My favourite thing about having Asperger’s Syndrome is that it makes me effectively immune to catty, passive-aggressive swipes, because I actually only notice them in retrospect.
Case in point, at the closing ceremonies for the Program last week, I was shocked to discover that I had earned an award for the highest academic standing of any participant. I hadn’t realized that such an award existed, but apparently other participants did–in particular, at least one Ivy League PhD candidate did, and he was not (apparently) super-pleased to have been beaten-out by me. Later on, during the reception, he came-up to me and asked me to sign his poster.
“Why don’t you sign it ‘smartest person in the class?’” he asked. Now, in retrospect, I can see that this was probably just him being sulky and lashing out at me, but at the time I interpreted it as a legitimate request.
“Well,” I said genially, taking the pen that he offered and writing as I spoke, “I don’t know that I’m the smartest per se, but how about I just write ‘Jaime — (Highest Mark)’ like this?”
He stared at his poster aghast and then looked back at me. “I was joking, you know.”
“Oh.” I replied. “I’m sorry.”
But you know, in retrospect, I’m not actually sorry at all.