I have a dear long distance friend who has a blog on which she posts “Best Things of the Week” just about every week, usually with wonderfully descriptive photos of each “best thing.” I enjoy keeping up with her life this way. And now she’s inspired me. I’ve decided that, as they occur, I am going to post “Weird Things We Did This Week.” (I foresee posting under this heading weekly, but maybe we’re not as overwhelmed with weirdness as I perceive. We’ll see.) Of course, all weirdness listed will be things we did to accommodate autism. We keep hoping people realize we’re forced to do “weird things” because of the autism. I think long-term friends often forget we have an “unusual circumstance” and have grown fond of us “just being weird,” rather than “having to be a little weird because of the autism.” Now, I’m not saying I’m not a fan of weird. Intellectually, I am highly appreciative of any person, thing, natural phenomenon, whatever, that steps outside of a predictable box. But . . . hanging out in a nice, quiet, unnoticeable, easy-to-maintain box would be nice for a change, too.
So, for the first installment “Weird Things We Did This Week.”
1. Detached the kitchen bathroom fan to end its perpetual misery on my ears up to 16 hours per day. You see, Lauren insists on turning on the fan when she is just passing by the room. The ritual is to turn on the bathroom fan and light (as well as all the other light switches in the house). I’m okay with being switch police every time I walk through a room, knowing that they will be returned to the costly “UP” position the very soon “next time” Lauren walks through the room. But, the “UP” position of the fan switch is one that causes my brain hurt. It’s a LOUD fan. And I shouldn’t have to get up from what I’m doing every 2 minutes to end the assault to my ears. So the fan is now detached from its switch. (Guests, please do #2 in the hallway bathroom—which I would have preferred you did even when there was a fan in the bathroom that is OFF THE KITCHEN!)
Of course, once the (probably comforting, at least familiar) fan noise wasn’t a part of her bathroom experience, Lauren tried to replace it with another noise: That of flushing. Actually, that of constant flushing. You know, that action that costs big bucks every time you do it. You can actually hear $$$ “swoosh” with each lever push. So that made us do the 2nd “weird thing of the week”:
2. Detached the flusher to the kitchen bathroom toilet. But do not fear, guests! Should you use this particular bathroom when you visit, we will introduce you to the new-fangled way to flush the toilet. Craig rigged up a chain with a ring pull on the back of the tank that is completely invisible to anyone not actively craning to look for it behind the toilet!
(Check out that discreet and easy to pull ring in the photo below. Shhhhh . . . never point out this device to Lauren or you will be instantly SHUNNED and removed from the premises. And we mean it. We’re big fans of shunning. Craig, Bryn and I “Shun” and “Unshun” each other a lot during conversation, as needed, and just for fun.)
3. The last “weird thing we did this week” was place orders for small handgun safes in order finally to be able to store remote controls near their corresponding TV’s and DVD players. Lauren will no longer be able to access remotes and use them to irritate herself by completely screwing up her viewing experience. (Yet Craig and I will be able to find and identify them quickly and easily.) Once these little suckers arrive, Craig will no longer ever have to mute himself from a meeting he’s supposed to be leading in order to run to Lauren’s room to rescue the closed-eye, grimacing, hair-blowing-back kid from the 140dB blare of blizzard-screened TV. (Or at least that’s the theory. Taking bets on when she figures out this “last resort” solution.) The most fun thing about these little safes will be that if we are ever burglarized and a patient burglar dismantles our furniture to steal our “gun,” he’s going to be so ticked when he pries the little safe open to find 2 remote controls! Hey, he may be able to fetch a couple bucks for them on Craig’s List with thorough research into what model TV and DVD players they operate! Though, I guess if we ever left our house for that length of time (in a parallel universe scenario, perhaps) the burglars would steal our TV’s, too, so . . . all is good—they would need the remotes.