Friday, November 22, 2013

Awkward Encounters of an Autistic Woman

It happened again.

I am strolling through Walmart, actually power walking, because that is my usual speed. I round the corner of the cereal aisle, and out of the corner of my eye I see a lady, and a boy. I think to myself that that person looks a bit familiar, but then I am in an area shopping where there's a lot of people I see frequently that I don't know. I get a couple feet away, and I hear "Where is the rest of your family?" It's the lady that I passed. I study her, and her son's face for a moment, and realize she is my husband's cousin. She is offended. I have done this to her before. I try to explain that when I am shopping I am in the zone,and not paying attention. This isn't the first time I have blogged about my Face Blindness. I know that I have made so many social mistakes with this particular person that there is no way to fully recover. I just try to be gracious possible about the incidents, and hope she just thinks I am a bit loopy, and not snobby. It's not personal.

The other times it has happened it was with people I barely was acquainted with. Those situations I can kind of shrug off, because it's not that unusual to not recognize an acquaintance you don't know very well. However, I have known this person for over 16 yrs. I don't see her often, but honestly I should recognize her. As I thought about this after I got home another similar memory came to mind.

It was 15 years ago, just after my daughter was born. I was going out to dinner with my husband, and a big gathering of his family who was visiting. We got in the door, and one of bus boys seemed to take notice of us