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April 29, 2004

constant attention

there's a line in 'lost in translation' that really sticks with me. it's when bill murray and scarlett johanssen are in the restaurant and fighting. he says, "what, there wasn't anyone around to pay constant attention to you?"

maybe everyone is like that, but when i heard that both the first and second times i thought, "oh, that is so totally me." i require constant attention. i sort of try to spread my demands around and not suck any one person dry, but hell i know that's half the reason i keep a blog. (that and the sheer pleasure of constantly writing. and my ongoing desire to document everything.)

so i was feeling all fucked up and wrong this evening, and thinking about why, and i think the fact that i isolated myself more than usual today had something to do with it. "ok, well that's lonliness, lisa", you might be thinking, and you would not be completely wrong, but it's not like i'm just dying to hear about your day, right? i want you to hear about mine.

i want to stop joe in the street and tell him about the dude stalking me in his car. (which i did.) i want to sit in charles' office and tell him everything i can think of about the fucking van. i want to sit in joe's office and tell him everything i can think of about the van or something like it. i want to IM to jason how fucked up sharepoint is and get his sympathy. i want people to write comments on my blog.

it's a bad and selfish habit, one which i've had since i can remember (it was first pointed out to me by my mother when i was in elementary school).

i used to have much better skills at getting people to talk to me about all kinds of personal stuff, but that was actually a manipulative tactic on my part. i mostly used it on guys. seriously, if you can get a guy in his early 20's to confess some deep, dark secret to you, he's going to want to make out with you about five minutes later. i think that was my ultimate goal. the ultimate kind of attention. the kind of attention i wanted constantly.

i'm more mature now. less needy. very independent. i realize i'll never get the attention that i want from the one guy who i really want it from. it doesn't stop me from fantasizing about what his reaction would be if i could do the things he can do, like program computers, or fix cars. how he'd be proud of me. how we'd hang out and talk recursion or make dumb geeky jokes about gearing. shit we're never gonna do. the approval he's never going to give me.

once i made him a web page, for father's day. he emailed me back a critique.

anyway, whenever i try to jettison this attention-seeking habit, i find i have nothing to replace it with. i'm at a total loss as to what to do instead. the stuff builds up in my head and i desperately need to tell someone about it.

maybe everyone else is so self-absorbed that they don't notice.

Posted by lisa at April 29, 2004 09:06 PM | TrackBack


Well, I'm certainly glad you stopped and talked to me -- both to tell me about the guy and so you could talk.

Maybe you could think about how you internally view your desire to talk to people and what you think it looks like to others. Then try comparing that to what your friends think. For instance, I've never felt you were a leech conversation-wise or glommed on to other people too much. That might be what you're scared of, but I don't think you do that. But don't believe me -- check with other people. Knowledge is power.

Posted by: Joseph H. Vilas on April 30, 2004 10:30 AM

i don't think there's anything wrong w/ wanting attention. of course, i constantly want attention too, so maybe i'm justifying this. maybe everyone else does feel this way too.

i'm always excited when you comment on my livejournal, for the record. :)

Posted by: alicia on April 30, 2004 10:42 AM

come on! everybody i know needs constant attention and has means for diffusing this need. it makes you sexy and interesting.

you know somebody else who needs constant attention? phillip grosshans. that's right, you can help him out by showing up to the blackstrap show at joe and jo's tonight!

Posted by: rick! on April 30, 2004 11:09 AM

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