Pizza and Passwords

This is the kind of experience I mean when I say that I’m getting better at surfing the chaos.  Life gets chaotic and you have to cope and still make good decisions under duress.  My balance was better this time, I stood up on the board, I still wiped out, but somehow, when it was all done, I ended up standing on the beach in dry clothes.  

We tried to go to the Autism Family Pizza Night, but apparently, I forgot to note that all future meetings will be on the first Monday, not Wednesday.  Thank you, Darling man-o-mine for adding, “Oh yeah, I remember that.” AS we were at the restaurant where the support group obviously was not.  Oooh I wanted to bite him.  Grrrr.

I was able to laugh about it, and the evening wasn’t a complete bust.  We did promise the kids pizza, so we went to CiCi’s Pizza, as it’s about $30 cheaper than Beau Jo’s.  And I’ve finally discovered my favorite pizza there:  The Garlic Italiano Pizza on thin crust. Image

I was starving when we got there and ate too much of this pizza.  OMG all the edges were thin and crispy and everything tasted great.  No dessert, a plate of salad, and more of that pizza!  The kids had a good time, and they managed to chivvy a dollar each out of us for the dopey toys they have there.  By the time we left (on a school night) I was exhausted, and worked really hard to keep from slipping into a food coma in order to drive us home safely, while he snored softly next to me.  Grrrr. 

Told the kids to get ready for bed, and I ran up to the bathroom when we got home and was having a quiet moment, when I hear my Darling yell in a panic, “I lost it!  OMG I lost it.”  His flash drive wasn’t in his pocket anymore.  The flash drive with ALL of the passwords, security questions, account numbers, the whole shebang.  Red Alert!  Security Breach!!

What followed was a justifiable freak-out on his part, because that is a massive fuck up.  Accidental, but whoosh, he’s normally so calm and all together.  He called CiCi’s and asked them to look for it.  No luck.  He was convinced it had fallen out of his pocket when he took out that dollar, and he remembered that there was a big gap between the booth and wall where it could’ve fallen.

I ended up driving back down to CiCi’s while he sat and stewed at home with the kids.  I tore the place up and found no flash drive.  Nearly an hour later, I came back home and pulled up my copy of the important file in question and we both started canceling things and changing passwords.  I was NOT a happy camper.  Tired as I was, I was cranky and he was freaked out. 

Thank goodness for technology.  Even though technology created this problem, at least the technology of my laptop and cordless phone allowed me to work in a room away from him.  We tried sitting in the kitchen together on two computers, but he stressed me out and I was barely holding it together myself.  I made myself coffee, and went up to the office.  I’d change one and call him, discuss which one I was going to do next, then repeat. 

I finally got fed up about 1 am, and nearly had to forcibly drag him from his computer.  But we did get to bed.  Unfortunately, there was some electronic device that was obviously losing it’s charge in our bedroom.  I didn’t recognize the noise, I couldn’t find the thing, it kind of sounded like a phone, but who knows.  We were definitely too tired to find it and it softly beeped all night long every 7 minutes or so.  (I still haven’t figured out what this was.) 

He took time off the next morning so he could go to the bank with me, which I appreciated.  I got the kids ready for school, I got his lunch ready, then past the time we would normally leave to take him to work, I announced that I was going to make myself a bagel.  Made my Darling sigh.  TS I said.  I’m planning on being gone all day and I need some breakfast, too.  grrrr.  The irritation was still strong. 

We got to the bank, just before 8, to discover that the lobby didn’t open til 9, which is when he had to be at work.  The drive-thru can’t handle debit card replacement.  Grrrrr….that made me cry a bit.  He said, just drive!  Let’s see if there’s another branch open earlier. 

And I then pointed out that my brand-new-super-special iPhone doesn’t seem to be finding cellular data.  Which means I can’t search my map for other branches.  While he argues with me that I must just have something set wrong, I drive over to Starbucks to mooch some of their wi-fi.  (Can’t go in, as I have no debit card, no credit card, and very limited cash.) 

As I sat there, munching my bagel, I realized, “This is silly, while he talks to the bank on the phone I can come up with a new plan.  Go back to the bank, write a check for cash.  Take him to work early.  Get gas and move on with my day.”  I dug through my purse for my rarely used checkbook and discover that I have ONE check left.  “Hooray!  As long as I can fill out a check correctly, the plan should work!” 

I drove back to the bank, same parking lot, thankfully.  I went back to the drive up window, easily got some cash, I go to take the cash and my ID, and the wind caught my driver’s license and I drop it outside the car.  Grrrrrrr.   

I open my door, but it’s locked.  I have moderately old-school door locks on this car, you have to push the button to lock or unlock them, they don’t just open automatically.  So I unlock it, and the button doesn’t go up, the door remains locked.  I locked and unlocked them again.  Still stuck.  Thankfully, this wasn’t the first time it happened.  I had to turn off the car, take my keys out of the ignition, use the key fob to unlock, and the door magically opened.  Had to get completely out of the car to reach my ID, and I found like 4 pens that people had dropped.   

After experiencing this many irritations, in the past, I would’ve lost it at this point.  I quite possibly would have been stuck at the bank, crying at the drive up window, locked in my car, with a line behind me.  Obviously, I’ve evolved a bit.  I smiled and laughed, squeezed into that tight space, put the pens on the ledge at the window, started my car and drove away.  Granted, I didn’t get my money or ID put away right then, but I just wanted to get the heck outta there. 

He dealt with changing our tellerphone ID while talking to the bank and I drove him to work.  And he said, please come in and check around my cube to see if possibly I lost it at work.  (For those of you who don’t know, my Darling is legally blind, and I’m often his seeing-eye dog.)  I walked up to his cubicle looked around, checked his computer and said, “This one?”   

