I have heard the news. Benedict Cumberbatch gained a Mrs. today. And I’m not broken up about it. Honestly, I hope they become the new Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Many happy blessings to them!
That aside, I am single and happy on Valentine’s Day. My mother was not in the mood for a steak dinner, so we had Chinese. I had shrimp with broccoli (I always have seafood when I can), and my mother had Kung Pao Chicken. What we had was not that important, anyway. We had already gone out to get some brunch, where I had a spicy potato casserole and my mom, eggs benedict (and now I’m giggling). So I wonder if I could get my mom to watch something with Ben in it? We’re currently watching “Julie & Julia.” It’s a good movie. I like it. Anyway, I have already seen “The Imitation Game” and was hugely impressed by it. To play a socially inept genius seems to be my favorite actor’s current forte, though I would like to see him in something radically different, like a post-apocalyptic mage or something. Anyway, I digress. I have a Pampering Party planned for later tonight. My mother and I are going to do our feet and hands…and I will paint my nails. Exactly what color, I don’t know, but I’m painting my nails.
Getting back to what I had been talking about before, I decided a long time ago that whoever is ruling this Universe may or may not want to give me a husband, but he certainly will not want to give me somebody else’s husband. I am perfectly happy being alone.
I have more things to do tonight; excuse me while I start the Pampering Party I have planned.
Let me start by defying convention as noted by Girls With Autism and say that at one time, fashion was a special interest. Trouble is, as I was growing up, fashion was seen as a luxury only given to the skinny and rich. (It says my fashion interest is unusual right on the front page!) I would know designers and looks, even though I could barely afford them, but dressing myself up with style was a special interest. I mean, I would play with Barbie dolls just to dress them up. But weight gain and puberty put the kibosh on it…and only recently, with the help of Stacy London (on TV only, guys; I wish I could meet her in real life and thank her), could I see differently.
As I got older, men took over as a special interest. Whenever I get a crush on a celebrity, I go what I call full tilt. It’s all or nothing with me. It was that way with Jordan Knight, Luke Perry, The Rated R Superstar Edge, and now with Benedict Cumberbatch. For example, just last night I changed my phone home screen to BC’s face…and I change it for nothing.
Also, I love the color purple. I have loved it ever since I was a child. I have it in my living room as a painting, chairs and accessories, in my bedroom as my bedding, my casual dishes, my Christmas…any place I could get it. I have to restrain myself from going full tilt on it, too.
I also love Severus Snape from the Harry Potter books. I think this ties in with my men interest.
I’m also into blogging and social media, but the vitriol of keyboard bullies makes them total shitheads. Sorry, I have no kinder words for keyboard bullies.
I love looking at art.
I love light, bright spaces. I grew up in a church where there were huge windows all the way to the ceilings. It disturbs me that the only window in my living room is a small one.
I love animals, too. Bear, my Pomeranian, is my baby.
I’ll fire off more interests as I think of them.
I just saw “The Imitation Game” and was quite impressed by it. My mother took me just to see Benedict Cumberbatch. Now now, I know what some of you are thinking: why like a mostly ableist actor? Because, he is simply misinformed. If BC were to open his mind to some of our blogs, he would have a completely different view of autism. I really believe it. We noticed his portrayal of Alan Turing was socially inept (I could relate); however, I am not quick to slap a diagnosis of autism on Alan Turing simply because I cannot properly diagnose the guy. I am actually not a fan of posthumous and fictional diagnoses of autism on people. How can you possibly be sure without some sort of living evidence? What if there were some other explanation that nobody actually considered? Of course Alan Turing was not “normal;” but who is normal these days? (My personal conclusion: nobody.) Don’t get me wrong: an autism diagnosis and its accompanying traits are actually better than people give them credit for. I am for a diagnosis, as long as it is a correct one. If we were to talk about Daryl Hannah being on the spectrum, that’s great.
Also, it is wise to consider that most autistic people are not like the Alan Turings and Temple Grandins of the world. If Turing really were autistic, he would be as unique as each person with autism is from every other. Each person with autism, because autism has been so recently discovered, is being pushed into the semi-solitary position of autistic pioneer. My own specialty is spelling and punctuation. I cringe and laugh every single day when I go online. That is how often I see a misspelled word. However, a self-diagnosed friend of mine cannot spell that well. This is just an example of all these specific (and not too often encountered, remember that) specialties people think are so common. I do not really think autism is a mental handicap, because I rarely encounter a mentally challenged autistic, unless they have another mental challenge. This includes so-called low functioning autistics. (Fellow blogger Carly Fleischmann can attest to this.) We autistics have a saying: “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.”
Truth I, I am not going to give autism to a person unless it can be actually proven. I think it’s better that way.
