When my oldest brother was fourteen or so, he came to breakfast one day with a big Band-Aid on his forehead. Our mother immediately dropped the frying pan and rushed to his side, exclaiming, "Oh, my goodness--what happened?"
"Nothing," Big Brother replied.
"But your head..." Mom said.
"There's nothing wrong," he insisted, grinning smugly.
"Well, for heaven's sake, why did you put a Band-Aid on?"
Well, at least he was honest. Mom just rolled her eyes and went back to making pancakes. (I probably would have hit him with the spatula.) But, see, I understand why my brother did that. There were four of us kids angling for our parents' eyes, the youngest being about a year old at that time. Guess who got the most face time?
(Yeah, yeah. Understandably so. Babies have
to have more time. Doesn't mean the older kids in the family aren't going to resent it.)
My MIL's (that's mother-in-law, for those not down with internet acronyms) would concur. One of her favorite things to say, when confronted with bad behavior from either kids or adults, is, "They're just doing that for attention
You know what? She's absolutely right. People love attention, and will apparently stop at nothing to get it. How else do you explain all those reality TV shows? Regular, everyday people vying for attention, competing for ratings with celebrities (who are, of course, professional attention-seekers).
Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Brittney Spears...all you have to do is turn on the news to see what they do for attention. Sex, drugs, internet indiscretions (usually involving sex and/or drugs)--whatever will get their face in front of the viewing public. Do they do it consciously? I can't say for sure, the cynic in me suspects so.
it about attention
Well, I'm no psychologist, but I think it must be the connection
. The tangible evidence that we are not alone. Humans are not genetically predisposed to be solitary creatures. (Barring the rare hermit, of course. There's always an exception, right?) Some people apparently require a lot more reassurance of their un-aloneness than others.
The difference is in how people go about collecting their requisite share of attention. You can divide it into some basic categories (though most people are probably hybrids):
: Philanthropists, do-gooders, whatever you want to call them. The teacher's pets. Members of the clergy, and other altruistic professions, like teachers, medical professionals, police, firefighters, etc. I'm generalizing here. I realize all these professions have their bad apples. But I suspect even those bad apples would like to be perceived
as unselfish. This is how they get their attention: "Hey, look at me! Aren't I good?"
: These are the eff-you-ers of the world. To them it's just easier (or maybe more fun) to gain an audience by misbehaving. Most kids learn this one early on, and if their parents are silly enough to focus on them only when they are "being bad," well, a little monster is born. ;) I have a certain amount of patience for this kind of behavior...up until about age four. But if you're twenty-five and still practicing this tactic, then eff you
: Okay, I have to admit, this is probably my favorite category. It can be taken to obnoxious extremes, of course (can't anything?), but at least it's usually entertaining. To the rest of the class, if not the teacher. Though even when I was a teacher, I secretly loved the clowns best. (Not that I ever showed favoritism. That would be wrong. Wait...is applause "favoritism"? Oops...)
: Er, what can I say? Me, ME, ME
!!!! *ahem* Now that I've gotten that out of my system...well, this one is pretty self-explanatory. And, really, it may just be a subset of the first three, because bloggers tend fall into one of those categories, don't they?
You've got your helpful, altruistic blogs, always offering great advice on one thing or another. Your ranting & raving blogs, sparking controversy any way they can manage. And, of course, your clownish blogs, always out for a cheap laugh. (Guilty.)
Oh, and let's not forget the Frankenstein blogs
--they patch all three types together, in varying amounts, to come up their own distinct personality.
So, where do you put your
Band-Aid? IOW, what's the wackiest thing you've ever done just to get some attention?