During the years Kristen and I dated, I was on my best behavior. When I slipped, she seemed to find my eccentricity endearing. I remember her laughter upon discovering dozens of pictures I had taken of myself to see what I might look like to other people at any given moment: me watching TV; me about to sneeze; me on the toilet, looking pensive.
She loved the story of how I took an emergency leave from work to boil my glasses after they had fallen from my shirt pocket in a men’s room stall. She found it pitifully charming when I would stand alone at parties, kind of dancing, or follow her from room to room, unable to engage with anyone else.
That’s just how it goes with Asperger’s. Many of us who have the disorder, identified by the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger in 1944, could probably pass for normal if it weren’t for three defining characteristics: egocentricity, odd and sometimes repetitive behaviors, and an obsession with a special interest.
Remember kids, a “special interest” is different than a “special purpose.”