For years I’ve joked about characteristics of being on the autistic spectrum: “If that’s being autistic, so are most of the geeks I know.” Then my wife and I saw the movie Adam together and I kept breaking into tears. I took an online survey about autistic tendencies and I scored borderline. I haven’t dug into it further because I have a firm belief about not asking questions if I don’t want to know the answers (and normally I’m a very data-oriented guy).

I, too, don’t get hungry. Couple that with Type 2 diabetes and I have to be very careful about not crashing my blood sugar (too often). I don’t think I was born with that, though, because I remember being hungry as a kid, so I’m blaming brain damage. (I was in a plane crash while in the Navy and got what I think would be classified today as a traumatic brain injury—loss of motor control on my right side, loss of speech. They pumped me full of drugs and the worst symptoms went away, but I have other things that are different, like not being able to remember some numbers [like my own phone number] even for several seconds, and not being able to perform some mental operations well under pressure, and not being hungry.)

I blame my tinnitus on too many hours in the engineering compartments back in my Navy days.

I have a much better experience watching shows when I’m with my wife. I never thought about it; isn’t that why people prefer watching movies in the theater? But I like your take on using another person to help connect.

I learned to deal with people by mimicking them. Put me in a conversation with two people from the deep South and inside a minute I’ve got a drawl. I reflect back mood and temper (although I’ve learned to turn that off when someone is pissed off at me). Only works with a small number of people at a time, though, so I’m worthless at parties.

I don’t have the music thing. I like music (despite being somewhat tone deaf) but it (mostly) doesn’t impact me as it does you and many other people. Some songs get to me at certain times, but I think that’s true of anyone, yes? And no musical ability at all (not that this keeps me from singing silly songs with made-up lyrics to my wife in bed or other odd times).

When I was a kid the Autistic Spectrum wasn’t a thing. Thank God! My mother (who loves me dearly) would have tried to fix me if I’d been diagnosed (she tried to fix various quirks of mine when I was young). I don’t think I would have done well after I’d been fixed. If I was fixable.

I married a wonderful woman who is bright and a little odd, in a way that complements my oddness. [Strictly speaking, I did that twice, but only the second woman was heterosexual, and it turns out that’s a big deal in some marriages.] Otherwise I believe I’d have started to withdraw from human society as the effort increased and the payoff declined. Then I’d never have gotten to meet people like you. (And Jules. Hi Jules.)

Written by

Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store