Allow me to paint you a picture.
You’re reading in your bedroom, and your roommate – or sister, brother, boyfriend, etc. – is watching television in the living room. You’re not sure what’s on and you don’t really care to know, but you can hear the faint sound of some sort of suspenseful program. Then, all of a sudden, you hear a loud GASP, followed by an astonished “WOW” or “What!? Come on!” The other person in your shared living space isn’t talking directly to you, but really, they kind of are. Sure, it’s possible that they’re just reacting out loud to themselves, but it’s more likely that they want you to come ask what happened, and will continue to gasp, shout, or remark to themselves until you do. And here, now, I announce that I will no longer entertain such attention-grabbing attempts.
I realized that I was a victim of the indirect ‘come look at this’ years ago, and the culprit was my dad (author’s note: hi, Dad!). Back in the day, the door to my parents’ bedroom was directly across from mine. So I’d be in my room, probably applying layers of white eye shadow, and my dad would be on the computer across the hall. I’d always know when he’d come across something he wanted me to come look at when he let out a particularly loud laugh, or an “Oh, awesome!” After a few rounds of very audible reactions, I’d bite. “What are you looking at?” And much of the time, I’d receive a “Here, come see this!” in return.
Of course, I understand the inclination to react to things. It’s very difficult to resist emitting a high-pitched “Aww!” whenever I see a particularly adorable puppy photo, or any puppy photo. But if I want to show it to someone, I say so. I say,”Hey! Come look at this!”
So all I ask is that we be upfront about our sharing. If you want me to watch someone fall off the runway on America’s Next Top Model, just ask. Trust me, I’ll be more than happy to oblige.