My father (technically my adoptive father) is a very unique person.
My mother married him when I was about 2. We're both August Virgos and, to make matters even more astrologically-complex, Horses. It would be putting it mildly to say that many times when I was growing up, we butted heads. Not literally but definitely mentally. And often. And loudly. In my late teens, I didn't speak with him for over a year after my parents divorced.
He is, without an exaggerating, one of the most intelligent people I have ever known (despite his frequent bragging that he tested not once, but twice as "educate-ably retarded" on IQ tests as a child). He speaks at least 5 languages fluently (his native German, English, French, Dutch, Spanish, some Arabic, etc.). He can easily talk to field experts about ancient Muslim mystics, quantum string theory and techniques for making lemon sorbet.
He is also hands-down the most ethical and least hypocritical person I know. He's incredibly generous and kind. He adores my daughter. And, despite our previous history of frequent and fervent animosity, I admire and respect him in a way that I reserve for very few people.
But, he's a touch Asperger's on the whole social-interaction thing. He's good if you're talking about something or doing something he understands but if you venture away from that realm then he'll throw out all sorts of oddness. He also likes to feed people. A lot. He's obsessed. The first time my husband ever met him, we were having dinner at my Dad's house. When my husband had finished eating, my father looked at him, declared that there was no way he could be full and started attempting to force feed him more chicken from his own plate. Despite all of my poor husband's protests and entreaties from my brothers that he should stop.
So ya, basically, he's freaky-smart, socially-maladjusted and German. It's a killer combo.
So, since by now you're really wanting to know where this story is going, yesterday we dropped into Chapters to have a look around and let the kid beat on their toys [weird aside: apparently the kids section of our Chapters is the hot place for teens on Valentines dates to hang out. Seriously, there were like 3 couples just hanging out by the toys and potty-training books. What the hell is up with that? At that age I wanted nowhere near small snotty children if I wasn't being paid in cold hard cash. Actually, not much has changed, but I digress...]. Anyway, I grabbed a couple of books I'm hoping to find time to read in the next year and went to get in line to pay.
The girl (age maybe 18-19) at the register noticed one of the books I was buying and proceeded to go on a 10 minute monologue/rant/diatribe/ode-to-oversharing. All about how seeing this book gave her flashbacks to Grade 6 when she'd read it as part of an avalanche of books that she'd had to read in this advanced English class she was in and then when she got to grade 12 she was in a regular class and the teacher gave them a list of books that they'd be reading and told them that if they'd been in advanced English then they probably would have read most of them already but they'd have to read them again and do 12 page reports on them and then she had to pick an author to read and do a bigger project on and she'd picked de Sade and was a bit shocked to learn that he'd earned that reputation for being a bit of a perv and she'd actually had trouble reading all of the books she was supposed to read for this report because she'd read like 2 pages and then need to take a break.
She was sweet but we nodded, smiled and backed away slowly.
As soon as we'd made our escape out the door, my husband looked at me and said "I think we just met the teen girl version of your Dad". And he was very very right.