I AM THE WOMBAT!
What applies is the crusty temper when faced with intruders in its terrain.
I am, as you may have guessed, not the most perfectly social of creatures, albeit fubsy and huggable.
Oh, and I have a large brain. Comparatively.
Years ago it always hurt when I discovered that I had been excluded from a celebration, or that people near and dear to me were hesitant about exposing me to their friends. In Valkenswaard it had proven extraordinarily difficult to connect with people. Not person to person on an individual basis, but PEOPLE. Multiples.
I remember several wonderful parties I heard about after they had taken place - the jollification was discussed in glowing terms by everybody who had been there.
I often discovered that not only was the host a member of my circle of "friends", so were all of the invitees.
My father, as an example of a different kind, always held off on introducing me to his old friends in California after I had moved back here. Though he did hold it out as a possibility once I graduated. In consequence thereof I knew very few people beyond my own classmates and the folks at the pipe store.
I knew that they existed, but I did not know them.
He had probably never heard the term Asperger's syndrome' as applied to individuals operating with an alternative interpersonal toolbox, but he surely recognized the pattern.
One of my Berkeley friends was extraordinarily hesitant about my ever meeting any of her or her family's social group, and rigorously briefed me before any events to which I was invited. And it turns out that afterwards she (and I) would hear through the grapevine that they wondered why she even associated with me, or something like that.
OUT OF THE MANY, ONE
It took me a while to figure out what the problem was.
I am modulated well enough, but I am quite out of tune. My reactions are (usually) not very discordant, but I am quite clueless about body language and the subtle signs that perhaps the conversation may have moved in a different direction. The phrase 'doesn't play well with others' applies, yes, but is nevertheless rather meaningless when one is reading from the wrong rule-book.
I'm just not a group person. One on one works well - I listen to the speaker and react in measure, though sometimes too thoughtfully and intensely, or occasionally with odd (incomprehensible) humour.
Gatherings of people (plural!) are just not my bag. I'm good for taking long walks with, horribly unsuitable for the team. Any team.
If all of us were stampeding, I'd probably get distracted by a fascinating lizard with an unusual fungoid affliction of its scales.
I try to be subtle about it, but still comes through loud and clear in my body language, posture and facial signs. Unconscious, unintended, but fully understood.
Damned good thing I'm adept at hiding my emotions, don't you agree? 'That's okay, I don't mind, honestly!'
Some things are best kept in the dark. I do all my weeping nocturnally. Which is also when I gnash my teeth.
I don't mind the solitude, I have some of my best conversations by myself.
At least I share all of my interests.
"They can be awkwardly tamed in a captive situation, and even coaxed into being patted and held, possibly becoming quite friendly."
['Wombat' --- From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.]
I suspect that through the years almost everybody around me realized that I was socially inadequate. Perhaps not consciously - the phrase "you should have been there!" got uttered thoughtlessly often, though.
But "you should have been there" is not nearly as warm in its effect as "I really would like it if you came".
My involvement is frequently vicarious and after-the-fact.
I seem to be the person about whom others will say "you must really meet him". Exhibit "A", so to speak. In some ways the freakshow.
Several languages, in-depth historical knowledge, culinary answers, and multiple interests.
But no small talk. Don't know or even care to know Jack about sports. Haven't seen the latest hot teevee series. Haven't paid any attention to popular music since Cool and The Gang.
Really, I couldn't recognize a celebrity if she came up and bit me in the donkey. Oprah who?
I haven't been to a cocktail party in nearly two decades.
Nor am I the person who gets invited to a picnic or a tea-dance.
I did attend a bachelorette party once.
"you should have been there!"
Yep, still hear that regularly.
A good friend very recently asked for restaurant recommendations. He wishes to throw a little get together in a week or two, to thank many people for their kindness and consideration over the years. So of course, in discussing the food possibilities and transit options, I found out who is coming. Turns out that I know almost all of them.
I am NOT invited.
He prefers to deal with me in much smaller groups.
I know that. Really, I understand.
I'm hurt, but I'm not letting on. Hell will freeze over first.
Fortunately he never reads my blog.
Savage Kitten is similar in some ways. I've heard about her friends, and she has introduced them to each other.
But I have not met many of her friends, ever. None in nearly ten years. And since we broke up as a couple, it is increasingly less likely that I ever will.
There are people in her life who at this point I know better than Christ, whom I wouldn't recognize on the street.
I don't really like dining alone. But at least I'm an excellent cook.
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