Of silly things that I believed or that happened to me along the way… The baldguy calls these types of things “the adventures of lil’ Bekka”… The list is of things that aren’t necessarily Asperger’s specific….
A list of incidents, some of them hilarious in retrospect….
My first one: I spent a good part of my childhood living in the woods and we didn’t have cable. We certainly were not roughing it, but there was a great deal of wooded land belonging to a nature preserve surrounding us. So we didn’t have cable. I didn’t see most of the classic John Hughes movies until they showed up on regular network TV, with most language voice-over bleeped… Fudge or Flip instead of Fu%$. I didn’t realize until a couple of years ago (two years past thirty) that this was the case, I thought it was hilarious that these onscreen characters used regular words instead of swearing.
So of course, when I would quote the movies, trying to make a wee social inlet, I would always be quoting them wrong… Needless to say, most of the kids in the areas we lived in had cable (and were often shocked to find out that we didn’t) and they didn’t get my reference, only that this weirdo new kid was really bad at paraphrasing pop culture.
I remember my mother trying to teach me to speak more “properly” and was making me do the whole pronouncing the “h” first in wh words like “over hwelm”. Needless to say, my new dialect went over like a lead balloon in the 8th grade social scene.
I remember thinking that McDonald’s was a family business. The animals for the meat were sent to McDonald’s kitchens by Old McDonald’s Farm. I had not seen the farm MacD/McD written when I came up with this theory. Of course, being very literal, I kept thinking about this when I read Animal Farm for the first time (hey, if you don’t know what it’s about it’s an interesting and occasionally charming story about a community of farm animals and nothing more…this is why it shouldn’t be given as summer reading to 11 year olds.)… I think I may have volunteered “I don’t think they were sending Boxer to the glue factory, but to McDonald’s instead” to the conversation once school resumed. I should have been wearing a helmet, what with all of the lead balloons I was apparently carrying about.
But the most horrifying and dramatic one happened in 5th grade. We were being shipped to the middle school for a day for a sort of peer orientation. A couple of days before we were given a slip of paper with the name of a 6th grader who would be our guide through a day in the life of middle school. My person’s name was possibly the most Greek name in the history of the world. When I got home, my mom told me that my guide was probably new to our country and I should make her feel at home by learning about the history of her land and culture. So I sat down to read information on Greece from our ancient, outdated encyclopedias. The next day I was positive that I would be making a connection with this Greek guide-ess, because I did exactly what my mother suggested. Well, when I met her she was like any other kid in the class. Her heritage was Greek, her grandparents may have been the first generation here in the US, and despite my many enthusiastic attempts to talk about something we both theoretically had knowledge of (all things Greek), she continued to look a little puzzled every time I opened my mouth and I don’t think she ever spoke to me again.
Those encyclopedias were classics though… I believe they were published in the early 60’s, so by the 1980’s they were fairly outdated, but still they were my only source of information for writing papers for school. After all, children, this was pre-internet. For some reason I thought the library was for people who were not fortunate enough to own their own set of encyclopedias. As my folks weren’t involved in my academics aside from comparing me to cousins and family friends and pointing out my foibles and failures, I was responsible for figuring out what and how I was supposed to get by. I didn’t know until high school that there were techniques for structuring essays (clearly I have disregarded them in my adulthood, my apologies) or methods by which to gather information. If I had been an alien from another planet, observing human life, I would have incorrectly assumed that essays are written by yelling and shaking a fist in the air and throwing desk accessories and walls and people, while the younger member of the species sits in a chair, head hung low, and smudges the paper with pencil and tears and eraser dingles. I am so grateful, now, that I have these memories though, as I remember writing endless papers (yeah, there is a surprise) and reading the encyclopedias from cover to cover (starting at age 4) and now it is so clear why all of my papers were returned with red question marks next to every fact. It just took me a long time to grasp that information provided by parents is not always 100% accurate. It took the challenge of educating my own child, for me to realize the important of accurate and up to date information to be used for academic purposes, and also where it was ok to to make some things up along the way.
Anyone want to share some of their childhood silliness? Promise I’ll laugh but only if you do!