Examples in Friendship

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Sometimes I am touched by what a good example that Paula is to me. She really is quite thoughtful and considerate. She reminds me often of why I love people so much, and I am inspired by how much she loves people. This trip to Banff was needed for me on many levels, but most of all, I appreciated coming away with deeper relationships with the others in the group.

Now we already know that Paula liked flirting with all the boys, but what was especially great was being one of just two girls that went on the trip, and Paula just loves Rachael. It was kind of adorable to watch. Especially because I just love Rachael, too. When I first met her, we bonded very quickly.

Rachael and I at a Garden Party

On occasion when we were sitting next to each other in the car, she would rest her head on my shoulder. At which point, Paula would then express her feelings with a tender, "Awwww!" Which ironically would then make Rachael's head snap up with such an immense look of pure joy. Friendship is a beautiful thing and it is good to love and be loved by these special friends in my life.

Even beyond those sweet and tender moments, Paula and Rachael just had so much fun together. They were quite often playing a game of Marco Polo, calling out to each other much of the trip. Rachael almost seemed to have a bit more control over Paula than I did, as each time she heard, "Marco!" Paula would respond, not with the word exactly, but the tone of one who would echo, "Polo!"

Paula likes playing games, especially with those she loves. What good friend doesn't do that?

Tourette Syndrome and Eating Habits

Saturday, August 18, 2018

There are some who claim that Tourette Syndrome can be cured with correct diet and exercise. When put on a strict diet, they claim that it has completely disappeared.

While that must have been important to them to stick to such a strong diet, that is obviously not the route I want to take for many reasons. First being that I like having Paula around and second that I just love food. All kinds. Often not the healthiest for me. It just tastes so good! I like the healthy stuff, too, believe it or not. When I say all kinds, I mean it.

So it's nice to know that Paula shares my standard with food. Probably because of the possibility that it affects her very existence. Probably just because food is awesome.

While in Canada, we ate out at one particular place that I can't recall. Which is a shame, because it was delicious. Looking at the menu and discussing different options, someone mentioned a plant-based burger. Paula immediately sounded impressed, letting out an, "Oooooo!"

However, shortly thereafter, someone mentioned that they might want the steak. This time, she sounded like a trumpet, blasting out, "Wah wah waaaaaah!"

I think she might be a carnivore. She sounded much more impressed by the steak.

Photo by Alex Munsell on Unsplash

Talents and Lack Thereof

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Considering that Paula isn't technically their own person, she is pretty talented. She can do a lot of things. But just like other human beings, she can't do everything. There are some things she just should not be doing. Bless her heart, she tries anyway.

I am a huge fan of Broadway musicals, and Paula and I both love to try to sing along. While Paula is a fairly talented singer, there are some days she struggles. And just like any other singer, there are just some genres she is better at. I often refer to Paula as my little opera diva. She has great support and vibrato when she belts out those high notes. She can be quite melodic when belting out a tune.

One thing she cannot do though is rap. When the soundtrack to Hamilton comes on, I can sing along and do fairly well. While in Canada, Paula decided to give it a go. I would never laugh at an actual person like this, but this is my TS rather than a human, so in a way, it is like laughing at myself. And did it ever give us cause to laugh!

In her attempts to sing along with Hamilton, she was mumbling the same way she would when she "talks" to a person. She then quickly fell behind. She couldn't quite keep up with the speed of the song. Realizing her inability to keep up, she gradually got quieter and faded out. She has some pride, you know. However, it gave several of us a good laugh.

Traveling with Paula

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Different people have different travel habits. I have not been one to travel much, but when I do, there is a group that I like to stick pretty close to. However, I have friends that travel so often, they usually go alone. This group that went to Banff had both personality types. There was one in particular that like to wander off on his own because he isn't used to groups actually sticking together. We often had to ask where McKay was so he didn't get left behind.

It has been established that Paula quite loves people. She likes to flirt and show off and she certainly brings out the extrovert in me. So when she only has a small, select few to show off for, she has to make sure everyone stays close. She has to keep an eye on them or something. Paula might be a bit motherly, but that is yet to be seen.

When Sam wandered off on his own, there was no one watching him like we were with McKay, and with international travel, we tried to use our devices as little as possible. Instead, we opted to use other resources to find Sam. Once we were ready to go and noticing Sam was not with the group, Rachael turned to me and said, "Paula! Call Sam!"

