  no...actually I've just been reading too much Jane Austen. 

I mean, I met Micky Blue Eyes and we ended up here in Boganville.  Stay tuned for the whole touching love story. Coming Soon.
Linking up with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I  Must Confess
Did you ever have any dating disasters? Tell all...

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Being Different & The Diagnonsense Part Two

It was convoluted path to diagnonsense.  Perhaps it was the fact that I turned 40 last year so therefore I decided to quietly have a mid-life crisis and ponder over my life like the deep and intellectual thinker I am. ie. A total off with the pixies space cadet.  But I was giving this Asparagus thing a bit of thought and then coincidentally picked up a book about it in Target  called Being Different by John Elder Robison.

I took it home, read it. Upon reading the diagnostic criteria I was fairly convinced I was Aspie.  I Googled a bit more which seemed to confirm my suspicions.  Funnily enough I'd seen counsellors and shrinks on and off for many years, yet when it came to this I basically had to figure it out for myself! It's amazing how people go undiagnosed for years, especially females. 

I trotted back to yet another shrink to receive the official 'diagnonsense'.  This involved answering a gazillion questions.  She then saw my mum also and asked her a gazillion questions. 

I suppose I could waste a lot of energy wondering if it would have made any difference knowing 30 years ago. It doesn't really matter.  That time is over. What matters is I know now. So I have to stop being so hard on myself and accept the way I am. Not make comparisons with outgoing NT people. NT means Neuro Typical, in other words those people without Aspergers.  I'll nick the term Nypical and use that, I think. Still working on that to be perfectly honest.  It's something I have to keep on reminding myself on a day to day basis.

It also turns out that I am in very good company.  Famous people in history who are believed to possibly be Aspie include Albert Einstein, Vincent Van Gogh and Wolfgang Amedeus Mozzart.  So clearly I too am a genius.  I have absolutely no idea what my genius like talent is, but any day now I'm sure it will become obvious. I hope. Maybe. Soon. Hmmm..oh well. Sigh.

As well as savant like talents or gifts Aspie people are known to have restricted and repetive interests that are often abnormal in intensity and focus.  This has worked out to be very useful in life for me.  My abnormal interest is of course...drum roll please...ta daaa! :  Carpenters/Karen Carpenter.

 Very useful indeed. I can helpfully remember the words to every single Carpenters song, yet I can't remember where I put my keys or glasses five minutes ago. Handy.

This obsession has also enabled me to participate in some intense forum discussions on on truly important issues such as the shape of Karen Carpenter's eyebrows and the relative benefits of Goofus vs Beechwood 45789.

For  the record, Beechwood is pure GOLD, I'm telling you, and that critic who said that if the Carpenters were going to record drek like that they should have gotten unlisted numbers, is a very nasty man indeed. Hmph.

After all they are the duo responsible for voicing THE most important question of the 20th Century : Why do birds suddenly appear, everytime you are near?

I'm also completely useless at anything involving organisational skills due to impaired executive function. This is a psychological term which refers to organisational and planning abilites, working memory and other complicated stuff  that frankly I can't remember. See?

At least that's now my excuse, so I'm sticking to it.  I'd always felt that part of my brain was somehow missing, (the part that should be logical and organised) yet to try to describe this to anyone would just sound like I was making an elaborate excuse for being lazy.  Imagine my relief to find it was not a figment of my imagination after all but a real part of my Ass Burgers.

In finishing,I would  like to list these affirmations for Aspie's written by author Lianne Holliday Willey that I like to remind myself:

  • I am not defective, I am different
  • I will not sacrifice my self worth for peer acceptance
  • I am a good and interesting person
  • I will take pride in myself
  • I am capable of getting along with society
  • I will ask for help when I need it
  • I am a person who is worthy of others' respect and acceptance
  • I will find a career interest that is well suited to my abilities and interests (I'm not sure how this one works for me, don't expect there are many job vacancies for a Carpenters obsessed nut)
  • I will be patient with those who need time to understand me.
  • I am never going to give up on myself.
  • I will accept myself for who I am.
Yep, so I will accept myself for who I am.  A socially awkward, anxiety prone, Carpenters obsessed Aspergirl. Brilliant.

Linking up with The Lounge over at Musings Of The Misguided.

*Tries to think of a leading, thought provoking question to ask at the end of the post...and comes up with...NOTHING.* Oops. Um, why DO birds suddenly appear every time you are near?

What? Not a great question? Look, if it was good enough for Karen, it's good for me, okay? HMPH.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Being Different & The Diagnonsense

Last year, at age 40, I found out that I officially am an Aspie.  Meaning a person with Aspergers Syndrome. Or Asparagus Syndrome as it often referred to.  When it is not being referred to as Ass Burgers Syndrome. 

Ass Burgers Syndrome is an Autism Specrum disorder (to quote Wikipedia ) that is characterised by significant difficulties in social interactions alongside restricted and repetive patterns of behaviour. That's the Reader's Digest abridged definition anyway.

I don't know at what age specifically I realised there was something slightly different about me. Most likely not until I started school. My parents probably noticed early on that my brother and I were (and  still are) vastly different temperaments.  Him being quite social, reputedly dancing at one get together as a toddler until his little legs refused to go on and then sitting down and bopping on. Me being quite the opposite and always wanting to go home whenever my parents took us out anywhere.

