I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I sometimes fall into a ranty-ass mood here on Socially Awkward Weirdo. In fact, if you’re only exposure to me is this blog, you probably think I’m always pissed off. But I’m not. Okay, maybe I am, but I can usually push it into the background and be charming. Well, as “charming” as a socially awkward weirdo can be anyway. But for all my ranting, there are some humorous bits to this shit. Today, I thought I’d give my rage a break and get into some of the weird and even funny neurodivergent shit I live with.
Let’s start with synesthesia. This is, according to Psychology Today, when “a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway (for example, hearing) leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway (such as vision).” For me, this shows up as things like certain words having a texture in my mouth. Or maybe numbers having a personality. But, the most interesting is the way I personify inanimate objects, especially when they piss me off. You don’t know many times I’ve accused the utensil drawer in the kitchen of jamming just to piss me off. And, I recently cussed out my robot vacuum cleaner, yelling, “Goddamn it, Carl! (yes, his name is Carl) Are you fucking stupid?” The shithead kept trying to go in the wrong direction until I physically moved him somewhere else. Goddamn dumb ass.
Okay, so my brain is “different”. You know that, of course, because I can’t shut the fuck up about it. Because of that, I make some really weird connections. Like, going from seeing a Target billboard to singing, “Tegrin spelled backward is nirget.” The problem isn’t so much that I make these weird connections but that I blurt them out sans context. And that context is all the shit I went through in my head to get there. No blurting took place with the Target sign (I was alone) so there is that. But it did happen once at a local barbecue place. My son and I were sitting at the counter waiting for our order when I noticed some kids sitting near us spinning around on the stools. For some ungodly reason, that dredged up a memory of Greensboro’s original Burger King location. I guess because it was the first place I ever saw those chrome and vinyl stools that show up in certain restaurants. But it wasn’t a straight shot from seeing those kids to remembering a fast food joint that moved 40 years ago. FYI, that original spot is now a “gentlemen’s club”, aka Secrets Cabaret. There were so many twists and turns to get to that point. Unfortunately, I included none of that. Instead, I just said, “The old Burger King on Gate City had these spinning stools and I thought they were so cool.” My son just looked at me and said, “What?” I get that response way more often than I like.
Don’t worry, the “shit” in this section is figurative, not literal. But, one of the aspects of my neurodivergence is being kind of clumsy. Okay, it’s not really clumsiness but the real deal is pretty deep (if you’re interested, read about it here), so we’re going with “clumsy”. But, I always have multiple bruises/scrapes/cuts on my body, sometimes to the point of looking like I lost a fight. A couple of times, after working in the yard, it has looked like I tried to put a cat in a paper sack. And, a lot of the time, I don’t even know they’re there until well after the fact. A lot of times, I have only noticed a cut when I felt blood running down my leg. It’s not as bad as it sounds, though. Explaining those injuries is the worst part since it reminds me that my awkwardness isn’t just social, it’s fucking physical, too.
It’s the Social Thing. Again
I know I’ve talked about this one before — like, last week — but when I do, it’s usually more rant-ey. Today, I’ll do my best to keep it light. So, I can’t make eye contact. If I do, one of us will burst into flames. Also, I don’t pick on unspoken communication. Once, a woman flirted with me (I think) for several minutes and I didn’t realize what was going on until she was gone. So, if there’s something you want to know, or need me to know, your best bet is to spell that shit out. In detail. Otherwise, it’s going right over my head. Lastly, there’s the fact that, once I get on a roll, I can’t shut the fuck up. I will natter on until your eyes glaze over if the topic is one of my special interests. Which can, and often does, showcase one of my neater talents: the ability to say exactly the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time. And then doubling down on that shit when you notice. You might have noticed that it’s kind of mess up here in my head.
All the Weird Shit We Do
Okay, if you’ve made it this far, I’m guessing you’re thinking one of two things: 1) “Wait, you said ‘funny’ and this shit isn’t funny. It’s kind of horrifying.” Or 2) you’re laughing along, nodding, and saying, “Holy shit, I do that, too!” I it’s the former, I’m pretty sure you’re neurotypical. Because none of this shit would be new to an ND. We all do some variation of these things; if not these very things. And, I didn’t even talk about OCD, anxiety-driven weirdness, face blindness, being double-jointed, or the extremes NDs may go to avoid shit. The list of crap we do because we’re neurodivergent, whether it’s due to our condition or society, is pretty much fucking endless. And, a little gallows humor is about the only way to deal with it. That’s why I’m pretty sure you’re neurodivergent if #2 resonates with you. And, if you’re not neurodivergent but the second one clicked? You might want to get checked out. Because you’re either neurodivergent or kind of fucked up.