2006-02-21

I HATE Attention Whores

This is an open letter to attention whores.

Are you one of those women who think that getting drunk and acting like a slut gets you the attention from men your daddy never gave you?

Are you one of the guys who think you live in a frat house or a beer commercial?

Then you might be an attention whore ... or that's what us armchair psychiatrists will say.

An attention whore is defined by the Urban Dictionary as the following:

A person, usually female, who tends to: dress excessively provocatively (i.e., high heels and cleavage to the upper abdomen for a 2 year old's birthday party); keep eye contact with her female audience (her "competition") to a bare minimum, flickering the occasional glance only to verify she still has their attention, while standing toe to toe with a loud open mouth with any male who does not step back; raises her voice and speaks over others to either a) ensure that input into a conversation by any other females is not noticed or b) make sure no one forgets she is in the vicinity; constantly reapplies makeup/lipgloss in public; cannot stop talking about her clothing size/weight; loves being the only female to "show up" on an all-guys night out or trip and bragging about some happening in detail to each man's wife afterward; ends a visit/conversation only when someone else actually has something to say or starts to yawn.

If you're vain and wondering if this song is about you, take the following short quiz.

  1. Are you uncomfortable in situations in which you are not the center of attention?
  2. Is your interaction with others often characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior?
  3. Do you display rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions?
  4. Do you consistently use your physical appearance to draw attention to yourself?
  5. Do you have a style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail?
  6. Do you show self-dramatization, theatricality and exaggerated expression of emotion?
  7. Are you suggestible, i.e., easily influenced by others or circumstances?
  8. Do you consider relationships to be more intimate than they actually are?
  9. Do you use alcohol to help you act out and make yourself feel better?
  10. Do you use alcohol to help you act out and make yourself feel loved?
  11. Do you use alcohol to help you act out and make yourself feel wanted?
  12. Do you use alcohol to help you act out and make yourself feel desired?

If you answered YES to five or more of the twelve questions, you are an attention whore and yes, this song is about you.

But if you're not an attention whore, you may find the following funny. If so, please share it with your attention whore friends. Because if you're not the attention whore in your group, you know who is. And if you're mentally looking around your group of friends and don't see an attention whore, sorry, but it's you.

What causes people to become attention whores? I think it's just people pathetically lacking love in their lives to the point that any attention, whether good, bad, or ugly, satisfies that need in them.

And this comes from years of observation.

At the bars you frequent, at the parties you attend, I've been the guy behind the bar mixing your drinks, opening your beer, and cleaning up the drinks you spill, either by knocking over the glass/bottle or vomiting it back up later.

I've been the guy behind the camera recording your "moments" for posterity. Or to show you just how stupid you look. Because you obviously don't know.

Or don't have the self-esteem to care.

Let me explain where this is coming from:

Last weekend Kara & I went to see a good cover band (and by good I mean I didn't sit there nervously awaiting the next song and wondering if I'd be dropping the requisite "Oh no. Please stop and don't play that. Ever. Again. For the love of all that is good and right remove that song from your play list, or, as my friend JT from Pittsburgh says, "I'm mo kill you.")

The band?

Next Exit.

And they were good for a cover band.

And I don't like cover bands.

But I liked Next Exit. And not because Kara is friends with the singer and his wife.

Because they were good. They were fun. And they weren't pretending to be serious musicians. Sure, they might be. And they were all good at their respective instruments. And I'm sure given the chance they could play some great original music.

But Friday night at Gatsby's they were a cover band. And they were good.

I mean good like Uncle Sandwich good. (Uncle Sandwich played at the University of Toledo area bars in the mid to late 1990's. They were an amazing cover band. As I was waiting outside the first night, I heard the Katrina and the Waves song "Walkin' on Sunshine" and I thought, wow, this girl can sing. Then we got in and heard "Brick House" and I saw four guys on stage in big-ass Afro wigs. Then they went into "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys. And then they followed that up with Nena's "99 Luftballoons" in perfect German. And I realized there wasn't a girl singing. It was those four guys. And thy were awesome. And I later found out they're all serious punk musicians who earn money playing covers to drunk college kids to pay the rent while working on their album. What ever became of them I have no idea. Anyone in Toledo remember them? Or the name of their punk band? Lemme know.)

But back to Gatsby's on the Friday after Valentine's Day and Next Exit ... because the attention whores were out in force.

Maybe because it was the weekend after Valentine's Day, and those who didn't have a Valentine this year still felt that sting three days later and decided they were going to change their fortune by next Valentine's Day ... starting that night.

Oh, and for the record, I'm not just talking about women. There are many male attention whores, too.

Most of them, as I've seen, are pathetic guys who can't understand the highlight of their lives, whether it's the exploits on the high school/college athletic fields or college frat bars, are over.

Think Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite.

Like Uncle Rico, their best and brightest moment happened many years ago.

Male Attention Whore Case Studies, Gatsby's, February 17, 2005:

The mid-40's guy who was grooving to "Brick House" and flashing what he thinks were gang symbols to show just how hip and happening he is while wearing his creased Khaki Dockers and striped button down long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves buttoned and making sure his executive hairstyle isn't messed up while dancing with the female attention whores. (breathe)

The Jewish banker/accountant who was there, wearing the monotone maroon button down long-sleeved shirt with sleeves buttoned and creased dark blue Dockers, trolling the edge of the dance floor hoping the female attention whores would grab him to dance. (breathe)

The "cool military pilot" who violated many Air Force uniform regulations by wearing his flightsuit to an off-base bar and drinking in uniform. (sigh)

But I digress.

