There are phone calls to friends I seldom or won’t make at all. There are visits too. There are invitations I will not give or receive. One reason besides just being a natural loner is I can’t think of a topic to chat with whoever about. The weather, after all, can only hold a conversation so far.
I admit it is strange for a grown adult, much less a 60+ person, to hide from someone one knows in the store aisle. Yes, I am guilty of that! I don’t avoid every person I know. It depends less on the person and more on whether we have a mutual topic of interest or if I can rely on the person for keeping the conversation going without boring me to tears.
I have few topics of interest and that’s a common trait among us who live on the Spectrum. I can talk a monologue worth on what I live with – Asperger’s Syndrome (Autism). I will talk with utter delight about my obsessions with electronic technology. I enjoy doing a “show and tell” of my bikes and scooters. The problem is I don’t know any of my peers who ride scooters except for my grandnephew and niece. I don’t know anyone, and I do mean anyone, who has anywhere close to the number of electronic gadgets that I do. The only reason someone has even brought up the topic with me is to see if I have a recommendation on a product or if I can diagnose one of their gadgets that is in a coma.
My topics of interest are politics, religion, and history. Two of those topics can get me into hot water! The other can be boring to those who hated history class. I don’t live in a state where my political views are popular. I have to call a friend halfway across the country if I have an urge to discuss politics.
It isn’t the case with all my acquaintances, the few that there are. There is a sweet lady my age that I don’t hide from when we cross paths, usually in the local grocery store. She and I are opposites when it comes to chit-chatting. She chats up a storm and I hang on her every word. I don’t have to worry about there being any dreaded silence with her. She is one who lightens up the room, is a natural at being the center of attention, and, quite frankly, acts plum silly sometimes. My not knowing what she’ll do, what she’ll say, or what she’ll dress up in next is what attracts me to her like a magnet.
On those occasions when someone spots me before I can go into hiding, I am masked for the occasion. I smile and pretend to be engaged. I don’t hinge on their every word because I’m in an internal panic of what should I say and not say, what topic is on or off limits, what to ask and what not to, and above all, how do I gracefully exit.
Finally, truth is I do like people but I don’t like being around them much. Or, to put it another way, I’m real picky!