I stayed far behind the last one, giving them room. To heck with the people behind me. When there were no more cars in the opposite lane, I went around them.
I thought to myself, if I'd been born a goose, I'd know what to do. I probably wouldn't be "different." They all looked alike. I might have fit in.
But then I remember the phrase "odd duck" and thought maybe that thought didn't have a lot of merit after all.
It's hard to be the odd duck in life. You try your best to mimic the actions of people around you. You try to say the right things. But people habitually disappear from your life without so much as a word in parting.
It is disconcerting. It makes me turn inward even more. It makes me not want to be in social situations of any variety.
I retreat into my quiet little apartment with my pupsters who love me unconditionally. For which I tell them I love them many times a day.
They don't seem to see me as an odd duck. I'm just mama.
But then I was mama to two girls, and the lasting impression of having had an odd duck for a mom seems to have distanced them from me. I am not really part of their lives.
I guess I should understand. They know I wouldn't show up for big gatherings even if they asked. Point taken. I wouldn't want to go into a mall for any reason whatsoever. Point taken. I wasn't ever a member of the PTA. Point taken.
I was just their weird duck of a mom. And it seems to have defined me as a person.
I don't like to make people uncomfortable. I don't grasp the wrong thing coming out of my mouth until I never hear from them again. And then I still don't know what I said, just that I must have said something wrong. Again.
It's like being in an alternate universe where nothing makes sense. Where I never seem to be able to put the pieces of the puzzle together to see the entirety of the picture.
But I still think: If I was just a goose walking along in a gaggle of geese, all looking alike, I wouldn't stand out as different. I would know, because nature would have had a strong hand in guiding me as a goose, what to do next.
The geese in the street went at their own pace, oblivious to the cars all around them. Marching to the tune of their own drum. They walked like a pregnant woman in her last trimester, bobbing to and fro. Doing whatever it is that nature preordained them to do.
I so admired that gaggle of geese.
At the end of the day, we are simply who we are. We can fake it to make it. But I've never been very good at that. I'm very concrete and I say things like I see them, without the proper editing. I feel and hear and say things without the proper social filters.
I don't understand the shifts in social situations. I don't grasp the cues that are probably right there in front of me.
I'm currently reading this novel called "Love And Miss Communication." It is about this young female attorney who thinks she is about to be made partner. She is called into the big meeting, all ready with her acceptance speech.
But instead of being made partner, she is let go. They have discovered that she spends an inordinate amount of time at work online with social media. And she is abruptly without a job and given a small window of time to gather her belongings and be escorted out of the place she's slaved at for years.
She ends up spending a lot of her time in her apartment in NYC, not knowing what to do with herself. She decides to give up the internet, which she is, she finally admits to herself, a virtual slave to.
At one point, she says, if she doesn't get her act together, people will begin to think of her as a home bound Aspergian. I inwardly bristled at the comparison she made. Because I am that home bound Aspergian.
Here is a list of traits of Aspergian females. It is something you can choose to read if you want to, so I shall not copy it here. It is written by a woman with Aspergers, and for me it is eerily like looking in a mirror.
As I read it, I finally felt part of a gaggle of geese. Or maybe a group of odd ducks.
I feel everything the Aspergian female wrote, acutely. I agonize over every situation in which I am in the presence of others. I am never calm until I am back inside my apartment with the door closed. And the pupsters are there to greet me with such joy.
Their eyes light up when they see me. No judgment, no admonishment. Just pure unadulterated love.