Ch.17. Slightly Unusual Behaviors (SUBs).
Pat has never been a model of conventionality. In fact, she’s sometimes decidedly unconventional. For example, for years she’s picked up rocks almost every time we go out to dinner, taking one or two from parking lots and garden areas. The rocks aren’t special. They’re neither large nor particularly compelling or beautiful – just rocks. We have a good portion of our garage full of these rocks,
keeping each other company. Let me add that we also own an extensive collection of minerals such as turquoise and also a collection of seashells that Pat and I have gathered, on her initiative, over the last thirty years. Pat’s been a rock lover all her life, having grown up on a cliff overlooking the agate filled St. Croix River.
Lewy Body has added to Pat’s unconventionality. Now she does unpredictable things that are just a little “off.” One example: the other day she ordered both raspberry lemonade and a non-alcoholic beer with dinner.
Another example is that sometimes at breakfast with our friends, Pat seems to become bored with the conversation and she simply drifts away, even on occasion reading a book or newspaper at the table.
I call these actions “subs,” which stands for “slightly unusual behaviors.” They have made me recognize how much normal social life is full of norms, guidelines and rules. It’s as if Pat were saying that she doesn’t have time anymore to bother with silly rules and conventions that just limit people’s freedom of expression. And when I do “hint” that what she is doing is a little odd, as I did when she ordered those two drinks, she often shrugs me off. So, what the Hell.
I do have one question, though. How much is Pat aware that she is breaking these relatively minor societal conventions. Does she know and not care? Or does she not realize what is happening? If the former, I should stay out of her way. If the latter, perhaps I should at least call it to her attention? Probably sometimes she knows and other times not. How can I tell?
Pat’s comments on SUB’s.
I am aware that I am following what I have been taught to do in my family. If something feels more correct or more OK than a conventional response, then do it. Do what feels right to you, not what everyone else wants you to do.
My response is that it depends on what is going on with the groups and with me. For example, after trying the O’Douls beer, I did not like it very much, so I switched to asking for a pink lemonade which was much better. I did not ask for a substitution. I had ordered an O’Douls but did not like it though I HAD ALREADY BEGUN TO DRINK IT.
At the movies I bought two boxes of different kinds of candy before the show. As I’ve grown I know if I want more than one kind of candy that’s ok. There isn’t anybody telling me I can only have one.
Added note January 2020. Ron.
A year has passed since I wrote my previous comments. During this time, I’ve learned mostly to ignore these small details. Compared with bigger concerns such as hallucinations and the danger from falling I don’t need to worry about these minor differences. I still notice them, but they simply don’t cause me to feel as embarrassed. And if I do choose to feel embarrassed that is my problem, not Pat’s.