When I was coming out of physical therapy today, I accidentally made eye contact with one of those clipboard wielding activists (probably from Amnesty International; my husband has to tell them about a dozen or so times a year that he’s already a member). I quickly looked away, but she pursued me and I had to duck my head and run for it.
It sucks having to come off like a jerk because I’m too tired to deal with some stranger all up in my space. But this is what I don’t get about the conclusions autism researchers come to. Supposedly autistics are the ones who can’t relate to others or understand other minds, yet allistics seem incapable of realizing that not everyone wants or likes to be accosted by strangers. And not just autistic people; plenty of other people have myriad reasons they might not want to be approached on the sidewalk by someone they don’t know.
Worse, when I made it clear with my body language (and you can’t get more clear than looking away and hunching over) that I wasn’t in the mood, she still came at me. She had no idea what was up with me and was apparently incapable of conceiving of the idea that I might genuinely want to be left alone.
And now I’d better stop before I fly into a full-fledged rant about how body language illiterate allistics really are and how much that warps society and the awful cycle it’s produced, etc. etc.
Image: Autistic Hedgehog meme “Dear Random Person with Clipboard:” “That eye contact was accidental. Leave me alone.”