We jump back and forth between wanting to be noticed and trying not
to be noticed.
If I keep my yard mowed and all of the green grass blades and leafy stuff appear to be about the same height, maybe passersby won’t notice that several spots need seeding and nurturing. On the other hand, if I create a flower bed in the middle of the yard and nurse it to blossoming, I’m disappointed if no one comments on the fruits of my labor.
Young people call attention to themselves in many creative ways. Decorations on their bodies, various colors of hair and revealing clothing are some examples. The time soon comes when we bemoan our naturally multicolor hair and we try to hide bulging and drooping body parts with loose clothes.
If I should get new carpet, I would find a way to bring that into the conversation so my visitors would not leave without noticing it. Other times, I hope they don’t question why a throw rug is in an unusual place where it covers a spill spot yet unsuccessfully removed.
We generally want to be seen attending a gathering. I want the person having a special birthday to know I am there to wish her well; I want to be seen supporting a worthwhile community project; I want talented students to know that I admire their performance.
But how about when a group assembles because there is a job to be done. Discussion has taken place and the time has come to select someone to take responsibility to lead the work. I stay very quiet, visualize myself shrinking and try to hide behind a taller person fearing that they might call on me.
In school, I was quick to raise my hand to answer a question, unless it was a question the answer of which I did not know. I lowered my head and became very busy writing notes, hoping not to draw attention to myself in any way until an easier question came along.
A new garment makes us feel dressed up and I am eager to wear anything new that I might buy. I’ll admit that I feel a little let down if no one compliments my appearance. Probably the next time out, I’m hoping people won’t recognize the age of what I’ve worn for years.
Look or don’t look. A relative matter.