A few nights ago during a pleasant evening at a hotel where the food and conversation seemed O-so-perfect, the topic of other people’s children came up. I don’t mean ‘other people’s children’ as a generic topic, I mean a specific set of other people’s children. Along with the usual gushing about how bright they were was another comment that made my ears prick up. I shall paraphrase.
“I hadn’t seen them for a year but they came running over and gave me such a big hug! It was really sweet. They hardly knew me but I got such a welcome!”
Fellow aspies are probably shaking their heads right now, possibly shuddering or cringing a little. Not just because hugging people other than your romantic partner is weird but because it’s odd that this is seen as such a positive trait. As if the ability to display excesses of affection to virtual strangers is something to be applauded.
OK, so those children may well have made that person’s week, but if they hadn’t been so enthusiastic would it have made them worth less as human beings?
Perhaps my paranoia was being over-enthusiastic. I felt a sting of the old ‘what about me?’ mentality rising up as I choked back my rebuttal at the dinner table.
It’s true, I don’t want to hear about how bright and gifted and sociable and wonderful other people’s children are. I’m content to be happy for them from a distance. I certainly don’t want my nose rubbed in it.
If you’re sick of hearing how great other people’s (especially children’s) social skills are leave a comment!