I have moved over to WhittereronAutism.com. Please follow the link to find me there. Hope to see you after the jump! :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Old dogs and new tricks

There are some lovely people around my neighbourhood and this particular bunch refer to themselves as 'crafters.' The term 'crafter,' is I believe, peculiar to America, as elsewhere, such people just have 'hobbies.' There are all sorts of subtleties that pass way over my head, as I prefer to remain close to the ground like the low life that I truly am. That said they're a jolly and generous crowd, who welcome newcomers with interest and warmth.

As we age we become wise, or at least that is the theory. Personally I find that as I grow older, I become increasingly scatty, forgetful and what my son refers to as ‘random.’ I am prone to stereotype people, it's shorthand. It's one of my many faults but old dogs, mongrels, can still learn new things.

I find that I have learned new things and benefited greatly from attending three, consecutive, six week courses of puppy training. I only wish I’d completely the puppy training before I had the children. That said one of the things I learned, or rather had reinforced, is that many people dislike direct eye contact, far more than I had appreciated. It's not just autistic people, it's not just shy people, it's all sorts of people.

I had this demonstrated to me recently when I attended a curiously American event, a side walk sale. A rough translation of ‘side walk sale’ is when sellers and crafters park themselves outside the shop on the sidewalk together with their wares to sell to the general public, face to face. I am told by those who know about such things, that the general public like to meet the people who make the things that they buy, although I’m a bit doubtful myself.

Hence, here is a picture of the lovely ladies meeting and greeting. Off to the side I am also poised, carving bowls. I’m side ways on, head down, absorbed. It is a non threatening pose that can prove very useful when you encounter unfamiliar dogs to demonstrate that you’re not an aggressive Alpha and just want to play. If I was Joe Public or the man on the Clapham Omnibus, I might step over the occupied woman and take a peek but I’d have a hard time meeting the ever so friendly and enthusiastic ladies, head on. It would just be too intimidating. I would feel obliged to make conversation and praise their work, which I may not like. I am a bad liar and I would be exposed as such. If I liked their work, then that would be great, but then I should feel obliged to buy something and money is tight.

So humour me? With whom would you feel more comfortable and why?

Hosted by "Tracy" at "Mother May I," but the photo-picture below will whizz you right there with one click.

Just call me snap happy.

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