But the ones that pissed me off (and you can keep that present tense as well, because they do and always will piss me off) are the women who think that every man is available to them. Because, in their mind, nobody is hotter than they are. (And again, this can apply to both men and women, because we saw a very unhappy husband/boyfriend drag his wife/girlfriend off the dance floor after a guy was dancing way too close or talking way too much to her.)

Because he knew, in his head, he could have her. Even if she wasn't interested. Because he was that hot. A legend in his own mind. And while I'm all for the power of positive thinking, dude, yeah, you just keep thinking that.

To quote Vernon Wormer, "drunk and stupid is no way to go through life."

You should have gone after the yellow/orange shirt girl. Or her friend(s).

But you didn't. Because, maybe you agree with me: "Drunk, stupid and slutty is not attractive."

But I'm not talking to you. To paraphrase most rappers, I'm just talking to the ladies now.

Sure, you in the tight white shirt and your friend in the yellow/orange ... your attention-whore antics and dress may score the occasional attached guy who's bored in his relationship and wanting something new and different and you might think you got one up on his wife/girlfriend, and another notch in your belt/bedpost isn't what you were hoping for, that's what you got.

Sluts, meet my friend Reality. Reality meet a couple of sluts. Sluts: "Pretty Woman" was a movie. Nobody's gonna come rescue you.

The truth of the matter is this: Until you change your attitude, and antics, you'll never be more than a last call casualty and a one night stand.

Both of which will continue to feed your already damaged self-image and low self-esteem, but again, I digress.

And it's not just those women in their mid-to-late-20's sporting the outfit from A&F/Hollister/Insert Other Hip Clothing Company Here ... you know, the stylishly ripped jeans and the too-tight T-shirt rife with some witty saying that bares the midriff and/or the tattoo on the lower back when they "raise the roof." (Your view is dependent on which side they're trying to attract you with the boobs or the butt.)

And watching you, Miss Yellow/Orange too-tight-t-shirt, get stinking drunk, crash into the guitar player's setup ... twice ... that's attractive.

NOT.

I think what pissed you off the most was my total failure to pay attention to you. I wouldn't stare at your ass, or your tits, or even look you in the eye. Even when you walked right up to the table and asked my girlfriend to join you and your friend on the dance floor, I guess you wanted a third in your simulated lesbian music video dance routine, or felt you needed help using the support beam as a stripper pole.

Yeah, I noticed.

It was hard not to.

But I noticed with the look of disinterest and disgust, not the "wow she's hot and I want her" reaction you were going for.

Because, as I said, drunk, stupid and slutty, is not attractive to me.

And that look you got from me is the same one I shot the most interesting attention whore of the evening ... the really hard-looking woman who was at minimum mid-40's wearing the fringed denim miniskirt, white button-down shirt and black hose and when not dancing with the too-tight-white-t-shirt girl and her orange/yellow t-shirt girl, sat on the barstool, smoking, legs askew.

That was a view that was just frightening.

Not I'm not an ageist. I'm an observationalist.

It's not because she was old.

It's because she was ugly.

And while she was dancing she sleezed over towards where Kara and I were sitting and gave me that look of "I'd do you."

And our eyes met.

And mine totally dismissed hers.

Why? Well, honey, not be rude, but I'm sitting there with a woman who has at least 15 years of age on you, about 25 fewer years of wear and tear, and I'm guessing between 75 and 150 IQ points.

And one who interests my heart and my head, as well as what's below the belt.

You had the attention of none of the above.

In fact, I think you caused shrinkage

In all three areas.

So the odds of you doing me?

Astronomical.

Seriously.

If you and I were the last two people on earth and we were out of farm animals and I had both my arms ripped from the sockets by whatever forces destroyed everyone on the earth except you and I well, at that point

No. Not even at that point. I'd either walk around with a bursting nutsack or I'd kill myself rather than go where many many many have gone before me.

But that's just me.

Anyway, this started as a rant to say there's nothing worse than attention whores who think that they can steal away anyone they want, simply by their whoring abilities.

Well, ladies, you've met your match.

I'm the ying to your yang.

I'm the white to your black.

I'm the day to your night.

I'm out of opposing clich├ęs.

I'm not interested in you.

Now.

Ever.

Because drunk and stupid with no self-esteem and a poor self-image is no way to go through life, or find anyone who's life is worth sharing, or finds your life worth sharing, for more than a few dances, a drunken drive home and a romp between the sheets.

And I'll end this with a song from a presently-retired attention whore, who was recently engaged to his loving Jessica. Congrats!

I look across the room
And I wonder if you're just like me
You're not pretty but you're pretty lonely
You know there's just one thing
That keeps this world spinning around
The lights come up and the standards go down

Low self-esteem and alcohol
If it weren't for you I'd have no one at all
Every Saturday night I answer the call

Will another year find me
Alone in front of the TV
Watching Dick Clark's New Year's Eve
And February fourteenth
Will I be looking out the window of my apartment
Waiting for flowers that no one sends

Low self-esteem and alcohol
Will I be standing ten feet tall
Or face down again in a bathroom stall

Everyone's pretending that they got some place better to go
But night after night you'll still find us here

Low self-esteem and alcohol
If it weren't for you I'd have no one at all
Every Saturday night I answer the call

~ Quinn Fallon "Low Self-Esteem & Alcohol"
Album: X-Rated Cowboys (2005)

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