With a flourish, the aspie rounds off the argument with,
'And anyway, everyone has a kettle!'
This may sound like the very end of a deconstructive monologue on modern consumerism, or it may sound too random even for that. In fact, many arguments with an aspie start and end with a Declaration.
Aspies are very focused people. To survive in the modern world, with no handbook, we need to know what things mean. Angry faces mean angry people, raised voices mean shouting, going to work means getting paid.
There is also this logical, slightly rigid outlook when describing objects. If we have a house with big windows, then a house with small windows is totally feasible but our image of a house will have big windows.
This is a very simplistic way of explaining that aspies see things the way they have grown up seeing them and have learnt to see them. Being rigid in the way we visualise certain aspects of life leaves our minds free to tussle with the harder to understand elements, like human behaviour.
It's not that we aren't capable of knowing life has many variations - we are amazingly complex people, you know! It's more that if we are to cope with these variations, we need some constants to keep us sane.
If I had to file through all the known variables of what people use as kettles every time I want to talk about making a cup of tea, then I would never get to the tea. I have to take it as a rule that everyone has a kettle. My ability to divert down other paths means if I hesitate and visualise the many kinds of kettle, then I will become absorbed in it and forget about the tea.
Imagine it: I want to talk about making tea but I suddenly visualise a beautiful, shining, old-fashioned copper-bottomed kettle, sitting on a hob, waiting to whistle. Very different from my cheap old plug-in but still a kettle. Then I remember the time the kettle broke and I had to boil water in a pan to make tea. Or the time before that, when I still had the microwave, and I tried using that to boil water for tea (just don't).
From there, the sky's the limit. Do I venture off into doll's house miniature kettles? Do I divert from that into kiddie-sized wooden kitchens with plastic kettles? Do I go sideways to coffee machines? Do I hop over to tea-makers?
Do I ever get to making the tea?
So, for the sake of your sanity and my need to talk about tea, let's just say everyone has kettles! I know it's not true; statistically there will be some people who (I blush to say it) don't drink tea or coffee. And there will be some who use other methods (like doll's house miniatures, for all I know).
But for now, everyone has kettles. And if that translates into everyone has _______ (fill in the blank) then forgive me, it's a short cut to a successful conversation.
And for those times when I argue the point and am adamant that everyone has a kettle? I'm sorry, I may believe it when I debate with you, red-faced and finger in the air. Or I may just be very tired of being told I'm wrong in the middle of stressful, complicated conversations.
Deal with it. Everyone has a kettle, okay?