My wife is a very social person.
I am not.
My wife has lots of friends.
I do not.
We both like it the way we are.
Yesterday, one of my wife’s friends came over to visit, and she stayed over with us — and didn’t leave until about 3 this afternoon. She’s a very nice young lady, but she’s utterly neurotypical, incessantly chatty, and more than a little inane. She’s not exactly a woman of the world, and her reasoning is so green and untested, it’s a challenge to hold a conversation with her.
She is such a very nice young lady.
And she was so in the way.
You know that thing about women with autism who perceive people in their home to be a threat? (see Females with Aspergers Syndrome Checklist by Samantha Craft -Section F: Finds Refuge when Alone) That would be me. I cannot stand having people in my space, to the point where my wife goes half crazy with isolation. I’m not much fun, after all, when I’m holed up in my study, tweeting and researching and writing. And I’m not much fun when the weekend comes and that’s all I do… tweeting and researching and writing… instead of going out for Sunday afternoon drives with her or taking her dancing before Monday arrives (not that either of us has wanted to go dancing on a weekend night since 1998).
It makes her crazy that I can’t stand having people over. We used to have visitors to the house fairly regularly, but then one of two things would happen:
A) I’d go into shut-down mode, and then be withdrawn and mute-miserable to live with for days after.
B) I’d actually call/email our visitors after they’d left and get really aggressive with them over a topic we’d discussed pleasantly enough, only the day before. Sometimes I made them cry. Through email. Yeah, I was pretty merciless — and after we’d had so much fun together, the day before…!
It got to the point where I was chasing our friends away on a regular basis, and my wife would have to work overtime to get them to not hate us both. She managed to convince them to only hate me (which was an improvement), but even so — not a single one of them ever volunteered to come to the house again.
Which was fine by me.
Of course, as a responsible adult and well-meaning citizen, I want to do my part for world peace. And my wife. So now we either keep people away, period (don’t invite them over), or we have one person over, every 3 months or so. I can handle one visitor per quarter. And one at a time is easier than two or three or four.
Even so, having just one other person in my space makes me crazy. I mean, seriously, I go to great lengths to make sure my life is properly organized and everything flows. Having someone else in the space — especially a young little spring chicken who hums tunelessly to pass the time (can you imagine!), who’s always underfoot, and like a little puppy always wants to run around and get into things… It’s maddening. And by the end of her stay, I was muttering aloud how much I hated having outside people in my home.
Fortunately, Little Miss Houseguest was out in the driveway chatting on the phoone with her mom while I was audibly bemoaning my fate as an unwilling guest. So I didn’t have to be the ogre all over again and drive her away in tears.
Even more fortunately, now the Intruder is gone. She’s been gone for hours, and now I can relax. I know she was not a threat to me. I know she meant well. I know she was happy-perky-happy to be visiting us. But I hated just about every moment of it.
At least my wife hasn’t lost her mind from solitary confinement with me. Every now and then, she gets to have a friend over to play.
I’m just glad it doesn’t happen more than quarterly.
And now, dear readers, it’s time to call it a night.
Company can be so exhausting.