Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Highlander Clare is not an Aspie

OK, I'm squeezing in one more post before leaving for our Annual Family reunion this Friday.  My love/hate relationship with the family reunion is something I'll post about next week, but first, I want to write about something that has intrigued me quite a bit recently.

To give some background, I, alone with the Erudite Mom, are part of a historical reenactment guild called Saint Andrew's Noble order of the Royal Scots.  What we do is reenact the court of Mary Queen of Scots in 1562, right after she came back from France, when she toured the country in Scotland in an attempt to learn about the people she ruled but had never known.  It's great, great fun, think of the best of Renaissance Faires and Scottish Games all rolled into one.  We are huge history buffs, so this was a natural.  And the garb, OH the garb is so much fun!  The people in the guild are wonderful, and the beer is awesome.

At this point, the person with an average knowledge of Asperger's is probably thinking, how the HECK can an Aspie do this?  It requires being around people all the time, and not just being around them, but communicating and interacting with them.  This hits about every Aspie stress button there is.

I must admit that I had some hesitation when I joined.  But here is the rub--my character in the guild is Highlander Clare MacAndrews, and I along with my mother Jenn are the Queen's royal mead makers and brewers.  The time we are at Faire I am always Clare, immersed completely in the experience.  I live in 1562.  I dress in period appropriate clothes, I speak in the best Faux Renaissance era Scottish accent I can muster, I only use wood and metal and leather, and I carry my tankard on my belt.  

In short, I am not myself.  

And Clare is not an Aspie.

It took me a bit to figure out just how I can pull this off and I finally figured it out--I am ACTING.  Aspies suck at small talk and we can't read people, but tell us exactly what to do, have us play a role, and we are good to go.  I am acting like Clare, I become Clare, and I am fine.  I have my role, my place, and in such a defined setting with defined tasks I am comfortable as can be.

I must admit, it is a wonderful thing indeed to be normal here and again.

God save Her Majesty!

And heck, the rest of us as well. :)

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