Monday, 16 April 2018

What is Friendship?


Hello again. Here I am on a Sunday night, at home with all my friends writing on the subject of friendship.  I'm really here with Mr 14 while the rest of the brood are at a soccer game. Details. This may be a short and rambling post due to the fact that I'm trying to type this with a dodgy laptop where the backspace key doesn't work. Very annoying. Especially when you're a crappy typer like me.  But anyway, I'll try.

So, yes. Friendship. Let's talk about it.

Recently, my shrink suggested that I should make some friends. I explained that I DO have friends but the same ones for twenty plus years. I never make new friends. I certainly never belong to any mum cliques. You know, the ones gossiping at the school gates. Totally my fault. I get in and out quickly and don't hang around to gossip. The couple of times I thought maybe I was becoming friendly with another mum, I obviously misread the situation or didn't respond or reciprocate appropriately. I don't know. I'm aspie and socially awkward. I guess I come across as weird to others.

But aren't true friends supposed to accept your brand of weirdness? Luckily, I do have friends who do this, so I won't spend too much time worrying about the others. Not everyone will like you and that's fine. I'm an introvert. I'd rather have a small amount of real friends than a bunch of phonies or what I call "fair weather friends". I've definitely been there.



As a child and teen I struggled to make friends. I suffered from excruciating shyness, I was so quiet I was practically mute (not much has changed there), and as it turns out, I was autistic, but didn't know at the time. No wonder I struggled!

Typically, I would have one friend, and due to all of the above, I tended to be clingy and needy. Unfortunately I was (and am) somewhat naive and sweet. This clinginess and naivety often attracted toxic so called friends. It became particularly problematic as I progressed into young adulthood.

There was one person in particular who had been my best friend since childhood. Her behaviour towards me become appalling. Eventually I had to say something and I hate confrontations, so it was a huge challenge for me. Long story short, I removed her from my life. In a weird way I'm grateful to her. It was her actions and the dissolution of our friendship that led to me joining rotaract. This is where I met my real friends and Mickey Blue Eyes.

So thanks, former "best friend". I forgive you and am grateful. I hope things worked out for you as well and you've found the sort of friends you want. I know it wasn't me.

To be fair, maybe I am not the ideal friend for a lot of folks. Especially in the sense of being hospitable and inviting people over for dinner or barbecues. Hosting parties, that sort of thing. I'm not great at being in charge, at organising things. I prefer to blend in, so to speak, at social gatherings.

I've gradually come to realise that due to my limitations/quirks/autistic traits or whatever you want to call it, I am not going to be able to give some people what they expect or require in a friendship. I guess it comes down to this thing called reciprocity that us aspies seem to struggle with. It's weird because inside I feel like I'm a warm, sincere person and genuinely interested in others. But I guess I don't convey that in actions and demeanour.

Meanwhile, due to the magic of Facebook I've been able to reconnect with a bunch of people I went to high school with. I spent most of high school in the corner, nose in a book, being ignored. But as it turns out, I don't think I was universally loathed the way I thought at the time. When you're a teenager the word revolves around YOU! In retrospect, I think people just left me to it because they figured I was happy enough alone. Mostly I was, but even the most introverted of introverts craves friendship. '




Of course there's always online friends. This is where I can shine. And you're all invited here! .That's another question. Do you need to meet in person to be considered real friends? I've connected with people online but have never transferred those connections to real life. It's definitely easier for me to interact online, but then there's a whole new world of "FOMO"and odd things to navigate. Sigh.

I guess there will always be certain things about friendship that are confusing for me. But my short answer to this conundrum? 

In summary, friendship is accepting quirks and not being a fair weather friend. And at this point I would have to add it's also being able to go for long periods between catching up but still feeling like it was yesterday when you do. I haven't caught up with any friends since...never mind...

What about you?

What is friendship to you?


