In which I, a grown adult, was foiled by a bag of popcorn.
A typical example of the kind of rigid thinking that manifests in autism. So here I am staring at an unpopped bag of Orville Redenbacher popcorn. The instructions: remove outer covering, (at one side of the rectangular bag) this side down.
But there’s a catch. It’s a new “popcorn technology”, a pop up bag, as in instead of pulling the bag open once popped and pouring the contents into a separate containment system, it is its own bowl.
Now, my aspie brain is confused as the bag seems to be made of a double layer of paper and microwaveable plastic. So which layer do I remove? I discover not long after that the plastic is for propping purposes.
“This side down”. My mind instantly goes through a series of every bowl I have ever seen and starts to try to manipulate the package in a 3D space to figure out how this thing goes into the microwave and then becomes a bowl. Every iteration goes through my mind and yet I cannot figure it out. My husband appears and sees me trying to stand the cursed bag up on one of the red plasticked sides.
“Its like every other bag of popcorn. The instructions are the same. ”
And yet, dear fellow, the context and physical shape were different. My aspie brain was not able to generalise between varying shapes of popcorn bag tech.
I am a grown, matured adult with a gifted IQ, and savant like skills in verbal patterning and yet I cannot figure out how to generalise across popcorn contexts and pop a bag of corn for a snack.
I very much felt like Carson in that moment. We’d been watching Downton Abbey.