Friday, March 10, 2017

It Really Is THAT Important!

If you do not consider yourself a Christian, please do not read any further.  Thank you.

I'm going to try to keep this short, because it's getting late and I want to watch Jeopardy! before I go to bed: In my online postings, there's been a lot of talk about relationships, and people have been discussing about me potentially marrying a woman with the same condition.  They're not the first people to say it; years ago, a professor at my college said the same thing...but, I disagreed back then, and I still do now.  Here's a few short and sweet reasons why:
  1. The ratio of males to females with Asperger Syndrome has been estimated as anywhere from four to one to as much as ten to one, so, there aren't many women out there that have it.
  2. When I've met people--okay, they were guys, but still people!--with the same condition, we had next to nothing in common; they couldn't have cared less about all of the things that make me...well, me, probably due to lack of common experiences.  It isn't just my condition that makes me who I am; it's being raised without a father and with a disabled sibling, gaining a brother-in-law at age eight, becoming an uncle before finishing high school, growing up in the church, etc.  I don't really know anyone--with or without any sort of "condition"--who has even half of those same experiences.  Thinking all people with A.S. will get along is like thinking all Texans, or Hispanics, or single parents will get along.
  3. You probably know that I've used the title characters of Mork & Mindy as an example of a relationship.  Mork looked like a young adult, but, he was actually very childlike, and Mindy had to be the responsible mother figure and keep him from getting in trouble.  However, imagine if Mork's companion on Earth had been a fellow alien who was just as clueless about Earth ways as he was; he would have been in even more trouble.  I mention that for one reason: When in a relationship, I don't want the female version of me; I want someone who is the things I'm not but wish I could be: organized, calm under pressure, able to solve problems easily, etc.  If I get stuck with someone who has all my same problems...I'm in for a world of trouble!
As important to me as those reasons are, none of them are important as the one I'm about to name: media discernment.  That was a value I was raised with, but I've known hardly any people my age--even those who were raised in Christian homes--whose parents cared about what they watched, listened to, played, etc.  Maybe they drew the line at outright pornography, but, that's about it.  Much like I heard a former friend who was involved in our high school's show choir say she could never marry anyone who couldn't dance or sing, I can't marry anyone who doesn't believe in media discernment...but, it seems like almost nobody does.  Even some of my older friends will watch movies and shows that merely hearing the titles of makes me cringe!

You may think that is an A.S. thing, but, I know it isn't, and here's why: Like I said above, people I've met with the same condition have next to nothing else in common with me...including rules about media.  My roommate at Woodrow Wilson Rehab Center--a place for people with disabilities--had the same condition, but unknowingly creeped me out by telling me one evening about the first survival horror game, which was so graphically violent it was never even released in America.  He didn't go into any lurid details, but, it was still enough to keep me up late that night.  Other fellow A.S. sufferers were the same way.  Other than random online users or the people at sites like Plugged In or the Dove Foundation, nobody seems to understand my rules.

So, until I meet a single girl in the Church of Christ who agrees with me about media discernment, I'm staying single...and, at this point, I doubt it's ever going to happen.  I know I'm walking a narrow road, but, that's what Christians are supposed to do; remember how Jesus said that the way to destruction is wide, but the way to life is narrow?  Too many Christians I know are way too worldly; they may attend church two or three times a week, but, in their daily lives, they do the same things anybody else does.  We are commanded to "be in the world, but not of the world", why aren't Christians doing that? If people can't tell you're a Christian without you telling're not doing it right!

A postscript: When I was in seventh grade, I was constantly frustrated by the immature and crass behavior of my classmates, and wanted to be switched to a different class.  My mom used to tell me that, if I searched hard enough, I might find someone who agreed with me...but, I never did; even the Christian kids in my classes were no better than the rest of them.  The adults in my life agreed with me, but, they were the only ones.  I mention that for one reason: Much like back then, the only people who agree with me about media discernment are ones much older, i.e., ones at least old enough to be my parents.  Even within the Christian realm, the millennial generation is pretty much "anything goes," which is not God's way.  I'm not about to tell you what you should and shouldn't watch...but, don't expect me to see some trashy sex comedy or torture-porn flick just because you endorsed it.  You can make fun of me; you can talk about me behind my back; you can unfriend me; go ahead and do whatever you want...because I'm not living for YOU!

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