Have you ever watched the Running of the Bulls? It is a part of Spain San Fermin festival, to observe how the patron saint died (trampled by bulls, obviously). People put themselves in harm’s way to observe this, to prove their virility, whatever. But I have noticed this is like talking to an autistic who can finally communicate-you can get run over by their anger.
There is an observation I have made when people like me finally find their voice: there is a lot of anger in it. Anger at what people think of them, anger at the way their voices were discarded all this time, and anger at the world in general. They have been mistreated simply because their forms of communication are not traditional, as in speaking. There is a lot of anxiety and frustration involved in the life of an autistic; I should know. But somehow, you have to get beyond your anger in order to survive it.
Don’t get me wrong; I felt and showed a lot of anger in my voice and choices when I was in my 20s. My voice had been discounted by everybody-except my mother, who had insight into my communication methods-in my life. I was made fun of throughout my school years, to my face and behind my back. I was exploited and abused by my sisters, who took my social security and forced me to work 40 hours a week, taking all of my money for their use. My father and his side of the family rejected the notion that autism even existed, because I was so smart, or they had some sort of baggage for this, maybe? It does not matter now. I am autistic, and I love me. I have also gotten beyond my anger at people who do not know, or think they know, but do not (Yes, I am talking to you, Benedict Cumberbatch). I had quite a journey that was, I admit, helped along to the beat of “the hots,” but it was a journey nonetheless.
To hear the man say autism was a thing of arrested development, it was horrifying, to say the least. I had been dancing around the idea of liking him for years. What if he came up to me and thought I was infantile in my thinking, if he knew I was autistic? Would he pose for a selfie then? Maybe not, so I would have to hide it. But then I thought, what if he had not been given the right information, that the knowing viewpoint inside autism had not been properly introduced to him? Statements and actions given about gays and Julian Assange would mean he might be open-minded enough to listen to me. That opened a whole new window of hope, in that he could be reached. So there was only one thing left to do: I forgave him for speaking out about something he barely knew about. So, I am no longer mad at him. There is a freedom in forgiveness that wipes the slate of your mind clean, that the power of a statement or action is no longer being played over and over again. It’s like a de-scented skunk: still alive, but powerless. Forgiveness is funny like that. I am no longer like the running of the bulls; you will not find anger in me unless it is new.
A recently-released 2008 report from the Pentagon claimed Russian leader Vladimir Putin has Asperger’s Syndrome. Of course, they never performed a brain scan on him, because Russian World Leader. But the wording of it has made me angry. Now, I’m not exactly a fan of the guy; I’m just insulted by some of the wording that has come out. According to the MSN news report, “The study suggests Mr Putin’s mother may have had a stroke while pregnant with him and that he suffered an “insult” to his brain.” An “insult to his brain?” Honestly, that statement is an insult to my brain! Telling me that I have a defect, an insult, or some other form of lessening makes me feel less. This is definitely from a viewpoint of the notion of “neurotypical” superiority. I find all of this very distressing, implying that Putin can’t lead a country because of his “Asperger’s.” (I put that in quotes because the study merely suggests it.) That is as bad as saying Obama can’t lead because he is black! It’s discriminatory, it’s propaganda, and it is a discrediting attempt because the guy does not agree with a large portion of U.S. policy. I personally disagree with Putin and U.S. policy on some levels, but to use a different brain function as a means to discredit is a form of prejudice; it is a form of discrimination. It discriminates against me.
If I were pretty, I would be much braver.
If I were pretty, I’d be much stronger.
If I were pretty, I would command more respect.
If I were pretty, maybe I’d go up to that actor and be noticed.
If I were pretty, maybe I could make more money.
If I were pretty, there would be less pain.
If I were pretty, maybe I’d find the right man.
If I were pretty, I would get invited to the best parties.
If I were pretty, men would come up to me and actually respect my wants and needs.
If I were pretty, maybe my autism would not make my life such a struggle.
But I’m not pretty, at least not in the way people think is pretty.
Of course, maybe living not pretty is much braver and stronger than people ever know. Why do we have to live up to this Photoshop standard in order to command love and respect? And who says you can’t get into the best parties? You could throw these parties. Perhaps that actor or sports star is waiting for someone like you to come forward. And I heard a lot of women met their soul mates at their heaviest…and I’m not my heaviest anymore. Who says you have to be “pretty” to get what you want? And what if you already are? You’re probably very pretty to someone. I’m pretty to my mother. And I know my autism is not affected by my looks. I just live with it, and struggle every day, especially now that I’m losing weight. (I stim a lot more these days.) But yet, I am not pretty…but how did we let somebody else decide who was pretty and who was not? Real beauty is a democratic society, not the dictatorship the advertisers have led you to believe. I bet you don’t think you’re pretty due to the beauty regime. I suggest we throw out the beauty standards and recognize that every woman, nay, every life is precious and can make the world a better place simply by being in it. Now THAT would be a message I would like to hear-that my existence makes me pretty.