I needed to go into town the other day, to run a few errands: drop a letter off at the accountants, pick some files up, nip into the bank, and do a spot of top-up shopping as there were things missing off the weekly supermarket delivery. When I’m doing these kinds of things, I need to have some preparation in place, such as the order of doing things, etc.
I said goodbye to Mrs Bob, as I always do before I go out, and was feeling pretty normal (or as normal as I ever feel). I got into the car and set the seat and the volume on my stereo, as Mrs Bob had used my car and fiddled with the settings. I drove over to the accountants with as little hassle and eye contact as I could get away with, and then headed back into the town centre to begin the hunt for the elusive lesser=spotted parking space. After a short hunt, I had found a spot, parked up, and walked through the quiet streets to the bank. I was feeling quite pleased with myself, as for all intents and purposes I was seeming like a normal person. At this point, I began to think to myself that maybe I’m not that autistic at all, really.
When I arrived at the bank, there was quite a queue. This meant I had to stand about under those incredibly bright lights and listen to everyone’s conversations about bingo, who they had seen in the hairdressers, etc. As I stood in the queue for what seemed like an eternity I began to stim by flapping my fingers on one hand while waiting for my turn. Eventually, it came, and the woman behind the counter had decided that because I was avoiding eye contact, I was obviously up to no good and made me give ID and went to check it all, before letting me pay the money into Mrs Bob’s account. This caused me to get a little frustrated at being given the third degree, so I did what I needed and left with the minimum of conversation, heading back to the car via the shops.
I was so happy to get back to the car, as it’s like a mobile comfort zone. I control everything that goes on inside my car, and if I want to listen to Justin Bieber and Metallica at silly volumes I can, and no one can say any different. I headed home and began the process of unwinding, when my ‘phone rang. It was the dealership I got my car from, explaining my MOT was due and did I want to book it in. I told the woman that I wouldn’t ever take my car back there, as I had complained about the MOT procedure to them for a number of years, etc, etc. The line went dead and I assumed she had hung up on me, though she had been speaking at that point
It was at this point that Mrs Bob explained that I had been very aggressive towards the person on the ‘phone and that maybe I should apologise. I respectfully disagreed with her, as I hadn’t got angry or aggressive, I hadn’t sworn, I was just really grumpy nothing more. It was only a month or so later when Mrs Bob ‘phoned the dealership about a service that she could tell from their reaction to her that my phone-call was an issue. Mrs Bob apologised on my behalf and explained that I have Asperger’s. She sorted it all out and we gave them some chocolates to apologise.
Then I realised that it was only the other day I was thinking to myself how unautistic I was…Guess I was very wrong on that one really… it hit home quite hard
Stay Safe X