Thursday, February 06, 2014


I'm a terrible person.

I mean, I'm not a terrible person on purpose (at least not normally) but I did something recently that makes me feel like a terrible person.

I think I may have mentioned this before, but one of the members of our church is a severely autistic man.  Since I don't know know enough about autism and it's different forms, I don't know how to explain his issues, but he's very childlike and he has the amazing ability to know what day a certain date fell on, and he can remember birthdays and dates with freaky accuracy.  In fact, that's kind of his jam.  When he meets you for the first time, he'll ask your birthday and even if he sees you once every three years, he'll remember when it is.

OK, so one of the things I do in my job is update and print the bulletins (you know, the little programs that tell you the order of service and when the next potluck will be.)  We have a new one every week, so I have to change the date on the outside each time.  I've put the wrong day on them a time or two, which is great fun when everyone and their mom let's you know you've screwed it up, but I'm human and it happens.  At any rate, I'm usually pretty faithful to remember to change the month and day, if for no other reason than I don't want 10 old ladies and 40 engineers telling me the date on the front is wrong!


When the year changed over, I forgot to change the year on the front of the bulletin.  It's an honest mistake, since I'm usually so focused on getting the month and day right AND since it's the thing I change least often, but still, every date in the bulletin still said 2013 up until about the third week in January. I'm guessing it's not something other people look at very often, either, since it took that long for someone to point it out to me. However, by the time they said something, I'd already printed the bulletins for that week and couldn't justify wasting the paper just for a date misprint, so I fixed the digital file so that the year would be right for the next week on.  Well, apparently that week was the one where someone must have pointed out the mistake to the poor autistic man, because as soon as he could, he came over and said "It's 2014, right? Not 2013?"  He looked really concerned and so I said "You're right, it's 2014, I messed it up."  At that point, I didn't feel bad, just dumb, but then he said "It's not my fault is it? It's not my fault?"  I told him that it was all my fault, and he walked away.

Look, I know I didn't do this on purpose and I know that I don't need to feel bad about forgetting to change the date. Intellectually, I know this.  But here is this man, who apparently thinks that he controls the correct flow of time by remembering the date, and because I accidentally forgot to change a number, I threw a cog in his universe. I temporarily disturbed his personal space-time continuum to the point where he thought it was his fault that the date was wrong and I feel awful about it.  Seriously, it's been two weeks and it still nags at me!

This is probably a dumb thing to worry about, but geez.  I've never been responsible for throwing someone's world into chaos before.  Maybe this is going to be my super villain origin story.  Ugh, what if I become this man's personal nemesis?

Great, now I feel terrible AND drunk with power.

No comments: