[Ed. Note: First, a little background]
Growing up I remember distinctly feeling socially awkward. I was sure I was going to say something or do something that would make the other kids make fun of me. And I usually did and then of course they would tease me. I wanted so much to fit in. I felt always on the verge of embarrassment. A HORRIBLE feeling for me. Painful. Eventually I learned to shape myself into being like them. I could make necessary shifts between groups of different friends (I use the term “friends” loosely here folks) and even from person to person. But, still I always felt just on the fringe of the group. This is how I moved through much of my life. (A little insight into why I identify with the chameleon).
It wasn’t until I met my husband-to-be in 2000 that I started to realize just how much I didn’t know who I really was. He has taught me to embrace my weirdness and we encourage all forms of “weirdness” in our home!
Here are some examples off the top of my head:
Both my son on the autism spectrum and my husband talk out loud to themselves regularly. I always think my husband is talking to a neighbor or on the phone but really he is scripting out loud his side of whatever conversation he is preparing for. Henry, on the other hand, will talk for himself as well as for which ever imaginary friend he is having a conversation with. He pulls words and phrases from TV shows, movies, whatever it is he might hear around the house and puts them all together. He even makes up his own words. Sometimes we join in these conversations. They usually involve lasers and robots, time travel, and/or dinosaurs as of late.
My husband is a compulsive cleaner and bedmaker. He HAS to make the bed even it is just right before we go to bed at night. Dishes need to be cleaned from the sink and put in the dishwasher or if clean, put away.
Lucy and I sometimes sing our conversations in opera. (Grand gestures and all).
No matter how hot it gets I have to sleep with something over my ear. I prefer to be wrapped tightly with the sheet or blanket.
I have to smell my food or drink before I taste it.
When I make my ToDo lists I need to make them in the order in which I can complete them. If I don’t feel I can follow the list, I throw it away. Sometimes I will then make a new list.
I love strawberry jam (seedless) on my grilled cheese sandwiches.
I prefer drinking milk with just about anything.
At 43 years old I still like to dunk my cookies in my milk.
Also, at age 43, I have finally learned how to swallow a pill. It took me most of last summer.
I like to label things. Tupperware Modular Mates are one of the greatest kitchen inventions ever! I compulsively like to organize things. Hence my love of office supplies, my label maker, and storage containers!
I also like to organize and re-organize to best maximize my organization.
I didn’t realize that I never looked people in the eye until a college psychology class. I learned that I really am watching their mouth and chin. I’ve been practicing since then to look into their eyes but I really hear better watching their mouth.
I love science fiction and steampunk. (although that seems to becoming trendy these days~which makes me want to not like it as much).
I read everything. If there are words on it I read it. When my son asked to see the cereal box just the other morning before I put it in recycling so he could read the back, my heart did a little leap of joy. I’ve learned to severely curb this habit as it was taking me forever to get through the grocery store.
I can easily become
obssessed hyper-focused on a topic but can just as easily move on to something else after a time.
I HATE typos! (by me) I’m known to actually delete a Facebook post and retype it if I catch an error. (or at the very least acknowledge in the comments that I made a typo).
My husband will at times randomly break into a very bad rendition of “white-guy-dance”…or a very good interpretation if you look at it the other way.
In a restaurant my husband REALLY prefers to be facing the majority of the dining area. A small booth or table near the back against the wall is a sweet seat for him.
At home, our son lives in “comfy clothes”. This uniform consists of lounge pants (or boxer shorts in the heat of the summer) and short-sleeved white tagless under shirts.
We have a family nickname. We use it so much the little ones have actually incorporated it into their real names and use is regularly. This can be confusing to teachers.
This list could go on and on…I’m sure my husband could add many more examples to this list. So, “weird” is quite typical here in our home! We embrace it!