Okay, my husband and son may enjoy going to the same places – routines, comfort levels, and all of that – but it’s always a roller coaster ride, no matter whether it’s the beach, the mountains, or anywhere in between.
This past week was our yearly trip to the beach.
And yes, we always go to the same place. This ensures that we know the route, everyone’s comfortable with the area, the timeshare is a known quantity (no surprise lack of bathtubs, moldy rugs, lack of non-smoking rooms, or other hidden disasters), and we always know what to pack and what we’re getting into.
It’s the little things that count.
Choosing a familiar – and comfortable – place means a much lower stress level. This begins even before we leave; instead of last-minute panic or worry over travel and supplies (I’ve heard stories of screaming, panicky people… maybe even seen some of it 🙂 ), they know what’s coming. There are no bad surprises lurking behind the corner.
Except, of course, that life is inherently unpredictable. There will be surprises. But sticking with the known lessens the chance that they’ll swat us upside the head and leave us reeling. And our particular vacation spot has had a good track record for remaining predictable and trouble-free.
But not this time. This time, it was the air conditioning that decided to fail. On a Sunday.
The upstairs air conditioner’s drain line plugged up and, of course, the water had to find an exit somewhere. “Somewhere” turned out to be the ceiling just above our timeshare’s tiny kitchen.
Lots of water. Unhappy people.
But we knew it would be taken care of. We notified the appropriate people – it was Sunday, so I felt bad for interrupting their day off – and eventually a repairman came out and fixed the problem.
This kind of incident, however, is exactly the kind of ‘bad surprise’ that can disrupt peace of mind for someone with Asperger’s Syndrome. It’s exactly the stuff of nightmares – totally unforeseen, very upsetting, so many bad outcomes – for someone like my husband.
Sometimes, we can’t help being who we are.
I can’t help the fact that dealing with roaches and spiders leaves my skin crawling and my dignity shattered. I can’t help the fact that some situations press all my buttons and transform me into a nervous wreck in the matter of moments. So many of us can’t help our extreme reactions to whatever it is that bothers us.
What we can do is apologize if we’ve upset anyone in the process. And then, if we’re dealing with decent people, they will forgive us and see past the emotional blip to the good people we are inside.
I’m proud to be married to someone who can do this. Who doesn’t pretend that he is perfect, but deals squarely with his imperfections and tries to correct them as best he can. Who can recognize when his behavior is out of line and apologize for it afterwards.
We had a lovely trip. The water was warm, the weather breezy, and the beach pristine. Next year, however, we may try somewhere new.
I can’t wait.