Jason Elliot Benda (26376) wrote,
Jason Elliot Benda

I'm different.

Just occurred to me that I'm definitely the only married person in this bar.

That quote last night, from an old friend of mine who was at Joe's Brewery in Champaign, sticks out to me as an attestation of how different I am. I'm disinclined to go to bars to begin with -- not opposed per se, particularly since the Smoke-Free Illinois Act of 2007 (*hugs the 95th General Assembly*), but disinclined. But beyond that, even if I went to a bar, I would never notice whether the other bar patrons were married or not. I don't know that about any random group of people.

It reminds me of the day in 1997 when Dr. Dorene Huvaere asked me what the racial demographics of the class I was observing at Joliet West were, and when I told her (honestly) that I had no idea, she was appalled. I tried to explain that since she'd now asked me to look at that, I'd pay attention next time, take notes, and report back, but that wasn't good enough; it was something that I needed to have already inherently noticed. At the time, I was appalled by that, because I felt like she was viewing the world through racially-stratified lenses. I don't think that was really the case (though I still dislike this instructor, mostly over this incident); I think it was just that I'm different.

I was asked once, indirectly, if I had a particular autism-spectrum disorder. I'd never heard of it, and I looked it up (which is how I found out it was an ASD). Though it bothered me that she felt like I projected some sort of disordered persona, I can somewhat understand why she would say that. I don't pick up on a lot of things that it seems many people take for granted that everyone just "sees". This has been the demise of more than one friendship I've had on multiple occasions, where someone just can't deal with me "not getting it" anymore.

I thought about an old former friend this morning, from about the same time period as the one from the bar, and I wonder if I drove her batty. I note that my life seems to have a long history of other people misinterpreting my relationships, usually third parties, but occasionally seconds too, I think. Most of that comes from people seeing things through their own worldviews, as one would expect, but then not realizing how different I am.

I have no idea why my friend knew he was the only married person in the bar, or even why that might have been the case at all. Really I never will.

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