Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Burlesque and Dr Who: An Aspie perspective

My lovely young man, as those of you who know him personally can attest, has that delightful Aspie predilection for the Truth. Said Truth will be announced at full volume regardless of time and place, and definitely, with true Apsie disregard for tact or diplomacy.
So, yes, he did go up to the actors at the end of our local Amateur Dramatics production and say, “You weren’t very good, where you? The prompt said most of your lines.” And he did tell the neighbour that our cat had killed his Guinea pigs at our Christmas drinks party. And when I asked his opinion of my outfit for a friend’s wedding he did say, “It’s a bit much.”
So last weekend, Hubs asks him if he’d like to go to a Burlesque evening. “Hell, yeah!” came the response. (Very generous offer of Hubs who was to be out of the county that weekend). I, of course, am trying to be supportive and discreet. I anticipate that it wouldn’t be cool to be with Mum, so I’m thinking I can be a steward at the event as it’s in the Arts Centre where I volunteer. Yeah, right: we both went to the Burlesque. Now, if you haven’t been to a show, basically it is a series of acts: each woman delivers a ‘scene’ or a dance, each losing their clothing item by item, from glove to stocking to corset, to end up in panties and nipple tassles. Some women are bigger than others (in all departments), some are energetic, some are elegant, some can twirl bits you cannot twirl yourself. It is kitsch.
Well, I was terrified –imagining all the possible inappropriate comments that I might have to field.
I was wrong.
He simply decided to take it all at face value, commenting positively on their outfits (loved Jessica Rabbit), their dancing, and their quirky humour. He appreciated the fan dances and explosions of glitter, and clapped enthusiastically at the end of each piece. It was a joy to be out with him.
Now, yesterday, he had an invitation to attend a drama student production called Dr Who Through Time. He is no stranger to drama and theatre (well, he is mine), and is a huge Dr Who fan (for fan, read Aspie obsession).
As we arrived to buy our tickets, I noticed the students getting ready and thought, hmm, this could get interesting. These were the Foundation students, with a wide range of special needs, physical disabilities and learning disabilities. The costumes were hand-made, low-spec, teachers hovered to prompt in every corner, and Dr Who was a girl!
An Aspie nightmare. So, yes, I’m mentally strategizing all the possible damage control I’m going to have to manoeuvre.
And blow me if he didn’t do it again. He complimented the effort that went into the costumes, loved that one of the Daleks was a bloke in a wheelchair, laughed at their jokes, and added a few himself. “So that’s what happened to Elvis, the Daleks have him!”
He was Mr Compassion and Generosity. I could not have been more proud.
We can get so caught up meeting the challenges of our children’s disadvantages that we sometimes forget to see the personality beside/behind the ‘condition’. It’s so lovely when we see them shine way beyond it and prove the world wrong.

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