Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Series of Living Alone Moments

I haven't talked about it as much as I wish I would have, but I am still in my own place and two days ago I had a series of events that were well worth writing about.

It started when I got back from Indianapolis. When I had left I set the thermostat to 62 degrees, but when I walked in when I arrived it felt much colder than that. I checked the thermostat and it had a blank screen minus a "Replace Battery" message at the top. I have never been good at knowing the difference between an A, AA, AAA, (to me, those are divisions of baseball) and the 8 volt. I also didn't know how to even get to the battery.

After a couple seconds of sleuthing around the device I noticed that it was rather obvious as there was a big "PUSH" tab on the top. I opened it, saw the batteries that were AAA's and took note. I then unpacked and wondered whether or not I wanted to go back out to get batteries.

For a while I was firm in that my time out was over. I had just driven 260 miles and wanted to do maintain my state of doing nothing the rest of the day. Then, a chocolate craving hit and I wanted a Crunchie bar (seriously, why don't they sell these in America? I had one when I was in Vancouver in 2010 and it was amazing. You can buy them by the box on Amazon.com, but still, why can't I buy those anywhere else; hands down the best candy bar on the market) but I had no milk to go along with the candy bar. And with that I went to 7-11.

7-11 is not that far away, maybe two minutes, and when I walked in I had in my mind exactly what I needed; AAA's and milk. Not that hard of a shopping list so I walked down the aisle and picked up some batteries while looking towards the milk and I was out of there almost as fast as I was in.

When I got home I got the batteries out of the package, got the thermostat open, and was then confused as to why the AAA batteries I bought were bigger than the ones in the thermostat. The reason? I didn't pick up AAA's, but rather I got AA's that had on the package "AA4" and when in a hurry that 4 on the end looked just like an A.

So I was now in a pickle. Do I go back out into the wind and cold or do I just bear with it until the next day? I'm not lazy, but after driving for so long and getting home I get to a point of utter exhaustion and because of this I chose to stay home. Besides, it wasn't that cold.

I didn't eat the candy bar due to being mad at the battery debacle and continued the unpacking process. At some point in this time I wanted to go back to 7-11, but if I went back and the lady that had checked me out was still there, would she comment on the fact that I bought two sets of batteries that day? If so, what would I say? It was this line of thought that kept me home.

Six hours after I got back from 7-11 I finally got around to eating the candy bar. I took my first bite and then drank the milk, but something was wrong. There was a sour taste and I was sure the milk was bad. Also at this same point in time I was beginning to shiver due to it being so cold. What to do? I wanted to tough it out and that was in regards to the milk and the cold. The last thing I wanted was to have any social interaction at 7-11 about batteries or milk. After driving for so long my ability to handle anything out of the norm was not there. However, after a couple minutes of staring out into the dark, windy night I decided to go.

The entire drive back to 7-11 was filled with fear. I've never returned a gallon of milk before and I didn't have a receipt. Would I be yelled at, frowned upon and cast out? It may only be a two minute drive but it felt as if this drive would be my last. I was sure whatever was about to happen would be terminal and catastrophic.

I walked in, put the gallon of milk on the checkout area and the store manager rang it and gave me a total. I tried to find the words to say I had already bought it, but they weren't coming fast enough. I heard the total again and I wanted to pay for it an leave, but then I decided that would be the biggest defeat of my life so I found the courage and spoke up for myself. I was fearing harsh words, but what I hard was, "Oh, okay. The milk guy probably left the door open again. Want to try another one?"

The next gallon I opened was much better and I picked up the correct batteries and headed home. My place felt colder than before and I quickly exchanged the batteries and when the screen came up it was a icy 49 degrees in my place. I quickly turned the heat on and settled in for an evening of nothingness.

1 comment:

  1. This happens many times with people in the community setting- neurotypicals and individuals with autism alike.

    Imagine you are at a fast food restaurant. You ordered some food and all of a sudden you found something gross in it. Would you call someone immediately to complain... or would you wait a few hours later to complain? You have a better case if you complain ASAP. Similarly, in problems like what you described, you should go back to the 7-11 ASAP, too. I could care less what other people at the shop perceive me at this point because you are the customer AND you are not in countries where doing such things are very difficult relatively speaking. If you are in Hong Kong, this scene would have been more stressful for you, I guarantee it (because I lived there for 11 years)... because the workers most likely are less likely to give in and allow you to do that with the milk and batteries!