Mar 16, 2006

Dancing with Danger

I’ve been thinking about the whole nonsense of dance clubs and dance parties. They should really call them temptation and indiscretion clubs and parties.

Things really got strange in this area when I moved to Chicago in 1987 at the age of 21. My brother got me a job at a Chicago insurance agency, and I headed out of Dowagiac, Michigan (population 6,000 give or take), full of promise and potential.

You see, I interview well. Boy do I have stories to tell. Talk about wet behind the ears, green, ignorant. . . you get the picture. I’ll get to those stories later.

But back to dancing. I remember once my boss had a super bowl party. She rented out a bar at a hotel. At stuff like that, I always felt like the boy in the bubble or that I was some how only partially opaque.

Fortunately some woman, a friend of my bosses asked to dance with me. It was a slow dance. She was pretty close, but not plastered on me like that other time. She gracefully put her hand up on my neck, and things were progressing nicely.

You know, back in Dowagiac, I was in these community theatre plays. The cast and crew would go out dancing. The bowling alley would let under-agers in as long as we didn’t drink alcohol. When it came time to dance, the whole group would go out on the floor. When the slow dance came, if you were near a girl you would say, “Want to dance this one?” The answer would be yes or no, and you would either dance or sit down and chat with the rest of the group. There was a certain amount of sensuality. A slow dance is something rather like an choreographed extended hug set to music. Being an Aspie, my brain would automatically chart out the girl's body type and wonder about how she was designed. Being a boy I would wonder about other things as well. That said, it was fairly harmless, and frankly led to nothing further other than some more dancing. The fast songs came back on and the whole group came back out.

My experience at the Super Bowl party was far different. Remember, I said the woman had gracefully placed her hand on my neck. Then she started to massage it with a hand that must have been made out of cast iron. I played it cool and tried not to react. I think she said something like, “It’s o.k. I’m a psychologist. Men like this.” I felt suddenly like a creature from another planet. Here I was in a rented bar, dancing with madam crusher, in a room full of people that didn’t know me, and no real way of figuring out what I was supposed to do to have a normal time.

Dance clubs have always been strange even when I would go with people I know. They morf into strange creatures as they slowly get drunk. I was dancing with my boss (if that isn’t weird, what is), and she fell down onto the floor. I think the impact of her fanny hitting the floor created something of a concussion wave. That shouldn’t be confused with a percussion wave, which would be a group of drummers in a football stadium . . . never mind. Now how am I supposed to consider my boss as a skilled professional when she has a few too many drinks and then falls down on the dance floor?! This violates my sense of how the world is supposed to be ordered.

I honestly don’t understand the whole idea of let's go out and have a good time by getting drunk and doing things we won’t remember! Couldn’t you just take a sleeping pill and more safely be unconscious that way?

I think that’s enough for now, except for this. My wife is the perfect dancing partner. I don’t like crowded dance clubs and neither does she. What am I saying is we haven’t gone out dancing for probably 13 years. When we were dating and we had the urge to dance on occasion, we would go on a Monday or Tuesday night so that we had the place to ourselves.

She’s my kind of woman.

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Mar 8, 2006

Welcome to Aspies Inc

Aspies Inc. is the Aspie world according to Adam Parmenter. It's the perspective of a an adult who went through 37 years of life trying to figure out what was wrong, and then finaly came to understand Asperger.

Perhaps something from my experiences can inspire or at least entertain.

I hope you'll post a comment at the end of the blogs. Your thoughts or questions, or better yet visit the HASD Heros message e-mail group at

The HASD Heros is dedicated to the neurotypical parents, syblings, loved ones, friends and care givers of individuals in the High functioning Austism Spectrum Disorder (I hate that word disorder). There's a space for message posts, links to helpful books, and soon the calendar will be fully updated with helpful events.

Adam Parmenter

Mar 7, 2006

Dance or Stand?

I never did understand that people go to dances in order to stand around or they go to a “dance” club to sit and drink. I wanted to dance. I was told that my dancing was odd. Funky was the word used once. You can imagine as an Aspie I get into the rocking and bobbing.

I remember avoiding the junior high dances. Junior high was when nothing made sense, and everyone seemed to make fun of me. Like I really wanted to go to a dance. I did see dances portrayed in movies and on T.V. though. Most of the people stand around not knowing what to do. Why would I make a special trip to do that, when I’m doing that most of the time?

As a 19 year old, I visited Hawaii with my father. Dad was a pilot for United Airlines and the employee discount my dad received made travel to Hawaii quite affordable. When I turned 19 I was finally old enough to go to a dance club (in Hawaii at least). My cousin and his buddy were staying with us, and I told them to come along. It ended up I went alone. Didn’t know going to a dance club alone was socially unacceptable. Didn’t even realize that going to a dance club might be considered by some to be morally questionable.

I walked in the door and headed toward the dance floor. The music was infectious. I was just digging the groove, but I could tell that I was supposed to have a dance partner. Dancing with a pretty girl sounded like fun. So, I asked one. I think it took three tries, and a girl said yes. I noticed that she looked every where but at me, and did not engage me personally. Later when I was 21, Greg, a buddy of mine from Michigan, took me to a dance club. We just bopped around on the dance floor, and didn’t even try to get girls to dance with us. Some girls approached us (there’s an ego boost). The slow dance came up and I got my first clue that dance clubs were something beyond dancing. I probably new before then, but it just wasn’t my thing. I was there to dance. It is called a DANCE club after all, not an arousal club.

So, the girls that came up to dance with us didn’t even say much, but just sort of slid in and started dancing. As I said, the slow dance came up, and I found the girl had plastered herself against me. At that point I understood how the utensil drawer feels when contact paper is stuck to it. Slow dancing was nice if not just a bit to squeezy. I really did want romance and the love of a woman in my life. I even had raging hormones, but this was not the ideal of romanced that I had imagined. Then the girl I was dancing with said, “I hope my husband doesn’t find out.” I said, “Why would that matter, all we’re doing is dancing.” That brought things to a screeching halt, and the girls were gone as quickly as they had come. Was it something I said?

The social strictures that surround the task of locating a willing dance partner make no sense to me. That’s one of the joys of marriage. My wife is my partner in dance and everything else.

Adam Parmenter