They come in many different models, and it is only now in middle age, that I begin to think that all this psychobabble rubbish, may have something to it. I feel that perhaps I have been unnecessarily narrow minded in this respect, that I should have given the psychobabble option a little more house room. If I had paid more heed to my American pal, the Muse, and her inane ramblings on this topic, then I might be in a better position to understand the nature of the species. For instance, I was under the impression that spouse was a C type, but he may in fact be an entirely different model. They come in many more different forms than I had initially appreciated. There may actually be some A types, but if there are, I have yet to meet one, or if I have met one, they were probably gay. I doubt if it's possible to be an A type and be heterosexual, it's one of those mutually exclusive groups.
So here I am with possibly a C type, or maybe a D type. This wouldn't be that important if it wasn't for the fact that I also have a couple of sons in tow, especially as they are both autistic, and it would be very useful, not to say expedient, to pin them down into a specific category early on in their lives, so that I am better able to ease them towards an A type.
I think of it as my bounden duty to carry out this quest to the best of my ability, my cross to bear, as it were.
But I'm not going to get very far if I can't even identify what I already have. Let me give you a simple example, test the waters and see if I'm on the right track? A woman and her significant other, are in the same room, when she accidentally drops a book on her foot. Books are generally an unrecognized danger in the average family home, and have a higher propensity to act independently that most people appreciate. The book makes contact with the foot causing pain, which induces the woman to exclaim, “oh!” A clear E type.
Assuming that the spouse is otherwise engaged, say with something fascinating on the television screen, the woman automatically expands the initial instinctive exclamation, such that the 'oh,' is followed by 'good grief! That book has come into contact with my foot and I am experiencing pain!” because that is how British people still speak. This expansion zips you straight into the A type. The male of the species, is of course unlikely to respond, mostly because he hasn't heard
anything at all, as his attention is rapt in the programme. So far so good?
O.k. second example. This time male occupies a different room, out of visual contact, when a loud exclamation, “*&!@#!” is emitted. The average woman, upon hearing this, might say “are you o.k.?” reconfirming A type status. The woman studying human psychology on the other hand, waits. Seconds later, the male appears. He is limping but no words emanate from his being. Now that I am at the advanced stage of study, I appreciate that there might be many other variables contributing to his inability to communicate. For instance, had he dropped a hammer on his foot ,this might compromise his masculinity, his status, such that he would be admitting failure, causing shame. We all want to avoid that!
Alternatively, a small person, who shall remain nameless, accidentally injured him, which means that we cut out the shame / embarrassment factor. Why then, does he not feel the need to volunteer information about the episode? If there is no further response, you're stuck with an E type.
Possibly, I am someone that he wouldn't choose to share with, knowing that he would not receive a sympathetic hearing, that I might scoff or belittle him in some manner, add to his humiliation quotient perhaps? Perish the thought! Would the outcome be any different if there were a different individual present to communicate with, be that an adult or child, friend or acquaintance, human or feline? A response to any of the above would zap you into C type status, or possibly B type, if your response was expansive, appropriate, invited additional questions or in any other manner was indicative of reciprocal exchange. It is all very mysterious.
As a broad rule of thumb any 'oh' that spouse utters, is rarely followed by any further explanation, with the exception of something related to work or computers. This only applies, if when he turns around to see me waiting there, I make it visually obvious that I am waiting. This means that my body and demeanour oozes 'waiting.' It helps if I have an excited and expectant face, as if I am really interested in what he might be willing to share.
Beware. If you find yourself oozing to extract a response, then you are dealing with a C type. If you are ooze free, then you may find yourself in the fortunate position of sharing your life with a B type. When the words finally splutter out in a faulting manner, it is also very important to reinforce this positive step in the right direction. Make sure that you laugh, if appropriate, heartily too, enjoy the joke, whatever it was. [?]
You could practice right now, screw up your eyes, open your mouth 'ha, ha, ha, oh yes, very funny indeed!' I hope your body is chuckling too, although I've found that a general shoulder shake is sufficient to get the message across to B and C types. To ensure that this exchange will be repeated, it must be immediately and positively reinforced. These first tentative steps at reciprocal communication, are the gateway to all kinds of future communications of great value. If you are truly fortunate, it may be possible, given the passage of time, to generalize this skill to other similar situations, such as the physical damage caused by low flying books. Know that your efforts will not go unrewarded and that after many years of careful schooling, you might be well on the way from changing your C type to maybe a B type. If you're lucky, consistent and persistent. This kind of task is not for the faint hearted, you are the mistress of your own destiny.
Meanwhile, I watch his [my] son's progress, from my vantage point in the kitchen. Since he's autistic and has a speech delay, he's probably a Z type, right at the bottom of the heap, the extreme form of the male of the species. I hear a heavy thud as he changes his gait from 'walking down the stairs' mode [translation = vertical descent] to 'walking on flat' mode. [translation = forward horizontal movement] He bumps into the trampolene but recovers, veers into the sideboard but bounces off with merely a glancing blow. He continues in a forward motion but is progressing at an unfortunate tangent, which brings him into contact with the door jam, as usual. The clunk of his forehead covers the quieter impact of his foot and knee. He teeters over backwards onto his bottom, hard. He shakes his head, just like in a cartoon before standing and continuing his journey to the kitchen, or wherever it is that he was going, that he's probably forgotten about by now. Through the virtual mist, my body materializes within his field of vision and he startles. I don't know if he was seeking me out, or any other human being for that matter. It may be mere happenstance, but now that I've appeared, he's willing to communicate with me.
“You know what?” This is looking hopeful, “what?”
“I um, er, I……” Oh dear, off to such a promising start but he's stumbled at the first fence. This might take a while.
“Well, I was coming down stairs, down, down, er,… I was walking….er,….. and then this wall hit me and I am hurted, hurt, yes hurt, but not too bad, it was an accident, I think? I am o.k. now, it din hurt that much really.” He positions himself in a half crouch beneath me, as I lean over him in a question mark to get a better look at his forehead damage. I lift the hank of hair but his hand reaches up to my forearm, locking my eyes into his, “don worry mom, I o.k., I fine, really!” He pauses momentarily, to check that I comprehend [?] before stumbling off on his own personal business.
Blimey! Where did that all come from? Thousands of dollars spent on therapy and now look, my son has metamorphosed into an A type. In years to come, I'm sure his partner, whoever he or she, may turn out to be, will consider it a sound investment.