Secrets of the Emerging Nerd That Is Me

Secrets of the Emerging Nerd That Is Me

nerd

[nurd]

noun Slang

an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit

Courtesy Dictionary.com

My name is J.R. and I’m a nerd.  This isn’t a new revelation to me and probably not to those who have known me for a while.  I will say one thing about the definition above and that’s that I don’t believe it has to be a nonsocial hobby or pursuit.  Don’t believe me?  What about all the Dungeons & Dragons nerds out there?  They’re being social, just with their own type.

People on the autism spectrum, especially high functioning autistics (HFA’s) like me, tend to get focused on one or two things, often to the point where it becomes an obsession.  Sometimes that’s good and other times, not so much.  Usually not so much.

J.R. Reed www.notweirdjustautistic.com Not Weird Just Autistic

The Jackalopes of the Spring Select League

For more than twenty years I played and coached ice hockey.  When I was coaching I coached at every level from Learn To Play classes, to weekly skill clinics to youth recreational leagues to travel teams to high school.  Generally, I coached at least three teams at a time and my record, including tournament teams, was eight teams at one time.  If that isn’t focusing on one thing and ignoring everything else, I don’t know what is.

Almost a year ago I moved from the sensory overload that is Southern California to the quiet and peacefulness of lakes, trees, and moonshine that is the Ozarks and I love it.  I knew I would be giving up coaching and playing, but I was ready for something new and more relaxing in my life.  What I didn’t consider was the fact that I would probably need to find another thing for me to hyper-focus on.

J.R. Reed www.notweirdjustautistic.com Not Weird Just Autistic.com

Comic Force in Branson, MO

A few months after moving here I met the owners of Comic Force, my local comic book shop and my inner nerd found what it had been looking for.  It had literally been years since I had been in a comic book store and not only is this one cool (check out the floor in the pic on the right), but it was like nerd-vana.

I had no idea that comic books had become such a huge thing and had no clue of just how many new characters there were, such as The Amazing Squirrel Girl (which I refuse to pick up and look at because it just sounds lame).   As soon as I saw that Squirrel Girl cover about fifteen nut jokes immediately went through my brain.

J.R. Reed www.notweirdjustautistic.com Not Weird Just Autistic

The DC Bombshells are an old-school male nerd’s dream come true!

I also found that DC has taken some of their most beloved characters and changed them up a bit for modern times as well as took some and made them very retro as is the case with a series I enjoy, DC’s Bombshells, a hip, cool version of Wonder Woman, Supergirl and other female heroines and villains teaming up to fight for justice during World War II.

After my head stopped spinning from all the selections they had, I looked around and finally found some titles that I was interested in.  I bought a few, and being a typical Aspie and spending hours on the tablet/computer doing research on characters, story arcs, new titles coming out and various series.  After doing that I found that I had more female comic book characters I was interested in than male characters, something I probably need to talk with my psychiatrist about.

J.R. Reed www.notweirdjustautistic.comNot Weird Just Autistic

Ant-Man & The Wasp

I guess as autistic obsessions go, comic books are pretty low level as far as being weird, scary or strange and very high level on the nerd scale.  To be fair, I do have comic books that feature male characters such as Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Doctor Strange, Deadpool and Ant-Man & The Wasp, which technically is a guy and a girl, but for this argument, at least it’s got a male character listed first.

Representing the estrogen-powered superheroes in my collection are the Bombshells, Batgirl, Wonder Woman and Black Widow.  I guess you could call me an equal opportunity comic book nerd.

“J.R.,” you ask.  “Is there a point to all this or are you just talking about comic books?”

I do have a point and that’s that as high functioning autistics, Aspies or whatever you want to call us, we generally get hyper-focused on something and, as long as it’s not porn, meth or something else harmful or potentially harmful, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  The neurotypicals (non-autistics) in our lives may not understand these things and may even call them obsessions, but they’re not obsessions.  They’re part of who we are and they’re part of the autistic traits that so many of us have.

What we as people on the spectrum need to realize is that not everyone in our lives is going to be interested in what we get caught up in and we have to understand that because we naturally want to share our knowledge with others.  Yes, the majority of us are naturally afraid of social situations, but when we find people that are like-minded and share our same interests, we can make friends both on and off the spectrum and that’s a good thing.

As much as we think we want to be alone, we really don’t.  So my challenge to all my fellow autistic nerds is to go out there this week and whether it be comic books or something else, try and find one person you can connect with and become friends with.  When we find others that share our passions and interests, life is better.

 

Want to keep up with what’s going on at Not Weird Just Autistic?  Enter your email in the upper right-hand corner where it says, “Get new posts by email” and you’ll be one of the first to get the fresh dirt on all this. 

An Asperger’s Guide To Dating Neurotypicals is out and hit #23 on the Amazon Hot New Dating Releases Chart.  You can find it on Amazon and Kindle or get an autographed copy for the same price at the J.R. Reed Author website.

Before I go, I belong to a closed Facebook groupAspergers Life Supportrun by some terrific people.  There’s a link on the right or you can click on the words in blue.  If you have Aspergers or are a loving NT of an Aspie, I definitely suggest asking to join the group.  They’re great people and have helped me on many occasions.

