My New Job Continued
I've become a bit more talkative at work, but I do a lot of smiling and nodding when people talk to me because I still worry about getting in trouble. "Thank God for Starbucks, right Christopher?" Jill said one morning. I smiled and nodded. I've never touched a drop of coffee, but if she likes that sort of thing then that's the sort of thing she likes, so good for her. One day she just said "Right Christopher?" and I smiled and nodded despite having no clue what she had said just prior, if anything. She announced, "Christopher is going to be a wonderful husband someday. He just agrees with everything I say." I smiled and nodded again, thinking, Is that a proposal? I think I should at least meet your kids first. On my other side, Carl replied, "And then there's me. 'Bite me.'"
At work on Friday, someone was making the last call that we needed for our quota on a certain project and so everyone else on that project just sat there and waited. A couple of ladies next to me started talking to each other and found out that they both have fifteen year old sons with Asperger's. This was slightly shocking since I thought they were both just a few years older than me. Anyway, they were engrossed in that so I didn't butt in, but then the call was suspended partway through and we had to get to dialing again, and then someone else started what would hopefully be the last call for real this time, and I told them that I have Asperger's too. One of them was like, "Ah, I thought maybe. You remind me of my son." The other one was like, "I never would have guessed!" But they both said that this revelation gave them hope for their sons' futures. I decided not to ruin the moment by mentioning that my life has only recently ceased to be a train wreck and that I still have fewer romantic prospects than Jon Arbuckle. I decided to just be like
So, I really want to give them advice and help them out and stuff, but I don't feel that I'm qualified to do so because I have no right to assume that my experience is the same as those of their sons. This is exactly why, as I said last week, I don't want to become a spokesperson for Asperger's. Their sons are in different situations anyway, as one of them is smart but failing school because he hates it while the other is in special ed because he has the mind of a five year old. He has a lot of other stuff wrong with him too. Mental illness often travels in packs. Depression, in particular, more often than not comes as a free bonus along with virtually any other disorder, because why not? But anyway, that was just a cool experience which is why I'm mentioning it here.
Mackenzie the Feminist
Mackenzie agreed to come to my institute class with me, and unlike everyone else who ever agrees to do something with me, didn't cancel immediately prior to it. When she texted me half an hour before I was like Ah, that will be Mackenzie canceling on me, but she was just offering to pick me up, probably because it was raining. She's super feminist so, as a cruel joke, I held my coat up over her head to keep the rain off her as we were heading to the building. She was like "No, no, I'm fine" and ran away. I always feel like I'm walking on pins and needles to not say or do anything that will accidentally be offensive to my feminist friends, but I relaxed around her after I realized how much fun it is whenever we clash, either verbally or in sporting events.
Afterward as she drove us home and we were talking and she fell silent I mused, "I've realized that I don't need to worry about your silences anymore, because I used to think it meant you didn't like what I'd said, but now I know that if you don't like what I've said, you'll tell me."
"Yep," she said.
"You're very outspoken."
"I don't like that word," she said, her voice rising. "It means someone is like, speaking out of turn, and I feel like it's mostly used on girls, and -"
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean it like that, I just meant you speak your mind instead of being silent -"
"I know, but it has connotations of speaking out of turn -"
"I meant it as a compliment, I'm sorry -"
"You don't need to apologize for everything."
"But you just flipped out on me."
Milo's Grand Adventure
"Milo's Grand Adventure" is the working title of my book about aliens invading in the fourteenth century. It probably shouldn't be the final title because Milo has sort of been demoted to a supporting character and it doesn't really fit the tone. Milo is a dragon, named after my dog and lifted from a picture that my classmate drew for me in fifth grade in exchange for a McDonald's Galidor toy piece that I found on the playground. I wish I could find that picture now. When I first started thinking of fantasy adventures about this dragon and some other characters, it was all very cliché stuff about a magical land overrun by a villain and the heroes going on an epic quest to defeat him. When I started writing it down circa seventh or eighth grade, it was part of my awful attempts to mimic Douglas Adams' writing style, so if it had been comprehensible it would have been a very goofy and lighthearted tone.
