Insight From the Empathy-Impaired, and an Ode to Caffeine

dontcare

I have feelings.  Sort of.  When I choose to acknowledge them.

I am not a warm and fuzzy individual. I never was, and probably never will be.  If I live to be my great-grandmother’s age (she was 94 when she passed) I will probably end up like the old battle-ax that lived across the street from my parents’ house who was dead and decomposing for months before the water meter reader had the bad fortune of being downwind.

By that time it was high summer, and the coroner opined that she’d expired some time in February.  Nobody missed her for that long.  Thankfully she hated animals as much as she did humans, otherwise some little ankle biter (I couldn’t imagine this woman as a dog lover at all, but I really can’t imagine her having a real full size dog) would likely have developed a taste for human flesh.

Dogs are not gourmets, nor are they picky. (note: this incident of “dog eats humans” happened in the UK.)  Mom had one dog (of the ankle biter persuasion) who would dine on soiled feminine hygiene items, and another that would eat entire pairs of underwear.  Decomposing, rotten old fossil would probably be a step up from those culinary delights.

Maxi_Pad_Tampon_Costume

I think I just found my next Halloween costume.

Mom’s dog really did eat these things though. Another reason for my disdain of ankle biters.

Even considering my fear and loathing of most social interaction, for some bizarre reason, I end up being everyone’s twisted Ann Landers.  Perhaps my carefully crafted outer façade is too good.  I’m trying to blend in and navigate through the sea of humanity with all its complex nuances and petty flourishes, but I’m not asking to get pulled into the fray.  Most of the time I just want to be left the hell alone.

natures gift skillet

An iron skillet is a multipurpose tool.

I considered the collection of iron skillets in the kitchen for a brief moment last night.  Yes, they are excellent for making fried chicken and/or cornbread (ironically, two foods I no longer indulge in) but I have to admit I was not amused by Jerry’s drunken forays into my room at 9:30 and again at 11:00.

I’m generally out by 8:30 or 9PM.  I don’t do late nights very well, especially when it’s a Tuesday night and I have to work the next day.  I have no idea how he can party like a rock star during the week and not fall asleep (or worse) at work.  I know I’m a long, long way from the days when I could party all night and go all day long too.  44 is a long way from 17- but 56 is even longer.  I don’t know how he can remain vertical the next day, especially after both swilling Natty Lites and staying up until all hours of the night.  I can’t do it even with coffee and Monster.

monster-energy-drink

I figure if I were going to die from caffeine overload, it would have happened back in the day.

Ah, the good old days- when “nutrition” for me meant the Four Food Groups: nicotine, caffeine, sugar and grease.  I gave up the cigs and generally avoid both sugar and grease whenever possible, but I don’t see me giving up the caffeine entirely.  I’m one of those people who likes coffee “thick,” and I’m not referring to loading it up with extraneous crap.  I like my coffee black and thick, almost like espresso.  I like espresso too, come to think of it, with nothing in it but coffee.

Espresso

No liquor.  No sugar. No cream.  Just coffee.  Concentrated.  Mmmmmm.

I could use a double shot right about now, come to think of it.   I like iced coffee too, as long as the coffee is super strong and there’s nothing in it other than ice and coffee, unless I don’t have anywhere to go, then I don’t mind adding a couple of shots of Bailey’s.  I don’t drink often, but I actually like the taste of Bailey’s and coffee- iced or hot.

baileys

A shot or two of this in some iced coffee would be a beautiful thing right now.

Twisted Ann Landers, (Why Are You Asking Me?) and Suffering Fools- Begrudgingly

Some days are meant just to catch up and ruminate – and others to indulge others’ laziness and/or stupidity. I thought this morning that today might be the first of those choices, (and I enjoy the rare delight of not being overly pestered or rushed,) but I am finding out very quickly that it’s going to be one of those days I spend thinking for and pointing out the obvious for others because they are unwilling to think for themselves, or are incapable of thinking, and/or of discerning the obvious for themselves. 

I’ve said it before.  I am certainly no rocket scientist.  I’m lucky to get out the door with all the crap I need for one day.  I forget things, misplace things, and I find that most of the time I am more reactive than proactive.  As far as examples go, everyone is an example of something, and for the most part my example is a cautionary tale of, “What Not to Do.”   As far as “What Not to Do” goes, I could write a book.  Maybe I should.

So who died and made me some sort of twisted Ann Landers, whose advice is sought in matters ranging from things automotive (while I am not the final authority by any means, at least I do have some experience and expertise in this field) to relationships (really good to ask advice on interpersonal relationships from someone with Asperger’s who borders on being both agoraphobic and antisocial) to (and this is the kicker) “Where the Hell Did I Put My Stuff?”  As far as relationships go, asking me advice would be about as effective as asking the guys who built the Titanic to engineer you an unsinkable boat.  I am not the right person to find anyone else’s stuff, either.  Half the time I can’t find my own.  I’m doing good to make it through the day without misplacing one of my three essentials- the cell phone, the Bluetooth, and the MP3 player.

One of my favorite tools when I am asked for advice is the Magic 8 Ball.  I have one.  They’re about $8 at Target- look in the toys and games.  I know, it’s a rather technologically primitive device  that dates back to the late 1940’s, but it is every bit as accurate as my advice on subjects outside the narrow areas of my expertise. 

Perhaps those around me don’t realize just how emotionally stunted I am, or maybe they ask my opinion because most of the time I make decisions based on practicality and utility- or expediency.  I have worked very hard my entire life to compensate for my weaknesses, but there are some areas in which I am just plain inept no matter how hard I try.  Anything involving gross motor coordination- forget it.  I do good to walk in a straight line without tripping or falling down.  As far as social interaction goes, I am always monitoring and second-guessing myself because I am not good at reading (or sending) non-verbals.  I can put on a good show if I need to, but it takes far too much conscious effort.  Imagine if you had to consciously think about and analyze your breathing.  This is the mental effort it takes for me in social situations.  The ability to socialize and converse face to face with people does not come naturally to me at all. 

So, by some strange twist of fate, who always seems to get elected to be the hospitality committee?  It’s like expecting the class midget to play center on the basketball team.

I’ve never seen myself as having anything but rudimentary (at best) social skills, but other people either don’t seem to notice or don’t seem to care.  Maybe I put on a better show than I thought.

Shakespeare said that “all the world’s a stage.”  The sad thing for me is that most of the time I want nothing more than to escape scrutiny and blend into the wall.  I seriously need to schedule a real vacation (root word: vacate, as in get out of Dodge) and get in some extreme ivory tower time before I start ripping people’s heads off.  Dealing with other people just plain wears me out.

I wouldn’t mind just camping out at home- sleeping, reading, writing, doing some cross-stitch, digging me some Tru-TV and jamming to some classic rock, except that I won’t be left alone to do those sorts of things.  I would end up being roped into errand-running, cleaning, and divers other activities that I don’t want to do.   I know I should put my foot down at times but I also  have to choose my battles.  As much as I hate to admit it, usually it’s easier to just do whatever so I don’t have to take the browbeating.

I have been challenged to refrain from making negative comments about Jerry for entire month of February.  I am sincerely going to try.  I admit, while he is challenging, I can be a rather harsh judge.  In some ways he deserves it, but I couldn’t be easy to live with either.