Every Little Thing She Does – Part 1

An Adult Aspergers Experience of Living in a Distracting World

If you’re like me, the title of this blog post caused a needle to set down on the turntable in your head, and already The Police are singing and playing in your mind. If that’s not the case, you can get a jump start here:

So here’s the thing: the title (and the song) is a set up. Now that you’re expecting the word “magic,” and probably a sweet, love-story tribute to the other half of my brain, I can swoop down in my bemused, ironic superhero costume and pull the rug out from under your expectations. Though Sally has “magic” in great quantities, that’s not what this post is about. What I really want to talk about is how every little thing she does is wrong.

A more honest title might be this: The Unbearable Wrongness of Sally.

Now, when I say wrong, I mean this: wrong. Demonstrably wrong. Logically wrong. Rationally wrong. Wrong,wrong, wrong. The way she does dishes? Wrong. The way she cooks? Wrong. The way she knits? Wrong. The way she makes coffee? Wrong. The way she cleans house? Wrong. The way she leaves lights on? The way she listens to podcasts? The way she talks on the phone? The way she does laundry? The way she paints walls? The way she drives? The way she gets ready for bed? Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

Wrong. Wrong like inefficient wrong. Wrong like illogical. Wrong like irrational. Wrong like breaking the rules. Wrong like everybody knows she is wrong. Wrong like I can prove it wrong. Faulty. Inaccurate. Misguided. Mistaken. Askew. Fallacious. Amiss. Erroneous. Inexact. Miscalculated. Untrue. False.

You know… wrong.

How wrong is she? She’s this wrong:

Now, any of you with hackles raised on the nape of your neck, take a moment and breathe. I know many of you love Sally, and may feel like you need to step in at this point and defend her from the tall, smart, white American male.

But to do so would be premature, I think (not to mention futile, since she’s so obviously wrong) and would demonstrate, to my mind, that you do not know the whole of me, and are not deeply grokking what I am saying. That would be completely understandable, of course, since I haven’t really said it yet. And how could you know the whole of me?

But I can’t say everything at once, and I need to take things in smaller chunks, if I am to have any hope of teasing them apart. We have to traverse some peaks and valleys, it seems, if we wish to reach Rumi’s famous field. And this is a rich and surprising landscape. I’m continuing to unravel my Aspie experience. I need to go slowly. And I need to start with the feeling.

So sit tight, wait for it, and trust that, in the end, this will turn out to be a love-story after all, and that the magic will appear in its own due time. For now, you just need to get this: Sally is wrong. As wrong as Howard Johnson is right. To paraphrase the immortal Charles Dickens:

Sally was wrong: to begin with.  This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate.

(Read Part 2 Here)

4 Comments for “Every Little Thing She Does – Part 1”

Timothy Scott Bennett

says:

Addendum: Right now, Sally is cooking oatmeal. She is using the teapot as the cover for the pan. Like I said, Sally is wrong.

Sally Erickson

says:

I was given a T-shirt by a close friend on my 40th birthday (I’ve just turned 64) that read “It’s not that I’m arrogant, it’s just that I’m always right.” It’s good, I think, that Tim and I did not meet until later in life. Suffice it to say I have some empathy for both Willie Wonka and Tim, since I have suffered with rightness syndrome most of my life. Because being right was really important in my family. Really important. Being right meant escaping the wrong end of the metal spatula. Being right meant not being laughed at as the youngest in the family when, as the youngest, I was farther down the learning curve. Metal spatulas and condescending smiles and laughs are real motivators for learning to be right. Sometime just past my 40th birthday, however, I came to grips with the costs of being so attached to being right. So when I learned from Tim that everything I did was wrong, I was not quite so offended as I would have been earlier in life. It’s one of those rough edges that had been smoothed a bit by life. Tim’s assessment of my wrongness has further polished that edge, so that at times it’s almost undetectable now.

Timothy Scott Bennett

says:

Thanks, Sweetie. Just so you know, I went in and added a few commas to your comment, and moved a couple of words around. Because… well… you know… 🙂

Leave a Reply to Timothy Scott Bennett Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *