“Hunter, can you check outside and see if there’s a package?” asked my wife.
I stepped outside our doorway into the chill and gentle flakes of springtime snow, and there I spied the familiar blue and white markings of an Amazon envelope.
“Yep. There’s a package,” I confirmed, stepping back inside and shutting the door behind me.
“Well, where is—wait, did you just LEAVE it out there?”
“You didn’t tell me to bring it in.”
For my many laments, jeremiads, diatribes, and other howling cries of support with autism, there are times I play the card.
When I do, it’s usually a joker.
Sure, my autism makes many things an uphill battle, but I’ve found places where it rolls downhill instead. It is my neurodivergence after all; I can jest and make light of it where I see fit.
Growing up, I had a problem with stealing other people’s belongings; apparently, I do tend to take things literally. (Ok, that was worth a try.)
Hugs can be a touchy topic, but I’m OK turning it into a dumb joke about “having a hugs quota” or telling people that they’re getting “one of my five allowable hugs per day.”
More recently, I’ve parlayed my penchant for pedantry into hypercorrections. When people mention things like “We’ve had a lot less time to turn this around,” I’ll amend it and chat “you mean fewer.”
“Sorry, we’ve had a lot fewer time to—wait — Hunter, you ass.”
With great power comes great responsibility and even greater irresponsibility.
I once styled myself a serious man, in a hopeless attempt to appear brooding, austere, emanating this undefinable vapor of intrigue, commingled with refinement and a superior air, in the sense that my comportment would be of ‘top shelf’ quality – assured, distant, thoughtful, and unmoved by the whims of lessers.
Yeah, I was an idiot.
I’m a dad now. I have two daughters, both of whom have more joie de vivre in their pinkies than I have in my whole body. It’s rubbing off.
Though my autistically-hyperfocused tastes in music are esoteric, offbeat, and scarcely normal – the kiddos find a way to dance to some of it. And I join in.
I take two hits to my dancing abilities, being 1) a dad, and 2) autistic. I’m patently terrible. I know I’m terrible. I’m 100% confident in my maladroitness on the dancefloor.
But that’s the trick: I’m confident, and I dance like it. The kids love it.
I have learned some things about being autistic. About being ridiculous.
As long as I can be me.