Whenever anyone doubts the subtle differences in how people view the world – social interaction (most of us) vs. visual detail (a common Asperger strength) – I like to share an experience of mine that happened a few years ago.
My husband, son and I went out for lunch at a pancake restaurant. The same pancake restaurant, I should add, where Grandpa often takes our son as a special treat.
I noticed immediately that the waiter seemed to know my son. There’s that indefinable something that happens – facial expression, the brief puzzlement before clarification in the eyes, etc – when someone recognizes another. My mind was occupied with this during our walk to the table and the ordering process.
After our lunches arrived, I dropped my fork on the floor. My husband instantly informed me that there was a ‘waiter’s station’ at the front, complete with silverware, extra napkins, and menus, and told me exactly where to go to replace my dirty fork.
Flabbergasted, I asked him how he could possibly know this. Naturally, he said, he’d seen it (despite the fact that it was around a corner in a dimly lit area, and not meant to be noticed at all) immediately after we entered, when the waiter selected his weapons of trade and then seated us.
Did he notice that the waiter knew our son? Of course not. He was just as floored as I had been about the waiter’s station (We did eventually work out that he must have waited on Grandpa & Grandson, which they confirmed later).
We live in two different worlds, my hubby and I… thankfully, they complement each other very nicely. Plus, I’ll always know where to go when I drop my fork. 😉