Sunday, June 29, 2008

Rufus = Still Weird

Well, here's the latest in the ongoing Carnival of Weird Rufus Quirks: I have a tendency to do things until I feel that I've "perfected" them. This can seem very studious when it comes to learning everything about a particular topic; until that is, it's time to actually write something on the topic and I'm still memorizing minutiae that nobody but me sees the importance of. Then, it just seems a little autistic.

It also seems a little autistic when I memorize a daily walk, learning where every building, bit of grafitti, plant, animal, and trashcan is. I was amazed to find, upon returning to Nantes after two years, that I could still find remarkably obscure things like particular phonebooths. Admittedly, when I was here in 2006, I thought to myself how nice it would be to make the same walks every day until I had "perfected" them, and then perhaps write a book on the places in those walks. I only vaguely understand why this might not seem like a great idea to others.

I think this might be what they call "stereotyped behaviors". It's not the same as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder though: I don't have any need to arrange cupboards a particular way or open a door three times before leaving the house. It's not so much specific rituals that I invent as it taking me a really long time to do the normal things I'm supposed to do. So, taking notes on a book can be very time-consuming. On the other hand, I can easily sit and read a book for 11 hours straight.

The problem is that I get stuck in particular grooves easily. So, something like the Internet is a nightmare for me. I can "check" the same five websites over and over for four hours. In fact, the Internet is probably more addictive than anything else for me. I really do need to cut down to maybe a half hour a day.

So, I'm just throwing this out there. My mother acts very much the same way, so I've likely gotten the personality type from her. This is where the question of "nature" versus "nurture" seems pointless: I act like my parents, like we all do, and who knows why. It is interesting to me, however, that, when applied to my studies, this behavior comes across as "studious"; when applied to things like talking a walk or endlessly studying verb forms, it seems a bit "Asperger's"; and when applied to things like the Internet or going to the pub, it seems "addictive". I wonder if they're all the same personality type.

Postscript: No, actually, it looks like it is not the same as stereotyped behaviors.


Holly said...

The good news: You're not dying of terminal uniqueness! I have some of these same behaviors. Definitely do the web page cycling thing, and should spend less time on the internet over all.

I also do the elegance thing (which is how I think of your description of negotiating The Perfect Walk, for example). I work out the best possible path from point A to B, whether A is home and B is the grocery store and I want to walk in shade, see the most flowers, and check for new graffiti on the way, or A is a blank page and B is a completed drawing. Sometimes this trips me up, because if I can't work out the path, I sometimes won't do the thing at all. It's very problematic in conversation, as well, particularly in German, since it's required to know how the sentence will end before beginning it.

The bright side to this is that once I know the course, I'm totally bad-ass at racing games.

Rufus said...

Well, that's a relief... although, didn't you and Greg test as super majorly Aspergery at some point?

Holly said...

oh, yeah. We're both short bus as all get out.

Rufus said...

So, we're all just nuts then?

Holly said...

Sure, I guess?

I have to say, even understanding that my friends and acquaintances are all friends and acquaintances by selection, I don't actually know anyone "normal." My conclusion is, no one is normal. (As per the definition of normal...)