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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Other Peoples' Problems

Hola, senors and senoritas! Como estas? (And that's the extent of my Spanish vocabulary).

So there were a lot of interesting/annoying people at work this week who I could write many stories about. I could make something up for the paranoid mom who's scared of every bent corner in whatever book she's buying lest she can't return it later on. Or I could go into detail about the old man who has to, for some reason, ask every question that comes into his mind twice. And then there's the teacher who teaches at my old high school and the mom whose son goes to said school, and how they met each other and talked about reading and English classes while looking over the 'Summer Reading' book table. But instead, I'm tell you about Marion, the grumpy and prickly grandma who thinks her problems are bigger than everyone else's and who automatically hates anyone who shows the slightest frustration towards her autistic grandson.

What I mean is, I was back in Music/Movies keeping an eye on everything when said grandson and his mom entered the section. He was making noise and talking to himself, so I knew automatically the kid had special needs. Then Marion and her husband came in, and the kid puttered around and picked out some DVDs. But then he started getting loud and high-pitched, and it didn't help that he set off the security system a few times by accident. By this point the mom has told me he has autism, and I'm like, "Alright", because I knew he had something like that in the first place, and who am I to make a fuss about his behavior when I have autism too? But he keeps making loud noises while his mom pays for one of his DVDs, and at this point I'm wincing a bit because my ears can't handle the chatter anymore and not because he reaches over the counter to grab at the movies. Of course, the mom and Marion see this and, not knowing the real reason behind it, say to each other, right in front of me, how the check out girl is getting frustrated with an air of silent disapproval around them like I'm being horribly discriminatory concerning the boy. I stay silent because I don't know how to explain myself properly, and eventually the mom and son leave to check out the rest of the store while Marion pays for the remaining movies. Still not liking my apparent attitude towards her grandson, she's short with me when I explain her membership has expired ("No, it can't be, I've already renewed it.") and at one point reminds me again that her grandson has autism and asks if I know what that is. I take this chance and tell her I have Asperger's, thinking it would give her a clue about the reason behind my reaction (because surely she would know about autism's symptoms, one of which is being sensitive to stimuli like loud noises) and also showing her I'm on her side. Instead, she brushes my explanation aside like she doesn't believe me or it's nothing compared to her grandson, who has, "moderate to severe autism", thus making it seem like his problems are so much bigger than mine. At this point I shut down, only saying the customary, "Thank you for shopping with us", and angrily stewing about it after Marion leaves.

The whole scenario just pisses me off. I mean, we were both in the wrong with Marion gossiping with the mom right in front of me and me wincing about the noise level, but she brushed off my own autism like it wasn't a good explanation for what happened. It's not like I was expecting her to be all, "I'm so sorry" and stuff, but an "Oh" would've been nice, and maybe we could've had a small talk about it. But nooooo, that's not possible, and according to Marion I should've known better since I'm either lying or have a mild case where I can easily control myself (not that she said this, but something like it was implied). Overall, everything about this situation just made me feel like my own diagnosis was unimportant, along with all the struggles I myself go through. Because yeah, I have a mild form, but even with that comes social anxiety, aloofness, shyness, and an inability to act normal in any given social situation. It took years of therapy to learn how to look people in the eye and control my tone of voice, but I still have problems not making faces, and I rather be alone than be social. I struggle with this every day, SO DON'T BRUSH IT OFF LIKE IT'S NOTHING!!! Just because you have your own problems doesn't mean you should be so ignorant to think that they're bigger than everyone else's or that everyone else doesn't have problems in the first place. Have some perception, lady!

Thankfully, that crummy customer wasn't enough to spoil my week or my excitement for Comic Con WHICH IS ONE WEEK HOLY COW!!! I'm nervous, excited, and pumped all rolled into one, and those feeling are amplified by two bits of good news. One, I got my promotional postcards in the mail. Don't they look great?

And two, I'm doing a panel (which, for those of you who don't know what that is, is basically a staged Q and A session between experts and an audience) on the 9th! I'll be talking about YA books and writing alongside some other local YA writers, Elizabeth Bunce and Bethany Hagen, and I can't wait. I wonder what type of questions I'll be getting; I hope I can answer them all (note to self: charge phone so video of whole panel can be taken) and a decent amount of people show up. Either way, it'll be a good experience!

I'm still stuck in the dialog bog with M.O.A-27. The girls are still talking, the guys are still complaining, and everyone's getting tired, including me (When am I going to allow myself to shift scenes? As soon as you think everything's covered, that's what!). The good news is I've made my way through a time transition, which can be stinkin' awful to write most of the times, but I did it. So far the boys and girls have checked out multiple recyclable sites and have walked many streets to get to each one, but neither group has run into the monster yet, and there's all sorts of security they have to dodge and hide from. It's only a few hours from dawn, and everyone's thinking of calling it a night and heading home, so they agree to meet at another dump site. I think we all know what'll happen next; the problem is, would it be too obvious to have the monster attack them all there? Please tell me what you think!

Weekly (Dis)Likes:

Like 1: Day old expired Godiva chocolate. We sale Godiva chocolate boxes around the store, and whenever the selling/'Good Thru' date passes, they're taken up to the break room and we employees get to nom on them. Delish!

Like 2: My postcards. See above.

Like 3: The panel. See above.

Like 4: Newest season of 'Face Off' started this week. Let the monster making and imaginations run wild (and possibly give me my own creature ideas)!

Dislike 1: People who think their problems are bigger than everyone else's, or those who think others don't have problems at all. See above for rant.

And quote!

"The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter." -Mark Twain