Someone found my blog today by googling “seduce asperger,” and it inspired me to come up with a list of handy tips to get a little closer to the special Aspie in your life:

 

1. Ask the Aspie about his or her special interest.

2. Listen to the Aspie talk about about the special interest.

3. Listen some more.

4. Keep listening.

5. Flat out tell the Aspie that you’re trying to seduce him or her, because that fact will probably not occur to your Aspie on his/her own.

I don’t watch American Idol, but I was sort of cheering for James Durbin from afar and wished him well when he was voted off, but then this happened:

And as much as I want to support a fellow Aspie, and as good as his appearance and success on the show is for our people, I just can’t abide by this.

I’m all for visibility and good role models, BUT THAT’S MY FUCKING BAND! If any Aspie is going to sing with Judas Priest, it should be ME! My anachronistic obsession with Priest – complete with all sorts of elaborate plans to stage a musical based on their songs – began almost ten years ago,  back when young Durbin was probably still all about dinosaurs or machines or other boyish Aspergian pursuits. In other words, my DORK PASSENGER SAW THEM FIRST!

And that outfit? You’re an Aspie, man! Where’s your attention to detail? I wouldn’t be caught dead on stage with Rob Halford with fewer than five rows of studs on my belt.

Dear Katy Perry,

The Smoking Gun posted your rider yesterday, and it’s got some people all a-twitter. Apparently you have a thing against carnations? And you require two egg chairs backstage at every show? A lot of people on the internets are offended by these demands. I admit, I find them a little much. I love me a good egg chair, but I don’t really think I’d require a pair of them to greet me every night when I’m on the road. It seems excessive, but then, excess is kind of the cornerstone of your whole career, so I guess I can’t fault you for that. The flower issue sounds a little diva-esque, but maybe there’s a legitimate problem there. As an autistic girl, I’m not going to get too worked up about a normal having an extreme aversion to something. I couldn’t wear corduroy for the first half of my life. We all have our things.

Plus, I mildly dabble in the music industry, so I understand that most of the wacky stuff put in riders (like Van Halen’s infamous M&M demands) is simply put in there to make sure that the promoters actually read the contracts. I also happen to have some musician friends who put random stuff on theirs because they didn’t know what the hell to request, but thought that they should ask for something. So maybe those were motivating factors when you decided that everyone in your crew needed a new SIGG bottle for every show. Maybe you were just sitting around, trying to come up with shit, and you looked at your SIGG and thought, “That’s it!” And then you did a stupid Oprah impression and went ‘Water bottles for everyooooooooooneeeee!” and now it’s in your rider. Or maybe you’re just actually that demanding, because your rapid and all-encompassing fame has gone to your head. It happens.

But the thing that’s really getting to people are your specific instructions to your driver, which includes points like “The driver will not start a conversation w/ the client,” “the driver will not talk to the clients guests or fans,” and “DO NOT STAIR AT THE BACKSEAT THRU THE REARVIEUW MIRROW (sic).”

It does sound bitchy, but I kind of get it. As an autistic person, I only have so much social energy to expend each day and, if I were on your tour, I would probably require similar measures. Being “on” all the time is hard, whether being on means being Katy Perry: Superstar or being the most normal version of yourself that you can present to the world. The last thing you need at the end of the day is one more person asking you to be on when you desperately need to recharge because the next day is going to be absolutely filled with interviews and meet and greets and a show and god knows what else. Yes, the polite thing to do would be to simply apologize to the driver in person and say that you’re tired and can’t deal with a conversation, but that’s not really something that any woman is conditioned to do, is it? And it’s a lot harder to really say that in practice than it is in theory.

I’m actually cool with the demand, but I have a suggestion for you: Hire someone with Asperger’s Syndrome. My people would be perfect for you!

We are probably the only type of people in the world who will appreciate an entire page of instructions on how to behave in a certain scenario. We will follow them, because we dig rules, and also because most of us have probably been waiting for a whole page of social instructions for our whole lives. We will be relieved that you don’t want us to start conversations. We’re no good at that, anyway, and it’s too effing stressful. We probably won’t want to talk to your guests and fans, because that would inevitably result in small talk and we’re about as good at that as we are at opening conversational gambits. And as for stairing at the backseat thru the rearvieuw mirrow, well, we hate eye contact, if that’s what you’re getting at? You are going to have to hire a contract writer who can spell better if you want an Aspie on your team, because that language is seriously making me develop a nervous tick as I type this, but that might be a good idea, anyway. Why is the person behind your rider writing like a twelve-year-old on MySpace? Surely that can’t be good for business!

