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Catch Me Elsewhere
Recently, I’ve been having trouble sleeping. I go into my room to get ready for bed and my cat follows quickly behind me. I close and lock the door so she can’t get into my room. But she stands in front of the door meowing and scratching—pretty much begging—to get in the room with me. I know she just wants my attention and my Love but it’s simply not practical for me to stay up all night petting her. I yell for her to stop and she just persists longer. After a while like this, neither of us gets what we want. She makes too much noise for me to fall asleep. But still I refuse to let her into my room knowing I definitely won’t sleep comfortably with her in there. She seems content enough with this pattern as she’s made no effort to stop it. But I’m going insane and hoarse. I’ve always said cats are a lot like women.
It’s in a woman’s nature—and just human nature period—to want for attention and affection. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! But the extent to which we women settle for and seek out negative attention—much like my cat—truly alarms me. After reading a few sources online, I learned that yelling only reinforces my lonely cat’s behavior. She relishes the fact that she’s gotten my attention at all so she yelps longer and with more determination, waiting for the next time I yell at her. Too often, we mimic this in our own lives. We pick fights with our boyfriends, our husbands, and the fathers of our children. We get into relationships with married and involved men. We wear clothes too short and too revealing. We try to trap men who express little desire to stay in our lives unassisted. And we do all this simply because negative attention feels better than no attention at all. In this “bad press is better than no press” society, we learn to accept and even cherish these negative advances—dare I say especially in the black community where the examples of positive male attention can be so scarce.
Take me for example. Last weekend, I awoke to my man friend looking up something on his Macbook Pro in our bed. He was obviously into what he was doing and did not acknowledge that I’d even woken up. But I’m used to waking up to hugs and kisses. So finally, I asked him a few questions only to have him quickly wave me off as if I’d been bothering him. After this negligence continued a bit longer, I got irritated and frustrated. So I came up with a plan. I’d jump out of bed, put on some of his clothes, grab his car keys, and go grab my book from the backseat of his car. If he ignored me, surely I could ignore him better. The whole thing seemed to work at first. Suddenly, he was watching my every move as I rummaged through his closet without any indication as to why. But I pretended like I didn’t notice. And I only briefly caught his inquisitive look out of the corner of my eye as I grabbed his car keys.
I came back, book in hand, and plopped down beside him reading. We went on for about another hour in silence—him clicking away on the computer and me indulging in my literature—and I felt more ignored and more upset because it didn’t seem like this arrangement bothered him. Then suddenly it hit me. I still hadn’t gotten what I really wanted from him; I was just a chapter further in my book than I’d been previously. I tossed the book on the floor, confiscated his laptop from him, and kissed him on the lips. I told him I was sorry for doing all of that, I just wanted his attention. I’d been missing the Love and the touch I was used to getting from him in the mornings so I acted out. He smiled and proceeded to give me exactly what I wanted… and then some.
Photo Credits: newsone.com, ynaija.com,