4C, 4 Momma, 4D, 4A, and 4B

4C, 4 Momma, 4D, 4A, and 4B
Most of the Four me (and you) fam

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Invisible social dances

While we're on the topic of dancing, I want to chat, for a minute, about invisible social dances.

These invisible social dances exist in NT "nature." You know what they look like b/c your dance card is routinely punched for them. A friend tries on a new outfit and says, "Does this make me look fat?" NO! The answer is always no, regardless of the actual facts. You know that. A friend gets a haircut. You know that you're supposed to say "It looks great!," even if it, in fact, does not. A friend's kid whines and pitches a fit until said friend gives up and gives in. You don't call her on it; you say, "Kids are so exhausting, aren't they?" You know these things because you're NT.

Well, I'm a NT. And, someone, unbeknowst to me and without my permission, has punched my dance card for the following lovely numbers.

Upon seeing me with my four children, folks count them and then ask, "Are they all yours?" or say, "You sure do have your hands full!"

Upon hearing my Aspie quip some socially-inappropriate comment or retort, folks get an embarrassed look and say, "Kids!" *head shaking while thinking "That woman should be ashamed to allow that child talk like that."*

Upon offering us a modification or support at school, someone says, "Well, that's just what we think, but you know her best."

I know what I'm supposed to say. I do. Honest. I'm NT, so I'm wired to know what I'm supposed to say to avoid a scene, and I've been appropriately socially trained by my parents and my teachers and the media to know how to respond.

Problem is...I really, REALLY no longer feel like saying what I'm supposed to say.

I want to slap that asshole in the store who just counted my kids. Or, better yet, I want to dump them on him for an hour or two so I can grab a shower and a cup of coffee.

I wanna say, "Yeah, let me tell you a story, buddy, about kids. The kind that have autism and diagnoses. The kind that need social stories and reinforcement. The kind who's teachers and caregivers and friends don't understand them. And the whole nine yards."

I wanna say "Fuck you."

I really, really, really do.

But, I won't because I can't. NT as I am, I don't want to offend anyone or be rude or make a scene.

So, here's what I really want to know.

What idiot decided that this NT invisible social dancing business was a good idea?


Why is it that we can't say what we mean and mean what we say? Why is it that people think they can say borderline inappropriate things to us when they know we can't respond? Why is it that people are allowed to make social assumptions about us because of what we wear or how we look or what we say without knowing a thing about us?

Who decided that all of this invisible bullshit was okay?

My Aspie has bypassed this invisible bullshit because of her wiring; my heart rejoices for her that she's immune to this transparency and "don't-say-what-you-really-think" social mentality. Because of her wiring, she gets to be exactly who she is, unhampered or uninhibited by social reality. She is SO lucky! Honestly, who wants to deal with this two-faced social reality?

So, why is it, then, that I'm socially required to teach her to navigate a "system" that is so systemically flawed and fake and transparent and ridiculous? Who got to say that this is the way the world is "supposed" to work?

Today, that's what I want to know.

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