Some obsessions make sense to me. I can’t see a trinket without a flame on it or related to fire without purchasing it for my friend whose house burned down a few years ago. I feel compelled to continue the flame motif in her life. Other obsessions make less sense to me. The powerful male preoccupation with hookers, for instance. The 9 year old’s obsession with Yours Truly just makes me smile. I don’t want to exacerbate the tendency of a boy with autism towards obsessive behavior, but said 9 year old is so sweet that I could just eat him. For those of you with neuro typical children (N.T.’s for short), you may think you understand about your child’s obsessions. My N.T. daughter, for instance, is really into mermaids, as you may recall. She can, however, go days or weeks without mentioning them and isn’t apt to pitch a fit if I tell her we’re not buying the $18 mermaid Barbie in Target every time we go. She’s not obsessed. She just really likes mermaids. The obsessions of someone on the spectrum defy all notions of “rational” obsessions. First, the object of the obsession is usually just bizarre (my son with autism is currently fixated on commas and apostrophes. He likes pairs of things. WTF?) Second, the obsession is relentless for a period of time, be that a day, a month or a year. My son’s obsession with drinking milk only out of a white cup has lasted three years and is still going strong.
I must say that I kinda feel like Madonna or Pink, though, in this new role as the object of someone’s obsession. Take note, Lady Gaga. There’s a new Object of Obsession vying for attention. I feel a certain responsibility to live up to his expectations, to be worthy of being a favorite of his in line right after his obsession with elevators. (Fuck! How do I compete with elevators?!) At the very least, I feel an obligation now to shower on Saturdays. I know the 9 year old’s obsession with me has a finite shelf life, but I’m going to ride it before it jumps the shark.