A lot of posts I write will inevitably be focusing on the things about Asperger’s that make life difficult; after all, the diagnostic criteria are based on deficits (for a positive spin, read Discovery criteria for aspie by Attwood and Gray). So here I wanted to share something that brought me great joy.
At the beginning of my “Emotional Overload” post I told you that I had sent my favorite band a link to the blog post I wrote about naming this blog after one of their songs. And I shared that I got a little notification that Charlie from the band “liked” my post; I appreciated so much that he actually took the time to read it.
This past Friday Dad and I drove 5 hours to Columbus, OH to see Jars of Clay yet again. Normally we don’t go that far just for a Jars concert, but I had never been to one of their Christmas shows and I got a deep desire to go. . . and my dad never says “No” to a concert. Music is an aspie-fixation we share, and we’ve built a lot of wonderful memories traveling to shows together over the years.
We gave ourselves a large time buffer for the trip and made great time, so we arrived about 2 hours before the Meet and Greet was scheduled. The venue served food in the front, and as we were about to sit down at a booth Charlie saw us (before we saw him, this time) and came over to say hi. I thought to get a picture.
He was supposed to be heading back for the sound check, but he talked with us for a few minutes about the tour, answered Dad’s question about shooting a music video in the Philippines, and listened to Dad’s story about one of my first concert experiences. Then he turns to me and says, “Oh, and I really liked your blog, by the way.” *invisible internal happy-dance*
While Dad and I ate our early dinner we listened to the band run through “Loneliness and Alcohol” for their sound check, and I was feeling so extremely happy after that interaction that eating was almost upsetting my stomach.
We had a nice time exchanging a few words with the rest of the band at the Meet and Greet, and Jude kindly rounded up the guys for a group photo. They also graciously signed a set-list I grabbed from the stage after the show.
Dad and I were able to stand right up front against the stage – it isn’t the best for sound balance, but it’s just so much fun! This is what it looked like:
Years ago I had recognized that my love for the band was bordering on obsessive (creating a website, being highly active in the wonderful Jarchives community, etc) and I consciously toned it down; I didn’t know at the time that it was an Aspie “special interest”/fixation, but I knew that things like stalking are socially unacceptable. 😉 But any of you who are on the spectrum will know how important special interests can be, and so you will probably understand why I had such a wonderful, joyful day. Dad and I used to get excited when we could tell they recognized us from the many concerts we had attended; thinking of Charlie coming over to chat with us and bringing up the topic of my blog post truly warms my heart. If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to check out their music. You can even download some for free on NoiseTrade.com.