aspergers, autism, culture, health, living abroad, psychology, travel

Strange Things Aspies Do

What is a Manamana?

Several years ago, an Aspie MySpace friend mentioned strange things Aspies do. One trait I recall her mentioning was that she’d sing “Doo-doo-doo-doo,” whenever someone would say the word ‘phenomenon.’ That she acquired when from The Muppets when they sang the tune Manamana. Because I found this amusing, I developed something similar. It was my senior year at Texas State University where I minored in anthropology. One of my courses entailed pre-Columbian Native American customs. My professor started discussing the Menominee Indians. So I would sing “Doo-doo-doo-doo” whenever he stated the word ‘Menominee.’ My classmates first thought that was humorous but found it annoying after awhile. I couldn’t tell they were irritated until they started rolling their eyes. I’d been trained to read people enough to realize it got on their nerves. You can’t fault me for trying to be cute.

Pocketing New Ideas

This was the same period when I wore dark clothes during the winter and lighter ones throughout the summer. Some of my wearing habits I shared in my previous note, but I have other quirks. I place my wallet in my front left pocket. I’ve always made a habit of doing this whereas I would put my keys and cellphone in the front cavity. My handkerchief I have in my back left orifice while I set an Islamic kufi beanie in my rear left. The latter two I do as cushioning for my backside whenever I must sit down for a long period. Sometimes I even place my money inside my shoes or socks or in my back pockets away from my wallet to circumvent pickpockets and corrupt police demanding bribes. I always have a cloth handy because I had seasonal allergies when I lived in Austin. It’s a necessity in Saigon and Bangkok, where I last lived, because the smog levels in both locales are ridiculous. Once in a blue moon, I wear the kufi to rebel against the Trump Administration and their anti-Islamic propaganda. The reason I don’t most times is because people in Vietnam don’t care, nor do I want to be guilty of cultural appropriation. I wouldn’t dare go there when I traveled to Kuala Lumpur during Tet after I realized Malaysia is 60-percent Muslim. Aspies get criticized for not having what most NT’s consider common sense or social sense, but we’re not as daft as everyone thinks.

From Right to Left

Between spring 2007 and fall 2013, I trained myself to be left-handed. What enticed me to do that was I learned some indigenous men injured their right arms from constant spear throwing. The same happened to former MLB pitcher Billy Wagner. The ace reliever was notorious for throwing 100 MPH fastballs. I admired him because Wagner first played for the Houston Astros. Unbeknownst to myself and others, Wagner was born right-handed. He broke his right arm twice in accidents as a kid prompting Wagner to start throwing with his left hand. In other words, I wanted the ability to do things left-handed should I ever lose use of my right hand or arm. It took awhile to become accustomed, but doing things left-handed became second nature. Eventually, I could bowl, throw, shoot basketballs, and play golf left-handed. My handwriting looked like that of my mother when I’d write left-handed as she’s a lefty, too. Meanwhile, it resembles that of my father when I scrawl right-handed. Funny how that works! In addition, I yearned to be like Barack Obama for whom I voted during the 2008 primary. I switched back to my right side in November 2013 after enduring a rough patch. A master witch friend in California helped me use natural magic to get out. I guess you can say I’m ambidextrous. Then I moved onto my next obsession with witchcraft.

Raspberries, Kittygirls, and Blueboys

Yet another thing I would do is blow raspberries on my dogs’ and cat’s bellies for affection. I grew up with animals, so I’d play songs while doing the deed. Because I’ve had this habit so long, I on occasion do the same to my pillows. They’re the softest things I can find resembling cats and dogs. Growing up, I had a tortoise shell named Stevie and a British blue named Boris. I’d always call Stevie ‘keegirl’ which is short for ‘kittygirl.’ Boris I gave the moniker ‘blueboy’ because of his fur. Sadly, Boris and Stevie passed. That didn’t prevent me from calling my cat Gracie ‘keegirl’ after I adopted her. It used to drive my mom and siblings up the wall whenever I’d do that. My mother has a habit of asking “How many years have I told you not to do that?” The answer to that query would be more than I’d been diagnosed and after I began stimming. It happens subconsciously. What can I say? Old habits die hard.

Left, Right, Right, Left

Some of the most famous who ever lived were superstitious as am I to some degree. I read somewhere the philosopher Samuel Johnson would always enter a home or building on his right foot for good luck. Henceforth, I do the same. Whenever I put on my shoes and socks, I always slip on the right sock before the left and the same with the shoes. I tie the right one first as well. The same I do when I removed either article. I want to ensure when I awake, the first foot I place on the floor is my right one just like the Ancient Romans. They believed it was bad luck to set your left foot first. That’s where the expression, ‘waking up on the wrong side of the bed’ originated. Something similar I do whenever I shave and clip my nails. I first do my right hand from thumb to pinky and then my left. Then I’ll clip my right foot from my big toe little toe before doing the same with the left. Whenever I shave, I’ll do the right side of my face and work my way left. Starting with the right side has become an intrinsic part of my daily routine. Much of this is also out of spite towards the U.S. Coast Guard and military school who’d always make me start walking with my left foot. Therefore, I do the exact opposite.

Going Through the Cycle

The last thing I do is I rotate my clothes and dishes. I hang my duds the way I was taught in the Coast Guard which is with my shirts on the right side and pant pairs on the left. My garments always face to the left when I open my wardrobe. Now that I mention this, I might do the opposite. When I say I revolve them, I mean I go through the cycle. I’ll wear what’s in the front and work my way to the back. Whenever I do my laundry, I’ll place my fresh clothes in the back. I even take my stuff out of the drawers so that I may put them on top while the fresh ones go on the bottom. The idea is to pivot everything and ensure all I don is clean. I do the same with my towels, sheets, and dishes. Whenever I remove plates, glasses, bowls, and silverware from the dishwasher, I’ll clear out the others from the cabinets and drawers and place the crisp ones from on the bottom so the others get used beforehand. I don’t know if this is obsessive compulsive or more hygienic. I just remember when I worked as a dishwasher, my coworkers thought that was strange and time-consuming. Most of them would just stack the dishes on top and use the same ones repeatedly overlooking those on the bottom. Not me!

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