At the end of a leisurely breakfast this morning, Victor and I were discussing our respective businesses. Almost as an aside, I mentioned women and ADHD. Before I could finish my sentence, a striking woman wearing a black waitstaff uniform screeched to a halt at our table. “I have ADHD,” she said, “and so do my kids!”
I was surprised (pleasantly so) and chatted with her for a few minutes. “I’m really creative. Is that normal for ADHD?” she asked. Oh, yes.
“I do things differently from everyone else. I’m supposed to fold the napkins in a certain way but I just can’t do it – it drives me crazy, ” she confided. “Is that normal, too?” Oh, yes.
“I’m a chef in a hospital but I work here on weekends because I get bored doing the same job all the time. Is that what ADHD people do?” Yep.
“People don’t like the way I act around here. I get in trouble all the time, just like when I was in school. I don’t have many friends.” This waitress was spelling out the symptoms of ADHD in short choppy segments.
“I take dexamphetamine, long acting. Ritalin didn’t work for me,” she said, rapid fire style. “It’s the only way I can focus.”
By the time we paid our bill, I learned that the waitress had raised her two children as a single parent (divorce is prevalent among ADHD couples), that she did well in school but failed tests unless she had extra time and that she was quite popular with customers but was criticized by her boss. She asked me to put in a good word for her on the company website. Of course, I agreed. I also mentioned my book ‘Confessions of an ADDiva” as a possible resource for her, if she was over age 40. “I’m 49,” she said proudly.
I pulled out a business card so we could stay in touch and on a whim, I jotted down the website for the book: www.confessionsofanaddiva.com . That’s a lot of words for a small business card; my misguided spatial sense underestimated the space. The letters were crammed together at the edge and then meandered underneath. It was a mess.
“You probably can’t read this,” I said, apologizing. “My handwriting sucks.” The waitress doubled over in laughter. “Oh my, you are precious,” she said. “My writing sucks, too. Come here and give me a cuddle!”
As I hugged her tightly, I quickly looked at her name tag. It read “Linda.” OMG. Is that normal? I guess so!