This weekend, if we were talking over a cup of warm caffeine-filled liquids, I would tell you that food has become a big topic in my life lately. First of all, I just finished a food themed #igglechat with my Geek Girl Pen Pals (who lovingly refer to themselves as Iggles), but also because the Pirate and I cooked for each other recently.
I also happen to have tickets to the Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting and Chef Showcase tonight in the Woodlands. Not sure I have anyone to go with me, so if you’re in the Houston area, definitely leave me a comment or Tweet it to me, @ellamays.
Now, to the Pirate.
If you’ll remember, it was my turn to cook. I say “turn” because he cooked for me the time before, and when we went our separate ways, he called dibs on cooking the next time.
When last we’d seen each other, he did some things that made me feel… not good. Things like interrupting me and telling me how his way was better, or something to that effect. I called him on it, while calling him on the phone after I’d gotten home, and he promised to do better.
True to his word, he tried really hard not to interrupt, and he took it really well when I told him that I basically thought his ego was big enough that I was surprised he could fit through doors. I didn’t say it like that, but that was what I was implying. He told me he didn’t realize he had an ego, and I told him that yes, he in fact had an enormous ego.
I am, however, beginning to think that perhaps what I’ve been seeing as ego may be in fact that he is more like me… as in maybe he, too, is an undiagnosed Aspie. They say the traits for guys are a little different, but the fixation is the same, and well, he definitely is fixated on the pirate thing… hence the nickname.
And while I had thought that he didn’t listen, he was able to prove me wrong Thursday night. At one point in the evening, he corrected me on something, reminding me of what I’d said before…
It was basically the turning point of the evening.
Up until that point I was getting a little angry because he was doing what my family calls “in-fact-ing.” My grandmother likes to correct people or to tell stories about things that she probably knows nothing about, or maybe she did know about it back in the 60’s, but it’s not valid any longer. These stories always start with “In fact…”
My father, who does it as well, sings a little song about it every time we leave my grandmother’s house.
Amongst the things the Pirate was “in-fact-ing” about were, you guessed it, pirating, but also comic books (I did ask, but I had not been prepared for a 45 minute lecture), and he corrected me a time or three.
He’d also made a comment that almost made me cry while I was driving.
My roommate’s kids are youngish. The oldest one is only 11, about to be 12 I don’t know when. The younger one is turning 8 in a couple of months. My roommate, when she told her mother about the pirate, called him my boyfriend, and my Spanish is limited, so when speaking to Abuelita, I call him mi novio, because it’s easier than trying to explain to a very conservative woman that I’m dating and being intimate with a man who is not my boyfriend. And the girls tease me about him being my boyfriend pretty regularly… especially because we’ve been going out quite often.
To prepare him for this, as we were 2 hours late getting dinner started (because he was late getting back to his house, AND he’d asked me to get him right at 5 o’clock… in Houston traffic), I warned him that the girls would probably be there… and that they’d probably refer to him as my boyfriend, though (a small fib here) I had tried to correct them several times.
His response: “That’s easy; we’ll just tell them I’m gay…”
So… it’s better to be gay than my boyfriend? Got it. I feigned the hurt I was really feeling, exaggerating it like I would had I been in a melodrama. Then drove on in silence, willing my chin not to quiver and my eyes not to water.
His reason for saying it was sound: it’s difficult to correct little kids about things they can’t understand.
So by the time I was cooking, I was really ready to just take him home and be done with him.
Then he actually listened to me, and while he still had to one up me with stories of his own while I was trying to tell him about me, he did stop when I laughed because he had interrupted me, and laughing was easier than arguing. He stopped, and he looked at me and said, “I’m doing it again, aren’t I?”
And then stopped to let me finish what I was saying.
Hence, I think he might have Asperger’s Syndrome. He shows a distinct inability to judge when it’s his turn to talk, and as my therapist pointed out, it is common practice when one person tells an anecdote, for the other person to tell a related anecdote about their own life. I get frustrated with it because I feel like he’d rather talk about himself than hear about me… and he kind of related as much at one point, but in a way that makes me want to forgive it.
He told me that he doesn’t understand my way yet, and he’s not ready to try to figure it out. Not yet, anyway.
And, when added with a few of the other things he’s said, things that prove he listens, and that prove he himself is still unsure of what we’re doing, I get the impression that he is trying to see if I can handle him.
I can relate to that. I’m kind of complex…
On several occasions, he has said that he’s blunt and it turns people off, and when I was angry at him over the phone about him interrupting me and feeling like he was belittling me, his tone was so blank that I was sure that it meant he wasn’t listening, particularly because he said people have said that to him before, and it’s unintentional… I had initially taken it to mean that he wasn’t listening, but as he did actually try, I think it may have been a bit of a feeling of defeat on his part. A “here we go again,” kind of thing.
Besides, if I’m honest, the more comfortable I get with him, the more I interrupt him, too. It is kind of an Aspie thing to do.
He did finally tell me what he thought of me, and while it wasn’t the romantic overture that I was hoping for, it was very complimentary for a guy who’s best compliment thus far has been to tell me that my hair wasn’t too short and it looked fine.
Well, that and he did make me a necklace using some of his pirate-y crafting skills, and he told me he thought it was too short, because I really needed a longer necklace to accentuate my ample bosoms (my wording, not his).
He appreciates my body, as is, and that is something. He even asked to draw me naked the other day… I refused, because I’m not that comfortable with my body, but the fact that he wanted to made me blush a little. In a good way.
What he told me was that he found me entertaining, intelligent, interesting, and if he’d found me at all annoying or boring, we wouldn’t still be going out, but rather he’d have told me a while ago. And then, when I told him he’d hurt my feelings about the thing the other day about telling me I was too emotionally attached, he rubbed my arm in a gesture of comfort, which was all he could do, since I was driving.
I’ve noticed that basically we don’t have real conversations until after we’ve kissed, or some other romantic gesture. Up until then, the conversation is stilted. It’s almost as if we need that in order to remember that we like each other. He does want to see me again, and told me he would give me his schedule as soon as it’s posted at work so we can make plans.
After all, we still didn’t make it to the movie…
And next time, I think I’m going to kiss him as soon as we meet to see if it makes a difference. I’m kind of excited about trying real Puerto Rican food, too! Like I said, he’s called dibs for cooking next. I take that as a good sign.
If we were having coffee, this would just about be the point where I’d tell you I have to go. I need to see if I can find an outfit for tonight, as well as someone to go with… And it is threatening to rain.
Until next weekend, thanks for following along, and wish me luck!