Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Sunday, May 18, 2014

It Was All Good!

Hi everyone! Remember last week I was wondering if my successful socializing at the Mother's Day gathering would still be going strong at a much larger family gathering (my little cousin's first communion) this weekend? Well, the day came, with pretty mixed results!

First of all, I almost didn't go, because I was in an argument with my mom over what I should wear. My uncle's wife's family are really flashy, with really nice hair and clothes and lots of sparkles and stuff. They're more like stereotypical Italians. My side of the family is more laid back... for Italians, that is! And they are Catholic, and I am not (although my mom was raised Catholic, only one of the four kids in her family remained Catholic after they grew up. And that one sibling is my uncle. Hence, my cousin's first communion. Make sense?)

So I was having trouble finding something to wear this morning. First I put on one of my favorite, colorful summer skirts, and a short-sleeved shirt. But then I realized that it is still pretty chilly where I live, and I'd freeze to death in that. So I put on gray corduroys (I love corduroys and wear them to work almost every day in the winter) and a nice new blouse my aunt gave me for my birthday. But then I realized the blouse still had the security tag on it! The kind that is impossible to get off without a special tool owned by the store! Ack. Finally I settled on a different summery blouse. So, corduroys and a nice blouse... seemed OK to me!

But when I got downstairs, my mom was all, "What are you wearing? You can't wear jeans to church!"

And I was all, "I am not wearing jeans! These are corduroys!"

And she was like, "Corduroys are jeans!"

And I was like, "That doesn't even make sense! How can corduroys be jeans? They're corduroys! Jeans are denim!"

And she said they were too casual for church.

And I said when I go to my church (the Unitarian Universalist one in town) people wear whatever they want.

And on and on and on... until she told me I looked like a slob and I said I wasn't going then and she said I had to and I said no.

But in the end I did go... mostly just because I wanted to see my grandparents and my little cousins!

And also we got to the church way late, not because of me at all, but because my mom thought it started at 9:30 and it actually started at 9:15. So we had to stand in the back, not even in the pews, because there was no more room. And Catholics... I don't mean to be rude if you are Catholic, it is just that I have barely ever gone to Catholic services and there are so many routines and hand motions and recitations which I didn't know so I was just standing there like, "Uh... what?"

Oh yeah and by the way, a lot of people were wearing jeans! But my mom said she was still right because "grown-ups need to dress up." Which apparently they do not, but there is seriously no arguing with my mother!

So anyways. After that we went to the banquet hall. The lucky thing was that we had assigned tables, and my table was with my parents, my Aunt B and cousin KraftyKid (Aunt B's husband and my cousin SoxBoy didn't end up coming) and my grandparents. So I did have a fine time socializing with them, particularly with KraftyKid because she was sitting right next to me. But I had little or no opportunity or reason to talk with any of the people I didn't know. It was pretty much everyone from my family (except for my uncle whose son had the communion, and one other aunt and uncle who were sitting somewhere else for some reason) all at one table in the furthest right corner of the room, and my uncle's wife's family and friends seated throughout the whole rest of the room. We didn't really cross paths, except to say "hello" maybe. Which was kind of better, for me. Not that they aren't lovely people... it's just that I can never remember all of their names, I have no idea what to say to them, and there are like a thousand of them! I prefer to encounter strangers one at a time, in an orderly fashion.

Was it a success, or a failure, or mediocre? You be the judge!

I also had another social opportunity this weekend, on Saturday. Because I love animals, I have started my own Meetup group, all about animals. The idea of the group is to go to different places where we can see, learn about, or help, animals. Our first meetup was to an educational center that has wolves, bears, tigers, and a variety of other animals. No, it wasn't the zoo. It is hard to explain... it is privately run, and they only are open to the public once a month. They breed wolves (in order to help repopulate wolves, which have been endangered for a while, due to people massively slaughtering them in the 1800's.) and they also take care of exotic pets that people had but were not necessarily supposed to have... such as a bear that someone bought, oddly, at a flea market, and then got in trouble for owning, because obviously you aren't supposed to own a bear, at least not in Illinois. But the bear had always been in captivity and couldn't be released into the wild, so now he lives there.) Only two other people came to my Meetup... but it was kind of nice, and a good time was had by all!

And here is a picture of me at the wolf place. It is kind of hard to see, but there is a wolf in the cage behind me. Can you see it?
I look weird in this picture don't I?!?!?

And here is a better picture of a wolf.
The only thing I don't like is that their cages don't look very nature-like. 

And here is a baby tiger!

And here is the baby tiger trying to eat the guy who was handling him!

Actually the tiger was just playing, similarly to the way a puppy or kitten plays by biting at your pants. That is why the guy doesn't look very alarmed. But he is trying to train the tiger not to do that, because this game will not be as much fun when the tiger is 700 pounds!

Okay. Sorry I haven't written in so long, but I've been so busy trying to get things ready with my book. Next Saturday is my first "author event" where I'll be selling and signing copies! But I should be blogging more often throughout the week. So come back soon!


  1. I respect the people who take care of wildlife that ends up in the wrong hands. A bear for sale at a flea market? Gosh some people are stupid!
    As a practicing Catholic I can tell you that First Communions are ALWAYS packed full! Something about those sweet little angels in their pretty white dresses and dark blue suits just gets to us I guess! And quite frankly, jeans are worn A LOT at Mass these days. I'd be more angry at the careless store clerk who didn't unclip the security tag. That's happened to us before too! Annoying!

  2. WOW, you have a book signing? That is AMAZING. Cool!
    I totally want to play with that baby tiger :) but no, probably not when it's fully grown!
    I'm with you on the cords, totally not jeans! And I don't even think a deity worth it's salt would mind jeans, but I know, I know, you can't argue w/your mom.

  3. Omg, as a lover of corduroys and animals, and as a former Catholic, I am laughing so hard at this post right now. Well done :)


  4. Haha, this kind of reminds me of my family get-togethers on the Korean side of the family. Most people don't know I'm a quarter Korean, and many (particularly Koreans) don't believe me. We're the white people who don't speak Korean that sit at the table in the corner. Lol. People come and talk to us out of pity because we don't understand anything else that's going on. It can be totally awkward because we don't want to embarrass anyone, but it's surprising how many things you can do to offend your relatives when you don't speak their language. :-) Good job on going! That takes courage, but it can be rewarding!

  5. My Mom was always the same way with church, always had to get dressed up and to this day, if I did go to church I'd dress up out of habit (dress pants and a blouse usually).

    If I lived in your area, I'd love to join your meetup group. Sounds fun. I'm thinking of creating my own meetup group as there doesn't seem to be any that match my interests around here.

  6. Hey, Angel!! It's William from William's world!!!! How did the book signing go?

  7. I'm so impressed that you started your own Meetup group! And it sounds really cool, especially since I love tigers : ) Hope you're doing well, and congrats on your new book!


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