I’m pretty sure my Aspie superpower is inadvertently pissing off my partner

So yesterday, when we got up and were getting coffee and feeding the animals, my partner suggested that we could head out to a local park we like to go to, and stop on the way at the new breakfast restaurant we had been meaning to try while we were on vacation. 

I was pretty stoked, because I’m always up for a hike, but my partner rarely is, so even though I’d been up real early with a headache and nausea (every day this past week actually, I think it’s the stupid Florinef) I sure wasn’t going to pass up a chance for a park outing. 

At the same time, though, my mind was also immediately churning anxiously though all the logistics of stopping for breakfast first, because coming up with worst-case scenarios is kind of a specialty of mine.  

It was already almost nine and she’d mentioned wanting to shower first; I’m not sure why anyone would want to shower before going hiking, but that’s just me. That would put us on the road closer to ten, and while it wasn’t real warm, it was sunny, so the dogs could not stay in the car. 

She said that she was pretty sure they had patio seating, but it was small and cramped, so we should just take Eater-of-Things and Drama Queen (who is about sixty five pounds) and leave Neurotic Dog at home,  as it would be too hard to manage all three dogs on a patio. 

My enthusiasm wavered. I would feel bad leaving Neurotic Dog at home, because she loves to hike, too, and that seemed unfair. And what if there were no patio tables? What if there were, but it was really cramped? What if they didn’t actually allow dogs on the patio? This restaurant has been really popular, what if there was a really long wait? What if it started raining and we couldn’t go inside because we had the dogs? What if… This went on as I mulled over out loud all the possible things that may or may not go wrong. 

I suggested going to the park one day, and the restaurant on another – without the dogs the first time, so we could scope it out for how dog – friendly it actually was, but she pointed out that we were on our last two days of vacation and I had an appointment today so we couldn’t do that. 

She was annoyed with me at that point. She said she’d only suggested leaving Neurotic Dog at home because she hates people but they won’t leave her alone, and it makes it very hard to manage with her in public – which is true, but that’s not the dog’s fault that people have no respect for boundaries. 

Anyway, she got real quiet, and didn’t respond to the suggestions I was throwing out, and I asked if she still wanted to go do anything at all and she just shrugged and said that it had ‘gotten too complicated.’ Some awkward silence followed. She was pretty unreadable at that point, or maybe she was perfectly readable to anyone who is not me, but I wasn’t sure how to untangle the drama.

I’m not sure how we managed to come around to just going to a different park, with all three dogs, but we did, even though she was still pissed at me for about half of that walk and barely speaking. Eventually things thawed out and we all did have fun. 

It got real stormy as we left the park, so we dropped the dogs off at home and went to the restaurant afterwards. 

For the record, the patio seats were already taken and when the sky opened up and dumped torrential rain right after we were seated inside, the people sitting there looked pretty miserable as there wasn’t much of an overhang to the roof. So some of my concerns were not necessarily unfounded, but I’ll also admit that more often than not, my worries are completely groundless and I add a lot of unnecessary stress to plans we make by picking things apart like that.  

I realize it must be very hard sometimes to live with someone who is allergic to spontaneity and immediately obsesses over all the things that can go wrong with any outing (especially if it involves something new and unknown) but I can’t stop myself from doing it. That’s why, more and more these days, I ‘opt out’ of a lot of social engagements so I won’t ruin them for her; I worry that doing that puts a different kind of strain on us, however.  

Featured image: a plastic chair in a creek. No apparent owner nearby, it looked abandoned there. 

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