Thoughts and illustrations on living on the autism spectrum.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Spectrum Soundtrack: You’re So Square

You know this one. For over a half a century, “(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care” has been an anthem of geeks and those who love them. One can imagine songwriters Lieber and Stoller lusting after the sweet, sheltered, fifties girl for whom rock n’ roll was just oh-my-a-tad-too-raucous, and Elvis’s hips were just a bit too swivelly. Ah yes, the good old days, when the geeky were truly socially marginalized.

But where have the squares gone today? In 2010, we are truly Nerd Nation. Everyone from indie rockers to major league baseball players are self-described geeks and gamers. No one bats an eye at the newlyweds who met in a chat room through their shared interest in cosplay. Geek is the new chic. And from what I see, they don’t have any trouble gettin’ any.

Yeah, yeah, you’re all so square… but are you Aspie square? Are you awkward-pause-in-the-conversation square? Inappropriate-outburst square? Need-to-be-alone-now square?

We on the spectrum are not built for relationships. Yet, some of us manage to find a partner who for some reason finds all our turn-offs, a turn-on. Stephen Shore and Liane Holliday Willey are a few who have written about their happy marriages. They are the lucky ones. Many more never find what they’re looking for. In that respect, Aspies are very much the squarest of the square. Really, who can explain why someone falls for us?

I don't know why my heart flips, I only know it does.
I wonder why I love you baby, I guess it’s just because…

But it’s all good, cause this song is for us. “You’re So Square” has been recorded by at least 20 artists, including Elvis and Buddy Holly. But for my money, it begins and ends with the garage-rock take by the Bobby Fuller Four. The track in the video is not quite as raw and fuzzed out as the version that appears on “I Fought The Law,” but it’s close. Go pick that one up on iTunes, because they blow the freakin’ lid off the thing.

Crank this tune up. Rock out. Repeat. That’s how it’s done.

And if you’re Aspie square, raise your hand, and pump your fist. Yeah, I am. And baby, I don’t care.


  1. Matt, My husband is an aspie, and I am an aspie/add hybrid. You find each other. Great post, so witty!
    G.S. @notNTjen

  2. I think it's unfair to say that people on the spectrum aren't made for relationships. Many of us have very happy marriages and great relationships with our kids as well. I think it's just that the society makes it harder for us to enter relationships because a) we're not cool, no matter how much geek is chic and b) people don't really understand the way we socialize and relate. Plus, given our sensory sensitivities, we're not people to tend to show up at all the major social events. At least, I'm not. :-)

  3. Rachel, we can certainly be happy in a relationship, we just have to work harder to find the right person and to keep going things going well. As for whether society needs to adapt to us, or we to it, I'd say a little of both.

  4. I have been married to an aspie for 33 years! :)

  5. *waves shyly* aspie girl here....
    married with suspected (strongly) aspie boy. We get along fine, i overanalise everything and he grunts back.that's all the encouragement i need to keep talking...perfect! :D