Several years ago I had bought various curtain rods, fabric and curtains. But plans changed and so the stuff sat. Several months ago, while going through a closet, I found the forlorn objects and realized that I had places I could put them to good use. There were naked windows that needed clothes.
I figured out where each rod and curtain was to go, but some needed adjusting, and then I got busy with other things.
Several weeks ago my husband let me know that he had “project energy” to hang the curtain rods for me. Not wanting to miss out on the opportunity, I quickly tried to remember which rod was supposed to go on which window. After hanging one of the rods, I realized that I had told him the wrong one, so he hung a second one on that window. That rod didn’t work quite right, either. But it was what I had asked for, and he had done a nice job. Oh, how I wished I had written out my plans when I had made them several weeks before!
When I came by to look at the second hanging, his comment was that he was not changing it. It was up there nicely, and he was done. So I walked away, saying, that it was fine, and I would find the time to redo it some other day. It was, after all, my fault that things were wrong.
“Stop walking away carping and tell me what you want,” was what I heard next.
“What do you mean? You already said that you were not going to change it, and you are packing up your tools, so why would I tell you anything?”
And yet again we have a classic moment of Asperger’s Syndrome vs. Neurotypical thinking. The NT thinks, “I am going to say what I feel, and see what the other person does about it.” The Aspie hears the words that the NT says, and takes them at face value, having no idea that the NT is expecting a debate.
I have heard friends say about Aspie friends that they cannot believe that the Aspie friend just went away when told to do so, and didn’t even seem to care. It’s not that the Aspie friend didn’t care. It’s that the Aspie friend was taking the NTs words at face value, not realizing that the NT expected, maybe even hoped that the Aspie would push back, saying, “No, please don’t make me go, I really want to work this out.”
My husband graciously hung a third set of curtain rods, so I promptly got my part of the bargain done and hanged the curtains so that he knew I valued his help.