This past February I received a call from my aunt. She had been telling people about me and someone had contacted her about a girl in South Pasadena named Miriam Albin.
My aunt informed me that Miriam was really smart, into anthropology, had Asperger syndrome and was quite pretty. At which point I stopped my aunt to tell her that I was already looking at a picture of this girl. As soon as I heard the name I Googled her and found her Facebook page. (Life in the twenty-first century.) Soon afterward, I received an email from Miriam. Apparently, she had Googled me in turn, found this blog and failed to be offended by its contents. So we started talking, largely through Skype. (Long distance dating in the twenty-first century.)
There was something absolutely refreshing about dating an Asperger. While we do have our differences (she likes the South Pacific and is all bubbly and friendly, while I like European history am usually found lurking in a corner contemplating taking over the world), it is amazing how similar our learned defense mechanisms are. We both fear accidentally giving offense to people over things beyond our understanding so constantly ask people whether we are bothering them or what they would like. Applying this method to another Asperger leads to some good comic exchanges:
"Is it socially appropriate for me to say this?"
"I have no idea."
"Do you care if it is socially appropriate?"
And then there are the back and forth monologues to be mediated the following way:
"Sorry for going on a random side tangent. I can stop now if you are not interested."
"Is this one of your special interests and does monologuing about this topic make you happy?"
"Ok as long as you do the dishes while you monologue."
Being informed that there are aspects to building a relationship that cannot be conducted over Skype, I flew out to Los Angeles in April for a weekend. I met her parents and they found me to be an Asperger, who is also responsible. Following quid pro quo logic naturally, she flew out in June to meet my family and they found Miriam to be an Asperger, who is also lovable.
The next step was for me to make this a short distance relationship so I moved out to South Pasadena. Miriam's parents liked me so much that they agreed to put me up. Miriam lives nearby in a different house. Admittedly this was an unconventional living arrangement, but I think we both gained a lot from it. We have been doing all the day to day things that a married couple does besides actually sharing a house and sleeping together. Things like preparing dinner, cleaning the dishes and figuring out whose turn it is to monologue.
(To be continued ...)