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Language Log

Friday, Oct. 07, 2011 - 8:02 a.m.

Well, I managed to miss the sister. Did talk to her on the phone when she was at the airport. That was bad enough. Although I can't decide whether phone conversations are on balance better or worse than in-person. They tend to be shorter, which is a plus, but the lack of visible feedback and my lack of practice makes it more difficult.

I just have to remind myself that I am slightly autistic, and then I feel better about it all. I don't know whether that's actually true (probably not), but it makes me feel better.

Example: She says, "Well, you sound good." I have no idea what to say in response. Lots of these formula things I have learned by paying attention to what other, normal people say in response, but I haven't encountered this one before. "Thanks"? No, that doesn't seem right. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking. I have to say something! So I intone, "As do you." And then immediately realize that whatever the right thing was, that wasn't it. A long pause ensues. Then I start babbling, apologizing for my terrible social skills, blaming them all on spending so much time in the sole company of a toddler. Which is of course totally false, but I'm going to get some mileage out of that while I can. Used to be I could blame grad school, but no more.


Anyway, it's over with now.

It's funny how I can recognize when others say strange things, but I fail to be able to control it in my own interactions. If I have enough time, I can run it by myself, "if you heard someone say x, would that sound ok? Or weird?", but usually there isn't enough time for all that when you're having an actual converastion. And to most people these things aren't charming or quirky, but just strangely off-putting. Which is why I've been so popular all of my life.

*sigh* Ok. Enough of that. I do my best, that's all I can do.

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