Now Paula usually has a mind of her own. She does not come on demand like that. In fact, she has been known to chew out the person trying to give her directions and tell her what to do. However, we were surprised at that instant when Paula willingly agreed and let out a loud, "WAHHHHHHHH!"

While that did not bring Sam back to the group, Rachael and I about died laughing. This was a new experience to have Paula willingly comply with directions, but of course the command she would obey would be calling a boy.

Flirting in Canada

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Paula has always been a bit of a flirt. She not only has a winking tic, but her affinity for showing off comes off a little strong sometimes, especially around guys. This is great for me since I am not typically one to flirt much, if at all. Just like flirting in real life, it can cause some trouble when others take things too far or those tics are misinterpreted. And as typically follows in book genres, sometimes it gives a good yarn like this April Fools Day prank I played in 2017. It is certainly one of my best posts, even if it wasn't true.

Maybe this is the reason for her being so active in Banff during my vacation. I went with a group of six guys and one other girl; all of them are wonderful and amazing people. Upon arriving in Calgary, we stopped by a grocery store to pick up a few days worth of food. On the way out, Sam started talking to a guy who was driving a motorcycle about what a great bike it was.

Photo by Joshua Reddekopp on Unsplash

As they wrapped up the conversation, the guy on the motorcycle started his bike and drove away. As the distance began to increase, Paula decided to pop out. This was fortunate that the poor stranger didn't have to hear it and get confused. Or take it the wrong way. She cat-called him. Screaming out the common whistle or shout of, "Ow-ow!" as he drove away made me turn a little bit red.

At least it gave us a good chuckle. But seriously, Paula needs to get a little bit of control of this flirting with strangers thing... Sometimes it doesn't end quite as well and results in a rant from me.

At least she knows that I will always be there for her. Usually to clean up her messes, but at least she is willing to give me some credit sometimes, too. I can only shake my head at her, although usually, that's her, too.

Acceptance of Neurodiversity

Saturday, August 4, 2018

I love it when Paula shows up around new people. Especially if they are people that I've already met and they haven't gotten to meet Paula right away. It always ends up being a great story. Take for example the meeting of Bryce. We have a few mutual friends and are occasionally seen in the same social circle. So we had been at a few social gatherings, but yesterday was the first time we had really talked to each other. After a good 20 or 30 minutes of chatting, Paula decided to show up. Our mutual friend, Rachel, acknowledged Paula and there was a bit of back and forth for a bit.

Bryce had looked confused when Paula first showed up, so I backtracked and asked him if he knew what was going on. He might have heard about Paula, my reputation does have a tendency to precede me, Paula does like social gatherings, so she might have gone off in another setting and been talked about, even if I wasn't present for that.

Once it was acknowledged that he had no idea what was going on, I explained, "So I have Tourette Syndrome..." I didn't get much farther than that, because his face lit up with a large smile and said, "YES!" At this point, I just started laughing, that is not a typical reaction when admitting to having a neurological disorder. And while I may have the same joyful exclamation (as does Paula), it's not often that it is shared by someone on the first meeting of Paula.

It turns out that he has another friend with Tourette Syndrome. I don't know much about this friend, but I am grateful that he is the kind who would make it something to be excited about. Times are a-changing. Little by little and story by story, Tourette Syndrome is coming to be more known and more accepted. While there is still a long way to go in the direction of neurodiversity and acceptance, this one small moment warmed my heart and gave me encouragement. It's good to know I'm not alone in this cause.

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Caught Red-Handed

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Even before I left for vacation, Paula was excited at the idea. She let out all sorts of happy chirps all day long. My attention span may or may not have been a little shorter than it should have been at work, I confess. So maybe it was guilt for not having my usual laser-focus but Paula seemed to be caught red-handed not  paying attention. But come on, I was headed to Canada in a few short hours! Me, who got a passport for the first time a year ago and has never had a chance to use it, and to a place as beautiful as Banff National Park! So worth it, FYI.

During one of my extremely "focused" moments, Someone called out asking for Barry, who sits right next to me. Before Barry could respond, Paula chirped in with, "Yeah?" Of course, she thinks everything is about her. No one asked you, Paula. Get back to work.
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