Friday, 18 November 2011

The Work Boyfriend

I have a work boyfriend, I'll call him WB.  And for the most part he's cute, listens to my problems and is an all around good friend.  We have lunches and coffee together and we like to dump on each other when something really wonky starts going on at work.  We're really comfortable with each other.  But sometimes I just don't get his humor.  Like today.

Today he approached me to show me a picture on his iPhone.  It was a picture of him in front of the American flag.  The conversation went something like this:

Him:  I want to get it on with you in front of this flag *laughs*
Me:  You are disgusting and need to leave.
Him: *walks away laughing*
Me: (loudly)You are NOT funny
Him: (Mumbles under his breath) The important thing is I think I'm funny *walks away*

I don't get it.  I honestly don't understand why that comment was funny.  I'm not offended.  I mean guys are guys right?  And sometimes they think sexual comments are HILARIOUS.  Whatever.  The odd thing about this encounter is that this isn't the first time I've heard this comment. 

Yes, I'm Asian.  And yes, a college boyfriend asked me to do that very same thing (except he was serious about it - I think).  He actually went so far as to buy me an American flag for my dorm room.  At the time, I didn't think much of it.  I gave the flag to my dad and told said boyfriend that I misplaced the flag.  I used my typical Aspie approach - avoid and make up lies!

And that leads me to the following questions...
What is propagating this strange thought in men - me getting it on in front of an American flag?   
Why is this funny?
And do I just not get it because I have Asperger's?

WB just stopped by my desk to apologize.  I asked him why he thought it was funny.  And naturally, he didn't know.  Guess my questions will remain unanswered.  At least for now...

Monday, 7 November 2011

My Fear of the Five O'Clock Shadow

I have a good friend who is a prostate cancer survivor.  That's relevant because naturally he is going all out for Movember and growing a moustache this month.  I am fully supportive of prostate cancer awareness and am very proud he is a prostate cancer survivor.

That's the thing.  I consider him a good friend and supportive of my Asperger's Syndrome.  I guess that's why what he did to me today shocked me.

He came over to me and gave me a hug and thought it would be funny to rub his newly grown moustache whiskers on my cheek.  I freaked out.  I stepped back and told him to keep his face away from me.  His whiskers HURT!  It felt like needles on my face. 

My response hurt his feelings.  He felt that I wasn't being supportive and that I was inflexible.  He told me to "get over it."


"Get Over It"

From someone that I thought understood me.

That hurt.  (My Feelings)

It reminded me of when I was a little girl and my dad would come home from work and rub his five o'clock shadow on my face.  He loved my reaction.  "IT HURTS!"  I would tell both my mom and dad that it hurt, but they would just chuckle and think I was hilarious.  Mind you, this was before anyone knew a thing about Asperger's Syndrome and all the sensory sensitivities that come with the diagnosis.

I am constantly dealing with sensory issues.  At the very moment he told me to "get over it"...
  1. My clothes hurt.  The way the fabric rubs against my skin is painful.
  2. The fan in the room sounded like a freaking plane about to take off
  3. The flickering florescent lights.  Oh the flickering!!
Its pretty much incomprehensible to most NTs.  My brain doesn't process things "normally".  It amplifies certain sounds and a simple touch can feel like someone stabbing me with a needle.

I know its easy to forget that I'm dealing with these things on a daily basis.  I'm really good at faking normal.  I don't blame my friend for responding the way he did.  I really did hurt his feelings.

What I want everyone to know is that while us Aspies may not complain about all the things distracting us all the time, it doesn't mean we're not affected by them.  Sensory sensitivities suck.  All The Time.