Samantha and I. I was about 10

I loved dogs and books.  My nose was always in a book as soon as I could read.   Especially Enid Blyton ones.  I was so quiet, Mum often had to check where I was, to see if I was okay. Usually she found me curled up with the dog.  We had a black and tan dachshund named Samantha. I'd named her that after Samantha from Bewitched which I loved.  Now it's obvious why I might not have grown up with much grip on reality loving such things, as I've mentioned before.

In spite of being painfully shy and quiet, apparently I could talk very clearly when I wanted to. So I never really had any speech or developmental delays . I was just a shy kid.

 It's true, I was and am shy.  I think that's a  different thing or trait than Aspergers. After all I'm sure that not every Aspie is shy.  So it's hard to say exactly how much of my behaviours are shyness and how much is from Aspergers. For example, eye contact.  I still find this impossible.

As a baby only a handful of priveleged people apparently had the honour of being able to hold me.  A couple of Aunties only, and my parents.  With anybody else I screamed.

Whenever Mum took me into one Aunty's kitchen I became very distressed at the sight of the very busy patterned wallpaper.  Obviously it was just sensory overload for me, however I would like to think that even as an infant I already had exquisite taste and thought: "Oh my GOD! Look at that hideous 1970's wallpaper...NOOOOOOOOO!!!"

In fact I still detest fleurescent lights with a passion.  I will often wear my sunglasses in shopping centres, receiving the odd stare from people who probably think I'm a complete wanker who thinks she's as cool as Bono.

The most noticeable Aspie trait I had ( and still have) is rocking backwards and forwards or jumping up and down on the spot. It's too bad I didn't keep the latter one into adulthood, because I sure need the exercise. These behaviours are referred to as 'stimming' in Aspie talk.

I wasn't a great student unless the teacher was particularly pushy with me.  This was mainly due to being an off with the pixies space cadet too busy daydreaming during class.  I'd only listen if it was something that interested me and tune everything else out.  I ended up being good at reading and consequently spelling and written expression.  I was fair to terrible with everything else.

Making friends was hard, but I managed to have one or two in primary  school.  At this stage when I was still interested in Barbie dolls I had something in common with other girls.  This changed later in High School where I ended up virtually friendless.  I had nothing in common with other girls who were interested in boys and liked Duran Duran while I was starting my Carpenters obsession.  This obsession has persisted to this day. Yes, I know, I am...seriously...weird.  Still at least I have my Ass Burgers as an excuse. I've met others online who are just as obsessed or worse. (You know who you are.)

More about my diagnonsense (as my friend Randa calls it)  next time...I'm going to play Carpenters.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Computer Wars

Now that Micky Blue Eyes is working from home it is quite interesting.  Having failed to become Cashed Up Bogans thus far, we currently only have one computer.  This has become the most coveted item in our home as everyone including Master 3 clamours to get online.

It is of the utmost importance that he should be able to watch Spectacular Spiderman on Youtube. Since Youtube doesn't work worth a damn on our dodgy computer, this can be quite tedious.  When his demands are rebuffed he immediately becomes irate. His little face contorts into a scowling grimace as he glares at us and defiantly declares "I HAAATE YOU!!" 

As I am attempting to type this, he climbs on my lap and starts pleading "Five more minutes and I go on here Muum?" Then starts grabbing at the mouse.  I send him on his way, sulking.

Similarly, Master 8 becomes incredibly distraught when his waddling around on Club Penguin is interrupted or denied. It is very dramatic.

Very, very, dramatic.

Very, very, very dramatic.

Very, very, very, very dramatic indeed.

That, or we have just been reading too many Mr. Men books lately. (Master 8's favourites)

 It is as if he has had to endure all the suffering and injustices in the World ever, since time began.  And it really does feel like that at times when we are all vying for computer time.  Which is probably an indication that we all desperately need to get a life. Or another computer. FAST.

Micky Blue Eyes spends hours upon hours online doing Accountant type stuff involving spreadsheets  and all that stuff that sends me to snooze land...zzzzzzzzzzz.

But I also need time to type these blogs because all my millions (ie. one - thanks Mum) of fans are so demanding and they have just been bombarding me and begging me to resume. Oh okay, only one person enquired when I would be posting a new one. So I forced myself on here for longer than five minutes, much to everyone's disgust. 

It is rather galling to realise that the average 5 year old probably has their own laptop while I am begging for whatever computer crumbs I can procure.  But then again we have always been a tad behind the times.

I have a pathetic Nokia phone which doesn't even have a camera. While all other parents pull out their whizz bang phones for a photo opportunity at every occasion, I stand there feeling like an antiquated fool.  We also possess an archaic Corolla for a car.  Not to mention the charming old fibro we live in.  

We really need to get with the times and become one of those modern families.  The ones where every family member has an iphone, laptop, xbox, ipad, etc, etc (I'm sure there are gadgets I've never even heard of) and they never talk to each other but instead text each other from the individual rooms of their gigantic McMansion. 

We actually sit at the table for dinner.  And suffer a lot of indigestion, as everyone tries to be the first to finish so they can get on the computer.  Which reminds me, I really need to make dinner, but if I move from the computer it will be promptly taken.

It is not unusual to sit here desperately busting for the loo but too afraid to move for fear you will never get back online. So hopefully, it won't be too long before another bogan installment.  But if you don't hear from me for a while you now know why.

Computer Wars.