Skeeter, that is such a good tip, advance notice for new tasks. Hadn't heard that mentioned anywhere else. School of Hard Knocks taught you that.... thanks!
And you are right, my SAWH really IS a fucking handful! I just now got another slap in the face from the kind of arrogant defense mechanism he's always used to hide his glaring inability to listen to a woman's voice read him anything...he was driving down the street in his truck and I had an email open he said he wanted to hear, came from our oldest mutual friend. Well, knowing his issues, I waited until he'd turned the street corner and got out on the main road, so he wouldn't have to drive and process my words (He has me trained!) Then, I waited until he got through a stop light on that 2-lane main road through the small town, too. At last, going through a level, uncongested stretch of 25 mph road in light traffic, he was waiting for it, so I thought I could read it to him. I started reading it out and almost within seconds, he barks out something at some car waiting to enter the road where we'd stopped for another light. "Come on, get out there!" like he was giving them time to do and got irritated they hadn't, meanwhile completely shutting down the message I was trying to share.
He's too proud to say "hey I really can't process your reading me something while I'm driving; hold on." Instead, he uses indirect ways to cut me off so I will "understand" it's my fault for distracting him from where his focus is - even if he asked me to, a minute earlier. I knew he had no need to verbalize that "command to nobody," other than to shut me off!
Oh ladies, that flipped my Bitch Switch! He got his ears chewed half the way back to the farm. I tried (again) explaining how a special ed teacher told me she identifies kids on the spectrum: that they have uneven academic or communication abilities for their intelligence level. And reminded him how, the night before our wedding, his mother made a point of telling me she'd had to take him to remedial English and speech therapy classes at age 6-7 since he was failing those subjects/skills but acing all his other schoolwork. (3 As and 2 Fs, she said, then blamed his problems not on her neglect and overt sexual abuse, but on a series of substitute teachers he'd had that year!) Told him how I'd wondered at the time why she chose that important day to dump that on me (we hadn't met prior to the week of the wedding) but later on, figured out she probably was trying to say "don't expect too much from him in the communications department!
Told him we all have our difficulties, and we need not cover them up by attacking others. Reminded him my little quirk is a consistent but embarassing left-right reversal I'll do when working with objects. I didn't used to have this problem, but after my sister died, suddenly...WTF, I lost a brain circuit? Who knows. But I admit it! I don't try to act all superior about it and make him the bad guy whenever I don't get something "right" that we are trying to manipulate (like turning a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood together, or worse yet, folding up a tarp! We always do things 180 off!)
To keep hanging out with him, I told him while I accept he can't do anything about his genetic issues or his male gender - they don't seem to multi-task as well as most women do - the one thing he can change that would help us get along better, is to lose the arrogant cover-up passive aggressive crap he hides it with!!! He nodded, but I'm pretty sure it fell on deaf ears, once again. He has to want to improve the relationship and self-protection is always his first instinct.
I frequently wonder if he's just getting old and cognitively challenged, or whether truly could it be his autistic worldview. (But Toddler Brain works really well!) I could so much more graciously accept his limitations if he weren't such a total dick about acting like "His one area of talent buys him forgiveness for any of his weaknesses!!" (I think this is original. Feel free to steal it!)
His whole family come across as very proud and judgmental, so perhaps he had to hide behind this nasty defense mechanism from an early age. But why can't he ever decide to lose it? Aaak. I had to take some of my home-made tomato juice to sooth my strained vocal cords, after we got back. And ended up here, venting again!
Skeeter, try this next time you go camping: ask a male camping buddy to fold up a tent or tarp with you - something that takes two sets of hands, and see if you both work on the task the same way....we never do! Either it's me or him, I'm not sure. But his way is always the right way, and I get barked at. (But he also calls lumber 4 by 2s instead of 2 by 4s, because that was the way they did it back in his country - that he left 35 years ago. Today he mailed off a DMV application for a title for his new truck, and had to list the repairs he did to this salvage vehicle. He typed out on the form that he had "changed a tyre." I told him not to get annoyed if that word holds up his application, as lot of folks in our country wouldn't know what he meant: he laughed it off saying "I thought I'd mess with them a little." The dripping superiority in his response shows me that he really thinks his way is the right way. Everybody else just has to catch up.)
I know, I know, if this could have been fixed, it would have been, by now. But aging does weird stuff to us all. If I could trade him in on a younger model...then again, I'd be the mommy again...
On cooking over a fire and food, my Mexican friends explain to me that they learned to cook using outdoor cooking methods, simple fire grilling. Think of the Elotes, grilled corn in its husk, or carne asada, or the grilled masa tortillas. I think it isn't supposed to be that hard, but we just didn't grow up doing food that way, day after day. My BFF said even the laborers in Mexico would bring something from home for their lunches, and instead of each eating his own lunch like we do, at midday they'd start a wood fire, and every man would put his food on the grill, then they'd all share in the buffet. What a cool concept!