Saturday, 28 September 2013

Attention, please.

"Have you ever walked into a room and realised everyone was talking about you? Have you ever had it happen twenty times in a row..? I have." Cady Heron, Mean Girls. 

There are good and bad kinds of attention, we all know that. It's funny, we seem to be able to understand the difference silently in our heads, even from just a glance. I recently walked into a pub and a group of lads all turned and looked at me, while someone muttered something under their breath. Sounds good, right? Wrong. On the surface this may seem okay, mediocre, normal even. But it isn't. I'm not referring to the attention part, I'm referring to the act of doing so. The hidden meaning behind it. Knowing what someone else is thinking when they look at you. For me, that's kind of an awful feeling, or was then. An educated guess allowed me to realise that ten sets of eyes on me as I walked, drink in tow, shoulders back, head high, past this group, wasn't a good thing. I knew why they were looking. And note, not speaking. Some of sharing perhaps similar yet silent views. The others only partly aware of what is being thought, or acknowledged as I sat down in the smoking area, swigging my double vodka, very unladylike. I shrug my shoulders and force a smile and pretend to hide the very obvious feeling of self consciousness I am possessing at such a moment. Attention is a funny little thing. Sometimes you want it, other times you'd rather suffocate yourself with your duvet than have anyone even acknowledgeu your existence. It depends how you're feeling and ultimately, who it is you're receiving the attention from. A good-looking stranger, a vague acquaintance or a really creepy man who has been hovering behind you at the bus stop for the last twenty minutes. They're all...different. The underlying meaning is different. Admittedly, there are times when I thrive in situations where I'm being 'seen' and noticed, I like the attention, but who doesn't? I've never really wanted to blend into the background, but sometimes, there is such a thing as too much attention. Then again, maybe I just have a funny feeling about that scenario, and I know why. I guess you can't expect to be noticed one minute, and ignored the next. Although, evidently, some people find that easier than others.

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