Monday, 2 April 2018

Foods I Dislike


Most weeks I schlep out to the shops with my parents to have coffee and do a bit of shopping. On one such occasion, we were unpacking groceries into the boot of my parents car. We heaved bag after bag until there was no more room. 

"Christ, we must EAT!' my mother remarked. I laughed and agreed. My life is a non-stop round of food food FOOD.

Thinking about what food to buy, buying the food, putting it away. Preparing the food, cooking the food, serving the food. Then doing this all over again infinitum. As much as I love food, it can get a bit repetitive and dreary at times.

I know, I know. First world problems, for sure. I am certainly grateful for the abundance of food available to me.  That I never have to go hungry.

Luckily, there are not too many foods I dislike. I was rather more picky as a child. This was the result of being thoroughly spoiled by my mum's superb culinary ability. I swear she could have been Margaret Fulton or someone, only BETTER.  As a child,I turned my freckled nose up at the inferior offerings others presented me with.

Store bought cakes or apple pie? Poison.

Chunky hearty soups? Yuck.

Tinned spaghetti? The HORROR.

If only such an attitude had persisted into adulthood. I'd be svelte and smug instead of plump and sheepish. These days I'll pretty much eat anything that isn't nailed down. And let's be real, probably try to prise off anything that IS nailed down.

Well, ALMOST anything. There are a select few foods that even this glutton isn't too thunderstruck about.

Such as:

CELERY

Stringy, bland, chewy and just plain BLAH, celery must be one of the most joyless foods nature provided. Naturally, celery is good for you. Low in calories, packed with anti-oxidants, and supposedly, calming for the nervous system. So the internet tells me, anyway. Must be true, right. 😉

In short, a healthy snack option.  A shame I'd rather snack on my own toe nails. I CAN eat it disguised in a stir-fry, soup or coleslaw, but it's still not my favourite. As for munching on a stalk for the sake of it  - it's a definite NO from me.




COTTAGE CHEESE

Often teamed with the above celery is this delectable delight. Except it isn't. Delectable, that is. Or delightful in any way whatsoever. I'm not going to describe what it reminds me of. You can probably guess. In a bid to be healthy, I foolishly purchased a tub of this chunder. Oops, I said it...

It's now languishing in the fridge. I need to chuck it out NOW instead of avoiding the inevitable. Why do torture myself?

SARDINES

I just don't like them. They're too... fishy...

Surprisingly, I quite like canned tuna, and even salmon. But sardines make me shudder. And just to make it worse, you can also buy them swimming in tomato sauce. Bleerrrggghhh.

Maybe I just haven't tried fresh ones. I don't know. But for now, it's not just a no. It's a HELL, NO!

BRUSSELS SPROUTS




These little fart balls from hell are no doubt packed with nutrition. I don't care. Put them in front of me and I will pout and refuse to eat them with the sheer determination laced with disgust of your average three year old.

Nope, nope, nopity NOPE.

OTHER FOODS I AM AMBIVALENT ABOUT:

TINNED BEETROOT

I must admit I have a bizarre love/hate relationship with this staple of good old-fashioned Aussie hamburgers. Once in a blue moon I crave and covet some beetroot with the intensity I usually reserve for cakies. Then, just as quickly, it absolutely revolts me. I cannot even bear to look at it, swimming in a sea of it's own crimson blood in a container in the fridge. Inevitably, the container ends up spilling and resembling  a murder scene, and I'm left wondering why I bothered indulging my short lived craving.

BAKED BEANS

More farty goodness. Don't get me wrong, a good old baked bean jaffle with cheese can be just the thing on a bleak winter's day when you feel like pretending  it's still 1978. Just me?

Then, inexplicably, it's just NOT.  Baked beans are another love/hate kind of thing for me. Sometimes they hit the spot. Other times they hit the garbage can. Fast. 


There you have it. The foods I dislike. 

There are probably others, but why waste time and energy on them when there's cake and chocolate in the world. That's what I say.

What about you?

What foods do you dislike?