Creatively wrong...again




It's okay to get things wrong (you tell yourself), everyone gets things wrong sometimes (ninth time in one day), you can be forgiven for not always being right (just once in a while would be good).

It's easy to put yourself down when you get confused easily, especially if you suffer from the kind of confusion where you were absolutely sure you were completely right, up until two seconds ago when you found out how wrong you were this time.

Being confused is what I expect of myself these days. I know I'll be wrong, I wait for it and look for it coming along then try to dodge it at the last minute.

If you know confusion is just around the corner it can make you nervous, uncertain of yourself, more likely to make the mistakes which label you as a Confused Person. Don't let Dilly-Dally do it, people will say, she gets it wrong more often than she gets it right - and then she argues with you about it!

The arguing part comes naturally to many aspies, including myself. I am used to being wrong but when I'm sure I'm right, then I stand my ground. Usually this lasts for as long as it takes the other person to prove, irrevocably, that I am actually not in the right. Then I mutter my apologies and go off, still suspicious of the whole thing and secretly wondering if I am right after all.

Then there's getting it wrong and being able to take it in your hands and create something wonderful, like a beautiful glass ball full of butterflies. You fling it up into the air to see them break free and fly, fly away...unless the ball hits the ground because you never could throw and all the butterflies are mashed to a rainbow pulp which you have to clean up because it's your mess.

This is what happens when I try to cover being wrong by somehow, creatively, making it right in a different way. It can be done, sometimes people are fooled, but usually it happens like this:

Small child, lisping: Look at my picture!
Me, with carefully-practiced genuine enthusiasm: Oh, that's lovely!
Small child: Do you like it?
Me: Yes, I really do, it's a very pretty gazelle.
Small child: It's a fox...

(A moment's pause as I give Small Child an are-you-serious? look, then cue the butterflies)

Me: Well, it would make a very good gazelle because gazelles are almost the same colour as foxes and really not that big and [warming to my theme] if the continents hadn't shifted when they did and weather patterns had developed differently then you might be drawing gazelles instead of foxes anyway. Right?

Small Child carefully retrieves picture and frowns.

Small Child: Foxes eat chickens.

(Admire triumphant randomness of Small Child then, unable to stop self)

Me: And so do you!

Some time later, once Small Child has recovered from realising what they have on their plate and where it comes from and that they are a human version of a chicken-stealing, farmer-baiting, cute-nosed predator, I leave, wondering when I will learn not to do this kind of thing.

I don't know why being wrong, which is so familiar, inspires me to try to work it round to being right, or at least diverting the conversation so far away that the other person forgets I was wrong in the first place. I guess it comes from wanting to lighten the mood after I've shown my confusion all over again.

Also, really, shouldn't all small children understand about continental drift? They like dinosaurs, don't they? Aren't the shifting continents natural progressions from all that?

And why shouldn't they know what their food used to be? It's only fair to the chickens - and the gazelle.

Amanda




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