Monday, January 18, 2010

Social Skills Lessons By Brakes

My very clever nestie friend (I have not actually met her in real life but we’ve been sharing intimate, yet untraceable, details from our personal lives for 5 years, so I think that qualifies us as friends. Anyways.) SmartAssMom writes a fantastic blog about motherhood, life, and lately, entertaining and decor. Her recent sardonic take on tablescapes and children-welcome adult parties got me thinking about how differently Brakes and I navigate certain social situations.

I was raised in a home where entertaining guests was an art form and being a perfect hostess was ranked right up there next to godliness and personal hygiene in level of importance. Brakes is:

A) a Man and

B) A little Autistic (I am a professional; I can say these things).

He doesn’t always “get” social cues, nor does he always understand appropriate ways to send certain signals. (As many of you know, though I was, of course, initially attracted to Brakes I know that looks fade; what really cemented his intrigue was my clinical interest in his Aspergersy take on the world.)

Here are a few shining examples of Brakes’ social brilliance:

  • When Brakes and I were separated for a month, when I was visiting Arizona, we spoke every night on the phone. On an especially poignant night I was really missing my man, so I waxed poetic to him for a few minutes finishing up with, “I’m feeling very tender towards you…” I then waited an appropriate amount of time for him to return the sentiment. When he didn’t, I patiently explained that it was customary to reciprocate kind words when they are spoken. He paused for a minute, mulling this concept over in his mind, and said, “Right. I love you. I love you a reasonable amount… how was that?” Bless his heart.
  • A few months later, when he proposed, he kept up with this romantic ideal by saying, “Well Bug, we’ve known each other a long time. I love you. I guess the next step is getting married. What do you think?” If I hadn’t been distracted by the big, honking rock between his fingers, I may have asked for a do-over.
  • My absolutely fave social-trick Brakes taught me is how to get rid of party guests that overstay their welcome. He simply gets up from the table and begins clearing. This would work out really well if he didn’t have a wife that never wants the evening to end or if our friends were not used to his sometimes abrupt social transitions and didn’t pay them much mind. In fact, while Brakes is in the kitchen mopping up after my culinary adventures, we’ve had entire conversations centered around Brake’s less than stellar phone-skills. It works well for me.

In the spirit of celebrating Brake’s idiosyncrasies I am going to end this post much like he would (mid-conversation)-

“Alright. We’ll I gotta get going. Click.”

3rd Ann, Haloween, Party, Dave 022

Plus he writes “I Love You” with pasta and puts it on the special plate.


I am a lucky woman!


Jessica Interiors, Etc. said...

Oh Darlin', I am married to a scientist- have been for 27 gets worse..he had to study for his Doctorate for years, and learned to shut out the world (read, me) the point that I could put a colander on his head and bang it with a spoon without his noticing!
His proposal was, "so, when are we getting married?"...(no big, honkin rock around)...
Your guy is cute, and I think the "pasta loveletter" is priceless.

SmartAssMom said...

Oh we are SO BFF's.

Although I think I'm a little more like Brakes in the social situations. Maybe I have Aspberger's, too.
I do think the pasta is ah-dorable!

liz said...

That was hysterical! I once dumped a guy because he tried to have a whole conversation centered around butter, and naming off all the things he likes to put it on. Somewhat of a Forrest Gump moment.

Sabreena said...

Brakes is "F"ing awsome. My guy is sweet but nothing like that. I aspire to perfect his social transitions. My sister in law always overstays her welcome so I think I will try his cleaning up tactic next time. Lucky Girl!

Molly said...

Love...sounds very much like my DH...he is always ready to leave the party, when I, all too often likely overstay my welcome and love having friends stay for hours (maybe we should have a dinner party - we'll cook, drink, chat, and the boys can clean up...?_)

Lady M said...

Darling, words cannot express how much I love that man of yours. Give him a smooch from me. Also, any man that can lure you away from a party the way he did when you first met must have some awesome social skillz (with a z!). Love you!