Anyway, Katy, and any other celebrity who might have similar issues (because you’re obviously all reading the blog of a miniscule time writer from Toronto), please do consider including at least one Aspie in your entourage. Even if you go with a normal driver (because only 60% of us drive- I did forget that issue when I was composing this argument), we’d make great assistants as well. Tell us exactly what to do and we’ll follow your specific instructions to the letter! No eye contact or small talk required! And just think of the good press you’ll get! For no real effort on your part! The public will think you’re so wonderful for hiring the disabled and giving them a real chance at life, blissfully unaware of the fact that you’re actually just getting what you really wanted out of an unfamous, little people assistant all along! The only downside is that you really do have to tell us exactly what you want, because if you start expecting us to read your minds and interpret your moods, then we’re all in for a world of hurt.

love,

Sarah

President Of The As-Of-Yet Unnamed Charity To Get My People Hired By Famous People (And Make Me Enough Money That I No Longer Need A Day Job)

But I suspect that the following things did not exactly come out as planned, nor were the received the way that I imagined they would be in my head:

1. I gave one of my oldest and best friends relationship advice. That part’s good. I think, in general, I did a good job. But the diversion where I started explaining a Kids In The Hall skit in which one of the French prostitutes winds up dating, marrying and having a family with a man, and then finally asking him for decades worth of fees? It made more sense in my head before I said it.

2. I yelled at an old man while we were both running in the cemetery today. The content of the yell – which was “I want to be you when I grow up!”– was nice enough, but I don’t know if he even heard me properly. For all I know, he thinks that some angry young punk screamed at him and then sprinted up a hill and out of sight while he was just trying to go for a perfectly nice jog with his walkman.

No one likes to talk about limitations. They’re not sexy. They don’t make for good dance songs from the early nineties. They don’t sell athletic clothing. They can really fucking suck when you reach them.

But trying to live a life with no limits is just not a wise idea, particularly for person juggling autism and type A tendencies.

At some point this past weekend, I finally had to admit that I had actually had some limits. Up until that point, I had somewhat successfully deluded myself into thinking that limits were for other people. Of course I could cover an entire film festival by myself AND keep up my regular fitness work schedule! But why stop there? Why not offer to cover everyone else’s classes as well? And when I said cover a festival, I mean cover the fuck out of it, you know? Like, spend every “free” moment at home watching screeners and then head out to watch even more films in the theatres! And then write about all of the movies!

There are many of problems with this vision:

1. It is stupid.

2. It is impossible.

3. You cannot actually see every film at a festival, because many films screen concurrently and, even if they didn’t, you would still need time to sleep and/or review the little fuckers.

4. You really can’t see every film at s festival when you have a day job.

5. You also can’t see every film at a festival when you have volunteered yourself to do parts of other people’s day jobs.

6. All work and no play really does make Jack a dull boy. And it makes Captain Awesometism start talking to her stuffed animals.

But there are also a lot of problems that come with trying to make an autistic person with type A tendencies accept this:

1. Limits are for other people.

2. Limits are for other people.

3. Limits are for other people.

4. I should try harder.

5. If I was any good, I wouldn’t have limits.

6. But (person I’ve decided is awesome and has all the luck, because I probably don’t know them that well and, therefore, have attached a whole imaginary life to) would be able to do this!

7. I suck.

8. Limits are for other people. I suck for having limits. Therefore, I suck MORE than other people for having the same limits as them. IT’S LOGIC! GOD, WHY DON’T YOU GET IT? I’M GOING TO TALK TO MY STUFFED ANIMALS.

I don’t have a conclusion or a well-reasoned way to explain any of this right now. Really, this is just my long-winded, still-exhausted way of saying that I’m having some issues right now.

May 4, 2011

Let’s play a fun game that I just invented! It’s called “Guess The Autistic.” I’ll provide you with a snippet of conversation and you’ll guess which participant is the one afflicted with a disorder often characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction.

Scene: A party thrown by a documentary production company. Person One and Person two have both been hovering around the food table awkwardly, looking around but not actually talking to anyone.

Person One: It looks like you know about as many people here as I do.

Person Two: I know people here.

minimal small talk.

Person: Actually, I don’t mean to be rude, but I really want to talk to those people over there. I’ll come back and talk to you.