Look at Me! Attention Whores and the Men Who Love Us

I call Brandon to give him a quick hello and tell a funny story about a friend’s unfortunate bathroom incident, expecting a few good laughs and some light-hearted joke-cracking. Instead, Brandon abruptly tells me that he is trying to shoot some strippers, and asks if he can call me back later. He doesn’t even chuckle at the hilarious anecdote. He is playing “Grand Theft Auto IV,” and like many other video and computer games, it is a continual source of frustration in our relationship.
From the beginning, my real competition has not been another girl, a bunch of ball-busting bros or a tremendous workload; rather, the computer and the PlayStation are the bane of my existence. Call me crazy, or call me an attention whore – there is some truth to both – but am I so unreasonable for wishing that my boyfriend would willingly step away from the screen and pay attention to me and what I have to say?
Sometimes, I wish Brandon and I could rewind to those blissful first dates, when we hung on each other’s every word, every detail and every sound uttered from our mouths. I think the “honeymoon” stage of dating is so wonderfully delightful, because the focus is always on you. For a period of time, “Battlefield,” “Half-Life 2,” and “Grand Theft Auto” took a backseat to our relationship, and now I frequently find myself longing for Brandon to be as attentive to me as he is to those games.
For this behavior, my dad classifies me and most other women as attention whores, and despite the negative connotation this term gets from girls like Paris, Lindsey and Britney, I do believe there is some truth to this assumption. Guys do try hard to give women the consideration that we so desperately want, but we always want more. They wine and dine to impress us, compliment our new outfits to show that they do take notice of the little things, drive us to Yogurtland at 10 p.m. to satisfy our sweet tooth (even though there is going to be a ginormous line) and scratch our backs for extended periods of time while we watch TV. In one word, they may like their “GTA”, but they definitely deserve a break from the constant attention we require.
I believe I am an attention whore for wanting Brandon to think about our relationship as much as I do, and for hoping that he would rather pick a witty chick flick over “Star Wars.” My mom is a bit of an attention whore when she asks my dad where her Mother’s Day gift is. With a healthy dose of humor, my father, Rico Suave, replies that she “is not his mother,” and asks, “Why should you want a gift when I treat you like a queen every day?” My buddy’s girlfriend is an attention whore when she expects him to drop by her place to say hello, while he is out and about with his band.
Guys complain all of the time that women are so complicated, when really, if you give us a pint of frozen yogurt, a back scratch and just a bit of attention, we are putty in your PlayStation-playing hands. A little attention goes a long way, when considering how many brownie points a guy will get for sending his girl a virtual bouquet of flowers while she is hard at work on an essay.
There is a happy medium between Brandon’s GTA4-playing, and my somewhat constant need for love and attention, and I believe that with understanding and effort on both of our parts, the “honeymoon” stage may soon come again.