by rick stein
Aspie is the term adults with Aspergers call themselves. Mari makes it sound as if it is difficult being married to an aspie. That is far from the truth. It is the easiest and sweetest thing I have ever done. It is the most important thing I’ve ever done. There is a lot of information out there about Aspergers, but I only know a little. I do know a lot about Mari so that is the aspie I’m going to write about.
Mari cannot and will never be able to drive. There is too much information flooding in all at once to be able to decode. Signs, such as ↑ mean straight ahead to most drivers, to a person who takes things literally it means up. Lanes going this way and that, people changing lanes, oncoming traffic, left turns, right turns its all too much. I would still do most of the driving even if she could drive, so she would never feel safe behind the wheel. Her driving has been a problem for her, it is not for us. Her driving would be a problem for everybody if she were on the road.
She feels uncomfortable in crowds, a lot of people do. It is not like driving, she can be in a crowd once we find a place to stay. We go to plays, movies, concerts, fireworks displays: she feels some discomfort getting there, hesitation before we go, but once we are there it is not a problem.
She will often walk behind me, she says it’s because I walk too fast, but I know she is following me just as she has always done in order not to feel lost.
She is very sensitive, to everything. Sensitive to touch, labels in shirts feel like thistles. She likes all her clothes to be soft. We call her the princess and the pea. Mari is sensitive to her feelings.and the feelings of others. It’s very easy to touch a wrong nerve with her. It could only take a harsh look, a misread facial expression, ignoring her, 0r scaring her to hurt her feelings. She’ll always give you a second chance, or a do over as she calls it. She doesn’t stay hurt or mad long.
There are quite a few things to learn about your partner, when they are the love of your life.
We simply fit together completely, and effortlessly. She laughs at my jokes, understands my unique perspective on things, loves me completely, takes care of me when I need it. She is smart as a whip, driven to succeed, the funniest woman I have ever met, the one woman I have ever fully trusted completely and totally with my heart. The one woman I know that has always got my back, always looks out for me. She always has new surprises and everything is a new surprise to her.
There is an entire book no one would read if I were to list all the reasons I love my aspie wife.
The reasons don’t really matter anyway. Love is beyond reason. It simply is that whenever I look at her, no matter what she looks like, no matter the mood she is in, no matter anything I see the girl I love.
Before we knew anything about Aspergers Mari had the same little quirks, it’s nice to have a name to call them, but it doesn’t make any real difference to me. It’s always te girl I love.
There are, to be sure, limitations that aspie’s have, but there are many gifts. Mari has a childlike innocence, which is a common trait of people with Aspergers. We should all wish for that innocence. She has a sweetness about her for everyone. She talks tough when she’s scared, speaks in hyperbole, can swear like a sailor, but it’s just woofing to warn the danger away. Everyday is fresh to her, she does not think in linear terms. Today is fresh, that friend from fifty years ago is fresh, A customer came into our shop one day that had been in one time ten years earlier, and didn’t buy anything. She did send other people in who we did do work for in the years since. She said, “you probably don’t remember me. I never would have. Mari did and told her what they had talked about, and what she was wearing.
Days don’t stretch out in a long line for Mari, when she remembers something it’s like it was always just yesterday.
I am and always will be thrilled to have such a willing partner in everything. She’s strong, courageous, honest, true, loving, fun, smart, sexy, interesting and interested. Who cares if she can’t tell her left from her right, or that she thinks an elephant can fit in a breadbox. Who cares that she can’t drive, I would drive her anywhere.