Photos courtesy Purple Chin Media/J.R. Reed

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An Attractive Terrific And Nerdy Prospective New Woman

An Attractive Terrific And Nerdy Prospective New Woman

To be clear, this is not the new woman.  I think this is Winnie from The Wonder Years who grew up to be a cute math nerd.  Or maybe it’s someone else.  

 

Yes, you read the title corrective.  J.R. has a possible probable new woman in his life.  When last we spoke about the topic of dating on this blog, I had sworn it off, written a book about cross spectrum dating, had it published and it’s now available on Amazon and Kindle.  Yes, that was a shameless plug, but at least it’s out of the way.

The last relationship I had wasn’t amazing and my subsequent online encounters were horrible at best.  I’m fifty-two and I had women in their sixties and even early seventies sending me messages.  Sorry, but at my age, I’m not looking for a cougar.  The last time I was online. two women flat out said that they could never date a guy with a service dog.  That really bummed me out and I swore off online dating forever.

Fast-forward a few months and, “forever,” is apparently over because I decided to give it one more shot.  The first two days were filled with wonder at women who try way too hard to make themselves look sexy, women who make me wonder what, “average,” really is in this country and women with profiles that make you want to run.

I’m pretty picky about who I send messages to.  I actually read the woman’s profile–a foreign concept to many–and when I send a message I reference things in that profile so they know I did more than look at pictures and send a message.  The third night I messaged a woman I’ll call Jo.  It’s not her real name. but it’s not a bad one. I can think of a lot worse fake names for a new woman in my life.

In three nights I found one woman that I was interested in sending a message to and I decided that was it.  If she didn’t message me back, it was all good and I would go back to the dating underground for the foreseeable future.

But something amazing happened.  This woman, who I found both attractive and intriguing based on her profile, messaged me back within a few hours.  We messaged for a while and then eventually moved to text for a day and then to talking on the phone.

After a couple days of conversations with no lulls or weird moments and after having made a date for Sunday, I decided this girl was what I was looking for and I could see us getting along.  It was then that I started thinking about when I should tell her that I have Asperger’s. 

In case you wonder why I need to tell her about my Asperger’s before our first date, the fact that I have a service dog makes it kind of necessary to drop that bomb early on.  A black lab in a service vest is hard to hide on a date…

The sparking conversation that I was offering up was certainly helping, as was my occasional wit and partial charm, so I felt very relaxed in telling the new woman that I’m up on the spectrum.  I thought it would go well, but it was even better than I imagined.

eye roll JR Reed Not Weird Just Autistic https://www.amazon.com/Aspergers-Guide-Dating-Neurotypicals-Married-ebook/dp/B07CRXSLVR/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1525282665&sr=8-2&keywords=an+aspergers+guideJo has personality, which I love, and I’ve gotten the eye roll emoji more than several times after texting things.  I don’t mind the eye roll when it’s done in fun, which is how I’m pretty sure she means it.  As I said, she has a personality which keeps the conversations fun and both of us laughing.  Also, I’m sure I’ve gotten the eye roll many times on the phone, I just can’t see it.

It’s amazing how connecting, or at least feeling the beginning of a connection, with someone can make you feel great.  Not that I was feeling bad before, but it’s nice to know that there’s someone you’re interested in who is interested in you as well.  Though we’ve “known” each other less than a week, it was cool to have her encourage me and wish me luck as I went to my book signing the other night and to actually like me for who I am.

I’m not one of those people who sugar coats things and tries to make myself look better than I am so that I can woo a woman my direction.  I’m simply myself and if she likes me, then wooing may take place at some point.  Why would I pretend to be someone I’m not so that she likes me, knowing I can’t keep that charade up forever? 

All that does is waste people’s time and both people end up getting hurt and I don’t want to hurt anyone.  That’s not how I roll.

So the bottom line is this, now I get a fresh start at creating a great relationship with a new woman and I get new (potentially) very happy chapters for one of the books I’m writing, Asperger’s Is My Superpower.  

What will happen Sunday and beyond?  I don’t know.  To quote singer Natasha Bedingfield, “The pen’s in my hand.  Ending unplanned.”  I’m taking this ride on faith, some good intuition and am going to have fun seeing where it takes me.  Or, I guess, takes us.  I’m making no assumptions, not looking too far ahead and should things look like they’re starting to work out, letting communication be what pulls us closer together.

When you find a new woman who is attractive, terrific and nerdy all at the same time, that’s a woman you want to keep around and see if you two can build a solid relationship based on friendship, honesty, and trust.   

Will we click and build something together?  Who knows.  Stay tuned and you’ll find out.  Better yet, enter your email in the upper right-hand corner where it says, “Get new posts by email” and you’ll be one of the first to get the fresh dirt on all this. 

 

Before I go, I belong to a closed Facebook groupAspergers Life Supportrun by some terrific people.  There’s a link on the right or you can click on the words in purple.  If you have Aspergers or are a loving NT of an Aspie, I definitely suggest asking to join the group.  They’re great people and have helped me on many occasions.

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