Thursday, October 3, 2013

You Could Say That I'm One of the Lucky Ones

Trey Smith

It is not uncommon at all for those of us with a form of autism to go through life without ever having an intimate teenage or adult relationship. I suppose, in this regard, you could say that I'm one of the lucky ones. While culling through boxes of old keepsakes, I came across a satchel filled with old love letters.

Upon reading a few, they seemed so quaint. I sounded like your average lovestruck teenager! Some made me laugh and a few made me tear up. Many exposed the angst I suffered from unrequited love.

While it was nice to go strolling down memory lane, I realized that, in the overall scheme of things, I can count the total number of girlfriends on less than two hands and the number of "serious" relationships on less than one hand. I have a niece who has dated more times in one year than I have in 50+ years! In fact, I think most teenagers probably have dated more in high school than I did from junior high until now.

By my count, I had two girlfriends in junior high, 1 during my high school years, two during college and two (both of whom I separate times) post-college. Of those 7, three could be categorized as "serious" ones.

My first real girlfriend in junior high told a friend of mine years later that I was a rather strange boyfriend. Not only did I never kiss her, I never even tried to hold her hand! It's not that I didn't want to do those things -- plus a few others -- it is more that I have trouble reading people and so I couldn't tell if she would be receptive.

To remedy this problem, I usually waited for the young lady to make the first and, sometimes, the second move.

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