Christmas in Hiding
After considering it for a few minutes, I politely begged off, saying that I had other plans (which were, in fact, nonexistent). This decision wasn't based on an aversion to socializing, or anything like that; I enjoy classical music, and I don't feel shy about eating in public. In past years, I probably would have gone to the luncheon and enjoyed it—but unfortunately, things have changed.
When I interviewed for my job a few years ago, I expect the hiring manager saw me as a capable, qualified, well-educated person with a mild speech impairment. Now, thanks to the onslaught of "autism awareness" propaganda from so-called advocates like Autism Speaks and the Autism Society of America, every time I meet a new person there's an ever-increasing chance that he or she will be sufficiently "autism aware" to view me as a mentally disordered burden on society, et cetera. As a result, I'm not going to have any schmoozing with corporate directors on my Christmas agenda this year.
This reminds me of a conversation that I overheard as a child about an ugly incident of holiday office party bigotry. A young, up-and-coming manager, who was white and well-respected, made the mistake of bringing his black wife to the office Christmas party. The others at the party all smiled politely and greeted her. But by the next day, everyone in town was gossiping about how this guy had committed career suicide, and what a fool he was for not knowing better.
I'm not sure if America's witch hunt against its autistic minority population has gotten so extreme that an autistic employee ought to know better than to attend a holiday luncheon and sit at a table with a director, but I'd rather not take the risk of finding out the hard way.