If anyone ever tells you that falling love is this magical feeling where the planets align and you’re in this blissful mood where everything is awesome or that falling in love is like a Disney movie where all the animals start singing and everything is colorful and shit then they lied man, they lied. They lied so hard their nose is longer than a giraffes neck. Their nose is so long it swings in pendulum fashion like Ron Jeremy’s manhood (please don’t look that thing up, you’ll go blind). Falling in love isn’t as simple or fun or colorful as people make it out to be. Falling in love can be the most overwhelming and uncomfortable feeling one ever experiences. While many call this phenomenon love, I personally like to call it “Oh Goddamnit! Not this shit again! Anything but this!”. The bible claims that love doesn’t hurt but that’s honestly the biggest lie I’ve heard since Aaron Hernandez’s claim of innocence (too soon?). Love is awkward, uncomfortable, overwhelming, exciting, and beautiful all at the same damn time.
Those who have followed my blogs are very familiar with my tragic tales of love that involve years of rejection and heartbreak that left my heart colder than New England winters (it was pretty damn cold, Castle Black from Game of Thrones ain’t got nothing on how cold it was. I seriously thought we’d get three blasts of the horn this winter). You can imagine my angst when a few months ago I caught feelings for the first time in a very long time and boy was it overwhelming. I even lost sleep over the whole thing some nights because it how I was was feeling. One moment we’re just chatting as friends and the next, my heart thinks it’s Gabby Douglas with the type of somersaults it started doing. After getting hurt earlier that summer, falling in love with someone was that last thing I wanted. I was hoping to give cupid a head shot execution style but I lost the quick draw and got nailed right in the ass (not that kind of nailed, stop it!). Now you’re probably wondering who’s the lovely girl in question. I guess we gotta go backwards don’t we? Don’t you love those movies that start at the middle or end and then it brings you back to the beginning? You already know what will happen but the ride is still as enjoyable and when you reach the end it makes that much more sense. Well without further adieu,
So once upon a time at the currently defunct summer camp I worked at during the fourth week in August, I was a Program director constantly running back an fourth running the show while putting out fires I inadvertently created (Read “Heavy is the Head That Wears the Crown (How To Wear Big Boy Pants With Style)”). I was drained out of my mind and while there were plenty of good looking women working that summer, I was too damn tired to even think much about it. Sleep was usually the first thing on my mind by the time that day ended. There was however one girl who caught my attention and though I wasn’t interested at the time, I knew there was something unique about her and I was compelled to talk to her. While running around I’d see her every now and then and while compelled to talk to her, time was always against me. Finally during the end of the week during one of my down periods, she just happened to around so we finally chatted. Upon talking I learned that she was on the spectrum and from there we hit it off. I don’t always get along with many people on the spectrum but with her, we were pretty much instant friends. She got me in a way no one else ever would.
In the weeks following camp we started chatting more and more. We realized that aside from being on the spectrum and having a few TV shows we both watched, we both loved food. Our facebook chats turned into long conversations about all of the restaurants we had visited and which places had the best whatever. We also had long chats about our experiences on the spectrum and realized we had extremely similar experiences to the point that everything each of us brought was followed by “OMG me too” or “I know right”. It was a pretty mind blowing experience talking to someone who actually got it and wasn’t simply “putting up with it”. After a lot of facebook chatting we realized it was time to reunite in person for a small dinner and some froyo. That night we hit it off even more and as soon as we parted ways, my heart out of nowhere started doing that thing where it has an identity crisis and thinks it’s Aly Reisman with the type of somersaults it started doing. Only difference is that unlike Aly Reisman my heart was beyond impressed, so impressed that I would have trouble sleeping for the next few days. While I was excited to have found someone who I could potentially date, I was a nervous wreck. I had been here way more than DMX has been to prison and each of those times ended with my heart broken in so many pieces that even jigsaw puzzles would be jealous. Every night had me pondering on the same question, what makes this this time so different? Little did I realize, this time would be so different, my reality would be shaken harder than asses in a Mystikal song.
During our second outing something felt different. I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time but there was something different, something in the air. Dinner went smooth as usual, we devoured burgers from Five Guys and I gave her a birthday card since her birthday was a few days prior but when dessert came around things would get really interesting and extremely awkward yet awesome at the same time. So we get to Orange Leaf our orders were combined together and when the cashier asked what we’d be doing, we looked at each other perplexed when the cashier says “you know you want to pay for her” and don’t get me wrong, I did want to but I felt that was way too forward of me but being in that moment I swiped my card and we proceeded to eat. While eating, she finally says “If I ask you something do you promise not to get mad or weirded out”? I said no but I started getting extremely nervous because I didn’t know what was coming next and I kind of wasn’t ready for what was coming next. She then asked “So what’s the deal? Are we more than just friends?” In that moment I almost jumped out of my seat because while I had feeling for her, I never thought for a second that those feelings would be mutual.
After we collected ourselves, we walked around the city just talking endlessly and just processing everything. At the end I left that outing feeling nervous yet excited about the unknown though this night wouldn’t be the last of the awkwardness. A few days later we had a picnic and it was fun yet a little strange because neither of us knew what to do since neither of us had a lot of experience in the dating area. The eating was followed by a really awkward first kiss followed by holding hands while walking around the park. I can’t describe my feelings in those moments, it was an eclectic mix of exciting, new, awkward, and overwhelming. The train ride home was probably the most uncomfortable train ride ever. I was just so overwhelmed and my stomach was in knots. I would feel this way for several days and I was just incredibly confused. She’s an awesome lady who totally gets me and loves food as much as I do. She was everything I wanted in a woman so why do I feel like this? What’s wrong with me? Later that week I chatted with another friend of mine who is on the spectrum and explained to me that this sort of thing was normal.
It was in that moment that I finally realized that the movies, TV shows, and stories lied about what love is and what it feels like. All these years and some how they got it all wrong. They used a one shoe fits all model that doesn’t exactly work for everyone. Love isn’t that magical thing that just happens like flicking on a light switch. It doesn’t make sense a chunk of the time and it can be a hell of a whirlwind. Love isn’t a Disney movie where the love interest steps out and the animals start singing in harmony while the sun shines and the planets align. Love is also not an open door, it’s one that will slam in your face until you find one willing to stay open, Crabs and various sea animals won’t jump out of the damn water screaming at you to kiss the girl all over a catchy Caribbean beat, trolls won’t dance around for five minutes telling you that she’s a bit of a fixer upper and don’t count on your glassware, sliverware, and furniture singing “Beauty and the Beast while you dance on a ballroom floor or insisting that you “be their guest”. Love is an adventure and a sometimes perilous journey with pitfalls and more forks in the road than a rich person’s kitchen. Love doesn’t just happen, you have to grow into it. It’s designed to help you grow in a way you weren’t prior.
Over the six and a half months that I’ve spend dating this lovely woman, I have learned this reality of love. I didn’t write this blog post just to simply spill my feelings, I wrote it to remind all of you that we experience things differently from each other and that not all of our experiences have to be the same. That goes for people on the spectrum and especially people on the spectrum. Our shoddy cable company wiring causes just to experience the world in a way others don’t What one may find awesome we find extremely overwhelming but then even people on the spectrum can experience things differently from each other. The point is, we’re different people with different tastes and experiences so before you go and ask someone what anything is like, always remember that you may not feel the same way about it afterwards and that’s okay. Our diversity is the glue that holds this planet together, it’s only the people intolerant of those differences that chips that glue off. Once again it’s been a pleasure, stay classy….