This is my dinner. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
This hot chook has a surprising significance. It's the first thing I've ever bought from the deli counter at a supermarket.
That doesn't mean it's the first time I've bought a hot chook, it's just that until now I've always got them from the heated display thing where you grab your own. But the place I shopped at this afternoon didn't have a self-serve one, so I had to *gulp* ask at the deli. Similarly my fish comes from the freezer section rather than the fishmonger, and juice from a supermarket bottle rather than one of those funky freestanding while-you-wait juice bar affairs. And if there's a self-serve checkout, all the better.
I'm not sure why this is. I'm shy, but not so shy I can't ask for something in a shop. I'm not fond of open-ended social interaction, but I can handle something as predictable and scripted as ordering an item at a counter. (As long as it's not coffee: there are so many choices and coffee shops tend to be really loud and overwhelming, so my brain usually freezes and my mouth orders a cappuccino because it knows how to make that sound.)
It's more about, and please bear with me because I know it sounds absurd, being uncomfortable with other people waiting on me. Similarly I buy most of my clothes and shoes from K Mart and the like not (just) because I'm a tightwad, but because there's no "can I help you?", nobody lurking unobtrusively while you're browsing, nobody hovering outside the changing room asking if you'd like to try another size. It's the same reason I hate getting my hair cut, and Gods help me being fitted for a bra.
I really, really dislike being fussed over. Add to that a dose of social anxiety and the interpersonal fumbling that comes with autism and it can be very tempting to just creep back into my shell and not engage with the world at large. But that's dangerous, because it's one of those things where the less you do it, the harder it gets.
Practise doesn't make perfect, but it does make it easier, and leads to little wins.
Like tonight's chicken dinner.