Things have changed since I decided to set the story in a real time and place and bring aliens into it. It's more dark and serious now than either its earlier incarnations or my current only finished novel, "Space Girls" (also a working title), which could even be considered a comedy except that I don't dare because to me that implies making a value judgment that my own work is funny. "Space Girls" attempts to address some deep messages and serious topics but keeps them low-key so as not to be pretentious. "Milo's Grand Adventure", for whatever reason, is turning out to be more serious, and I guess I just have to deal with that. It explores questions that I became curious about, such as "What was it like to be a lesbian in the Middle Ages?"* "What was it like to become an agnostic in the Middle Ages?"** "What was it like to have chronic depression in the Middle Ages?"*** "Did women shave their legs in the Middle Ages?"**** And Milo is no longer so much a wisecracking comic relief character as a deadpan, apathetic chaotic neutral character.
*Because obviously LGBT people have always existed, but the vocabulary and concepts have evolved drastically and mostly just within the past couple centuries, so I'm curious about how that affected people's perceptions of reality. How would a person that today we would consider "lesbian" feel in an era when the concept of "being a lesbian" simply didn't exist, and even saying "I like women" would have been beyond anyone's comprehension including her own?
**Did agnostics and atheists just keep their doubts to themselves so they wouldn't get burned at the stake, or did they not even exist? It has been said that Darwin made it possible to be an "intellectually fulfilled atheist", meaning that previously there wasn't much of a rational basis for denying the existence of God because you couldn't explain the existence of anything without it. I'd be surprised if no one who lived through the Great Mortality (as they called the Black Death) started to question God's benevolence, though.
***Well, you'd have better kept that to yourself too, because the medical diagnosis was "demon" and the treatment was to incarcerate, beat, and/or starve the depressed person to drive it out. Learning this confirmed how much I hate humanity.
****No. A lot of movies are highly inaccurate on this point. My movie adaptation will not be. I was actually just curious about this one because I reasoned that a woman being raised from infancy by a dragon to be an amoral killing machine probably wouldn't bother to shave her legs, but I didn't know if that would set her apart from normal women of the time or not.
"Space Girls", currently weighing in around 460 pages, is much too long for a first-time author to get published. "Milo's Grand Adventure" will be much shorter and my hope is to get it published first and help pave the way toward that end. But if it becomes super popular and then I publish "Space Girls", people might be confused and angered by the huge shift in tone. I suppose that's a risk I'll just have to take.
Chapter 3 - Online dating has its ups and downs but ideally should just be a first step and at some point lead to getting off the internet.
Chapter 4 - People are almost paralyzed by the wealth of options they have these days, and afraid to commit to someone when someone else they like more could be just around the corner.
Chapter 5 - Japan is doomed because no one wants to reproduce, while Argentina is a haven for misogyny, but what they have in common is they're both full of perverts.
Chapter 6 - Your statistical odds of finding a partner who will never cheat on you are pretty abysmal. In France, people are okay with that.
Chapter 7 - Passionate love fades after twelve to eighteen months and is then hopefully replaced by companionate love, which isn't as great, but reaps far more over a lifetime.
Conclusion - I'm a comedian, but that doesn't mean I can't be thoughtful and introspective.
After reading this, I agreed with the author's conviction that all this modern technology is no more inherently bad or disruptive than the telephone or the television or anything else. Although the games that people play with dating are stupid, there's nothing wrong with bringing texting and stuff into it. Texting is not the problem. People are the problem.
The Mormon Section
(Continued from "Modern Romance") In any case, we all ought to remember that dating is not a holy and immutable eternal principle, but a rather recent invention and a means to an end. There's no reason to pretend the means shouldn't be allowed to evolve. I'm 99% percent positive that Jesus never went on a date.
Mary Magdalene: So, Jesus of Nazareth asked me out.
Martha: Oh, wow, what did you say?
Mary Magdalene: I said I was busy. He seems nice and everything, but he's just so plain-looking. Besides, I'm not really into carpenters. I want to marry someone with a future.
Martha: Yeah. Well, I'm going out with Judas Iscariot again tomorrow.
Mary Magdalene: You have all the luck.
(No sacrilege intended. Please don't stone me.) This topic was also addressed somewhat in an "Adventures in Odyssey" episode where Connie and Eugene went back in time to see baby Jesus.
Connie: I'm afraid that Roman centurion is going to ask me on a date!
Eugene: Don't be silly. They didn't go on 'dates' in first century Palestine.
Connie: Oh, thank goodness.
Eugene: However, he might offer to buy you from me.
Boots Walker - They're Here
Today: a continuation of the alien invasion theme started last week, with this novelty single from 1967.
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender male and a Latter-day Saint, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic, so you can't. Unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.