The flash drive had been left in his computer all night.  It had never been in his pocket, it never even went to CiCi’s.  Holy batshit. 

OK, relief.  Now I’m not worried that I have to stop using variations of my favorite password.  Now he doesn’t have to recreate hours of work he’s done on various spreadsheets.  Crap! that was dumb not to go to work first.  I could’a thought’a that! 

I had already forgiven him for his mistake the night before.  In that moment, I forgave him for putting me through all that annoyance.  I forgave myself for following him while in the throes of a freak-out.  (Note to self:  One of us has to remain level headed and it doesn’t always have to be him.) 

I hugged him and told him I loved him and I was calm.  While I waited for the bank to open, I went and got gas with my cash.  When the bank opened, they were wonderful.  They simply printed me a new debit card and activated it.  Very simple process, and I got to keep my old PIN that I finally memorized. 

I felt stunned as I walked out of the bank, shiny new debit card, flash drive in his pocket at work where it belonged.  It was like I’d been hit by a giant wave of water, knocked around, turned upside down, swallowed a bunch of it, nearly drowned me, and then it gently set me down, in the sunshine, dry, but with completely different clothes on.  (What??  Tsunami!!!??  What tsunami?  Everything is completely fine.)  Traumatic experience with no aftereffects, nothing left to clean up. 

Life has a sense of humor.

 I’m not sure why this “accident” happened.  I know there’s no accidents, though.  Maybe this was a wake-up call for my husband to be more careful with important files.  Maybe this was a test.  Maybe there is going to be a security breach in the near future, and I’ll be really happy that we changed all of our passwords.  Maybe I shifted universes and created that flash drive in a safe place.  Maybe it was my angels reminding me that security is an illusion, or maybe it’s that adversity is an illusion.

With as much growling as I did, I’m pretty sure that I’m still working some things out in 3-D, not quite ready for ascension yet…but I’m getting closer. 




OK Autism, I’m Aware, But Not Sure Why I Should Celebrate

Autism Awareness is everywhere, and we’re very new to this diagnosis. I’m still processing it all and I’m not completely convinced that I need a puzzle necklace or blue light bulbs to show support of autism.
Oh, I’m aware of autism, as I sit here I’m listening to my son screaming because he doesn’t want to take a shower. (The one he promised he’d take because he didn’t want a bath last night.) I’m quite aware of autism.  Autism HATES me, “hates me forever apparently,” and hates me quite personally, why should I show support of it?  I don’t want to ‘like’ autism.  I want to say, “yo autism, bite me!”I don’t show support of autism, I’m running up against it every day. I love my son, he is who he is. Nothing is going to cure him and make an intrinsic part of him go away. I wish I could make things easier for him, but I accept that this is his journey.   I have my own journey, which is learning enough so that I can help him make sense of this insane world and find his own way in it.  And, just because I have high expectations, I expect that I will do so with humor and grace and love.

Is it wrong that I want my child to be able to embrace his weirdnesses, and yet grow-up and at the least have the choice to behave as if he’s normal?  I mean, I’ve, mostly, learned how to pass myself off as normal.  Almost all of the time now, I can sit with a group of grown-ups in a serious situation, and guard my reactions and emotions enough that I don’t make the strange off-comment that makes them wonder, or laugh when it’s not officially a joke.  By the time the meeting is over, not one of them would guess that I’m as weird as I am.  Especially in groups of very serious grown-ups, I sometimes seethe with pent up laughter as I see the absurdity that goes on.
Sometimes I’ve felt like I’m so different from everyone else, that I’m an observer of the human race.  “I’ve learned to rub blue mud in my bellybutton” whenever the natives do, so they don’t notice me noticing them.  These humans are touchy and don’t like to be laughed at.  Hide behind this book and don’t stare directly at them. ::chuckle::  I can pass as one of them when I need a job, or go to court, or go out in public.
I’m not terribly surprised that my son isn’t ‘normal’ when I don’t feel perfectly normal, myself.  I know that his brain isn’t wired like mine is.  He may be like me in some ways, but he appears to be using a completely different operating system than I am.  The throws out non-sequiturs that make my brain hurt.  He interprets sensations differently.  He loves drama and I prefer comedy.
What I haven’t figured out is how ‘lighting it up blue’ is going to help my son quit freaking out.  I’m puzzled as to why a puzzle tattoo helps some people cope.  I don’t want to buy a blue scarf, or put a puzzle piece on my facebook, my car, or my person.  I am willing to accept that some people do want to do these things, but I’m not completely convinced that awareness of (the word or the disorder) autism is actually providing any comfort or support for those who are living with autism.
Our money is going towards insurance co-payments.  Asking me for donations or charitable purchases of stuff I don’t need right now feels a bit annoying.  I feel a bit like I’ve been tapped as a whole new income stream.  I’m aware already, now what?
Personally, I’m busy trying to understand my son, with his own individualized version of autistic traits and behaviors, and figure out how to help myself cope in a manner that supports my well-being.  It’s frustrating because there are not many people experiencing exactly what I’m experiencing.
Sure, there’s 1 in 8 who are being diagnosed as autistic, but they’re all different.  There’s a whole lot of contrast out there showing me how blessed my family really is because autism is a big spectrum.  Sure, I want to offer support to those who really need it, but I’d rather it wasn’t just a ‘show’ of support.  Meaningful support is what I’m looking to give and receive.  I’m not convinced that meaningful support can be provided by a one size fits all project.
Sigh, another conundrum for another moment because the tantrum is over, the shower is done, and he’s sorry that he yelled.  Apparently, all the stress washed away for awhile, and there’s my son again and he loves me.