Being an obedient rule-follower by nature has gotten me into trouble. That darned Golden Rule. I’ve always followed it. I’ve often wished I hadn’t. Ultimately, I decided that as an Aspie, my Golden Rule is this: Do NOT do onto others as you wish they would do unto you. Below are my reasons why:
Breaking up over the phone. Apparently people don’t like this. Me? I’d take it over a face-to-face dump any day. The last thing I want to worry about while getting the axe is an audience. Scratch that. The last thing I want worry about is trying to maintain conversation immediately after getting said axe. Hanging up right after the news is out allows us both to mourn in peace. A text dump is even better yet. To all you former suitors left stunned and bewildered with the dead air of a disconnected phone call in your ear – I did it for you.
Thank you cards. Seriously, do neurotypical people actually like these? Receiving a hand-written letter in the mail is the best thing ever. Immediately finding out it’s a sucky thank you card? The worst. I would never inflict this disappointment upon you. Not sending you a thank you card is my way of saying thanks.
The handshake. Please, Americans – either do it all the time or don’t do it all. This confusing sometimes hand-shaking thing is for the birds. To those of you who have enjoyed my thoughtful gesture of dropping eye contact and shoving my hands in my pockets upon meeting you, you’re welcome! I spared you the ambiguity and unease.
Reacting to your news about the death of a loved one with an amusing anecdote about myself. Many would say this is where I display my brazen lack of empathy. But nothing could be more empathetic! Because in my mind, there is no torture greater than having to feel in front of someone. The more profound the feeling, the more privacy I need. So, as your whole life falls to pieces and I prattle on about that balloon animal I tried to make that ended up looking like a penis, please don’t feel alone. I’m comforting you.
Have any Golden Rule attempts blown up in your face? Please share below!
About the Author: After 36 years of wondering why she was so quirky, Kirsten recently discovered that she’s quirky in the clinical sense. She has Asperger’s. She blogs about the horrors and joys of daily life in a world where most people aren’t wired like her. Because if you, too, are wired for life on some distant, unknown planet, you probably need to commiserate. And you definitely need to laugh.
This post first appeared on Kirsten’s blog, quirky and laughing, and is reprinted here by permission.