Storming RV Land, Day 2

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Never in all my life have I seen as many RVs as I’ve seen today. Let me clarify. I don’t think I’ve seen as many RVs in my entire life, cumulative, from the time I was born through yesterday, as I saw at one time today.

Today was also the first time I ever set foot in an RV that had a retail recommended price, from the manufacturer, of over $600,000 USD. I kept hearing Jim Carrey standing in the door of the RV, going, “Oh, my God!” and “Wow!”

We even found one with a safe built into the walk-in closet at the very back of the RV.

We got caught in the rain twice. One this morning, shortly after 0900. Once this afternoon, around 1600 hours. I told Pat, “After the first 80 or so, I forgot all of them. Couldn’t describe any of them to you. Other than, “That one was a bus. That one was built on a Mercedes-Benze chassis. That one was on a Ford chassis.” I couldn’t tell you dip about any of the contents of them. They had beds, kitchens, showers. Everything you’d need in a mini house to survive.

We did NOT look at pull behind RVs. No trailers. No 5th wheels. I’m good with that. We looked at Class A, B and C motor-homes. And then, we limited the range to 35 feet. I remember there were several 24 foot homes that she liked. And they worked for me. I’m simple. She knows that.

She’s looking for something she can live in for weeks at a time. Perhaps for as long at three months at a time. She’ll need a generator. She wants a cushy, full bath. And a kitchen she can actually cook in. The minimum we found that worked for her today were 24 feet long. Most of what worked was 31 to 34 feet long.

Have you ever climbed up and down so many RV steps you have no idea how many it was? I have no idea how many we toured today. Clueless. I couldn’t even hazard a guess. I can say we started at the show’s opening this morning (0900), and we took a break for lunch (we went to the car, had soda to drink, and ate 6” Subway Subs we picked up last night), and then stuck it out at the show until, oh, 1630 hours or so. We left in the rain.

We then went to Troeg’s Craft Brewery. We had beer. I had a big glass of “Dream Weaver”. She had a big glass of Dead Reckoning Porter. We toured the brewery on the “self guided tour.” We bought a six-pack of mixed flavors. I think there are 5 flavors in it.

She’s going to be stiff in the morning. And have lots of muscles that ache. I’ll be fine. That’s already visible. Once I got some fluid in my body, and ate dinner at Red Robin, I was already walking fine, and I feel like I’ll be my normal self in the morning.

She’s already so sore, she’s threatening to make me drive a large part of the way home. Just so you know, I haven’t driven the car at all on this trip. She’s driven every bit of it so far.

Well. That sums up today. We went to the RV show. We explored 80,000,000,000,000,000 (80 quadrillion – yeah. That’s what’s after trillion.) RVs (I know it wasn’t that many, but I’m allowed to use insanely big numbers to describe what it felt like).

Oh, crud. She’s figured out the ceiling fan. Dang it. I liked sleeping in a room with no fan last night. Sigh. Oh, well. Such is life. At least I can pull the covers up, and tuck myself in.

Tomorrow, we make the trip home. And Friday night, we’ll sleep at home. I’m looking forward to that. I like my home. As filled with junk as it it. Because I know it’s a safe environment for me. I don’t have to worry about interacting with other people, like I do when we’re on the road, spending the night somewhere.

Yeah. I know. A lot of people don’t know how much effort that takes for me, or how exhausting it is. And even fewer people understand why it’s hard. That’s something you can figure out by watching me at things like the show today. I almost never spoke to anyone. Except her. I nodded a lot. I shook my head a lot. I said simple things like, “She’s in there,” and “No, thanks.”

What happens to me at big events is I overload. The sights, sounds, colors, people, crowd, endless sequence of events, event density in the environment. It all adds up, and overloads my ability to process information. So, I have to shut down large parts of that ability. I end up with vague memories of the event. Little clips from here and there. And general notes like, “We looked at an awful lot of RVs.” That happens, because that’s all I can process.

I spoke with my Doc one day about another aspect of my ASD. Night driving. I’ve told people before, I see everything. I mean EVERYTHING. When I’m driving at night, I see every tail light. Every headlight. Every street light. Every lighted sign. Every turn signal. I see the lights reflecting off the paint stripes on the road. I see flashes of light glinting off chrome body parts on cars. I see the DVD players in minivans and SUVs. I see the GPS stuck on the windshield of someone’s car. I see the dashboard lights on cars around me.

I’ve come to understand neurotypical people don’t see all that. It’s like their brains automatically filter out that stuff, and just concentrate on the “big picture”. Picking out the flow of traffic. Picking out the necessary details like, “the light is red, I have to stop.” Or “the flow is stopping, I have to match it.” At least, this is what I imagine neurotypical people do for night driving. I have trouble believing neurotypical people see all the illuminated business signs along the streets they drive down in the dark.

But like I said, I see EVERYTHING. And I have to physically process that information, and put it together into a picture. I have to decide, “that part isn’t important.” I have to decide, “the light ahead just turned red, I have to slow down, but I can’t slam on the brakes without causing an accident, so I have to slow down at a speed that prevents me from running into what’s in front of me, and gives the people behind me time to slow down, and not run into me.”

And this is the person that went to the biggest RV show on the East Coast today. Does anyone really think I’m going to remember what detail goes with which RV when I walked through a couple hundred RVs? Really?

And, yes, as the day wore on, I had less and less to say. And I remember less and less detail about the RVs. Funny thing is, in 20 years, I will be able to tell you, “On Thursday, 12 September 2013, Pat and I went to the RV show in Pennsylvania.” Just like I can say, “On Wednesday, 13 July 1977, Pat and I met. At freshman orientation. At ODU.”

Yeah. I’m not normal. I know that.

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