In yesterday's post I talked about a little joke my mother in law tried to play on Bil, me and my husband several years ago - pretending for a minute that she had met a man (she is a widow) and was engaged to me married.
I was thrilled for her, in that moment before she admitted it was a joke.
And what about Bil?
He was not thrilled. He really didn't react strongly verbally (that would have been surprising) but you should have seen the shocked look on his face. And for some reason tonight, I started to think about that.
Does Bil have feelings for the opposite sex? Does he yearn to have female companionship, to put it bluntly? This is something that just is never spoken about - one of those taboo topics. How dare people with autism have those kind of feelings?
Remember, we are speaking here of a man who is a man, a normal man as far as chemicals and hormones, but a man with a severe communication disability.
Well, Bill does have "those" feelings.
Several years ago, he was given a gift card at Christmas time for Hooters. I forget who gave him the card, but we were there when the family opened their presents. We don't have a Hooters where we live and I don't know where the nearest one to Bil's home is. But he certainly had heard of Hooters, and was thrilled to get the card. (I don't know if he ever was given the opportunity to use the card. I've never asked, either.)
At that point in time, my mother in law told me something interesting. And that is the only time, in all these years, that she has admitted that Bil does have "those" kinds of feelings.
"Bil is very excited to get this card" she told me 'because he loves blondes. There is this blond meteorologist on The Weather Channel, and Bil has a crush on her." (I won't name who.)
Bil watches Fox News a lot, and I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't strictly because of the politics, but because of all the blond female commentators that channel seems to use.
But you know what? No one ever asks Bil about whether he would like to learn how to talk to women. Not that I expect any social services agency to hunt up girlfriends for him (I know I am really veering into a taboo area here) but rather - they are supposed to work with Bil to improve his various skills. And isn't the ability to get companionship (I mean companionship, not a one night thing) a basic human need and want? Doesn't Bil deserve love as much as any of us?
That night (the one I spoke about in my last post) where he thought for a moment that his mother had found a new male companion - what was running through his mind? That there would be a new, strange man in his life? (Doubtless - this would have been a moment of transition for all of us). Or, would it be a matter of him having to share his mother, after so many years, with someone else?
Or was it a yearning of sorts, a wish that one day he might have a woman in his life?
With Bil - again we just don't know his thoughts. We may never know.