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Monday, February 15, 2010

Attention Whores & Martyrs

There are more than just attention whores and martyrs in this world, but the two typically grow in the same garden - often in the same person.  Attention whores need to be acknowledged, recognized, made to feel special, and when they don’t get the recognition they think they deserve they will often turn on the martyr switch in ugly, sad ways.  But sometimes it’s a close friend, significant other, or family member that is the martyr figure to their beloved attention whore.  I find that dynamic fascinating. 

Being a first class attention whore, I have had my fair share of martyr counterparts - starting with my mom.  There’s something deeply satisfying in being the star of the show, even if it’s only for a thirty second marriage proposal or birthday song in the middle of a restaurant.  It’s nice to feel special and important to feel other people are noticing your importance (even if they don’t really) in that moment.  I also realize that someone has to make that “special” happen in order for the attention whore to get that recognition.  That someone usually will sigh dramatically, wipe a tired brow, “Well, I guess SOMEONE has to do this,” you know - the tragic figure doing “right” by everyone else but him or herself. 

The dynamic between two attention whores is fantastically electric and (at least for a short period of time) supercharged to the extreme.  That kind of energy can’t be sustained long, and in the end, two attention whores next to each other with no one else around goes sour very, very quickly.  With no audience to play to and no martyr to orchestrate the scene, it’s just two needy people throwing themselves around in dark circles.  Burn out or boredom will win.

Two martyrs together - well, that can be sustained, but only if there are attention whores to feed into the misery of the martyrs.  Otherwise, it just becomes a pissing contest between the two to see who is sacrificing and suffering more, and - yes again - boredom or burn out will win.

I guess Valentine’s Day just brings out all kinds of ugly in me (and other people, I noticed), and I guess I decided I should write something in my awesome Nyquil-drug-induced state since I’d gone quiet for so long.  Ironically, that’s how people know an attention whore is actually struggling - she’ll go quiet.  Quiet is bad in the world of an attention whore.  We’re noisy - inside and outside - and we enjoy sharing that noise, so if you know one and she’s gone quiet, expect the worst and dive in head first to save her.

Except, I don’t think I need saving just now.  Not exactly.  I just have spent the last few months having someone tilt my head “just so” - completely changing my perspective on how things tick.  I’ve been so caught up in the fascination of watching the wheels and gears tick and whir, I haven’t had a driving need to shout, “HEY!  LOOK AT ME!”  It’s been enjoyable just seeing how special the world is.  And in that process, I have been made to feel special without performing tricks or calling undue attention publicly.  It’s been… odd.  Scary.  Surreal. 

There’s more to say.  Always.  And really, I wish I could budget the time, energy, and enthusiasm to say it, but for now I’ll just curl up in my warm bed knowing that yesterday was a good day - no matter what it did or didn’t celebrate.

Oh.  And sometimes pooping really does make everything better.  (Literally and figuratively.)

Posted by Liberty on 02/15 at 12:53 AM
Posted under: See-Through

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