Just as I often think of Joey as, well, Joey, and not as autistic or disabled, I often lose sight of the way people around me think. It comes as a bit of a shock that I think so differently from so many people around me- or more exactly, that so many other people think so alike, and I'm not one of them. Perhaps I insulate myself with others who also think differently, so "different" becomes the norm; and when I find myself out in the world, the general herd is a bit of a culture shock. Perhaps all those people think differently, too, but it just comes out a bit of a herd.
One night, some time ago now, I stumbled into a book club down the street for an evening, and stayed for the conversation. The book they were discussing, which I had not read because I just stumbled in on a totally different errand, had a scene where a man apparently was holding a child as a servant (or perhaps a slave; it was a little fuzzy to me, but definitely forced service) and the child got sick and had to be put into the hospital, and the man was bemoaning how horrible was was to himself, and why did these things always happen to him?
Appalled? Shocked? I was. I mean, seriously, there is a kid in a hospital sick, and you're complaining how horrible life is to you? Get a grip, idiot, right? But this little group went on and on about how honest this portrayal was, how we all felt like that, yadda, yadda, yadda. I thought I was appalled before. I beat a hasty retreat after that conversation. Do so many people really think only of themselves?
I don't think Wuthering Heights is a great love story. Ditto for Titanic. I have yet to see an episode of SpongeBob Squarepants that I thought was appropriate for children. Neither Seinfeld nor Friends did anything for me.
Standing at the bus stop, I find myself once again in the crowd. It is an odd feeling. Yesterday, they arrived with their children in neat little outfits, waiting for the bus in the rain. My kids had new shirts and stuff, but I had them in their raincoats. It was raining. Oh, all those parents had rain gear on; but not the kids. This morning they were chatting about nannies. I had nothing to add to that conversation. I must say they are very nice to Joey, trying to engage him and include him with the other kids. I just find I have very little to say, because I have such a different view of the world than these people are painting.
I sometimes wonder what it must be like to live in a world where the lives of famous people you don't know is so engaging, where what they consider a messy house I find cold, clean, even museum-like; where your shower is number one priority in your morning, not the sound of birds or hugging your children. I have a very hard tim even imagining how such a world works. Perhaps I have gotten used to the chaos. Perhaps to me, life is guided chaos, and we only go around once, so explore all the corners and back niches you can find!