Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sometimes We Just Can't Ask For More Attention

It's 2:12 am on Saturday morning and I just finished watching the 1988 American Comedy and Drama/Chick Flick/Tear Jerker, Beaches.  (A Quick Synopsis on Wikipedia, in case you've never seen the film. But in that cause just watch it!)

What a film! 

I have been experiencing a bit of sensitivity regarding relationships.  
When I speak of relationships I mean all kinds. I am talking about my relationship with my mom, my relationship with social networking, my relationship with my new friends, my relationship with my four year old, my relationship with my 11 year old, my relationship with my 27 year old, my relationship with my younger sister, my relationship with my older sisters, my relationships with my brothers, my relationship with my aunt, my relationship with my grandmother, my relationship with my dog, my relationship with my neighbor, my relationship with former colleagues, my relationship with my clients, my relationship with my oldest friend of 31 years, my relationship with my newest friend of three years, my relationship with my cousin, my relationship with my uncle, my relationship with my prospective employers, my relationship with my former employers, my relationship with my mailman, my relationship with my creditors, my relationship with my old friends, my relationship with money, my relationship with my partner and mostly my relationship with myself and the world at large.  There are times I feel I don't get enough of the attention or even close to what I give to all of these Connections. All of these relationships are integral to my life. I don't know, at this point, if they all should be.  

With all these thoughts and emotions in mind a scene (a quite poignant scene) came to mind from the movie, Beaches.

Here is the scene: (funny thing is I wrote it out completely so I could transcribe it and then lost it so I decided to do a search and viola, I found it; From IMDB.COM...the internet is such a gift!)

CC Bloom is Bette Midler's Character and Leona Bloom is Bette Midler's Character's Mother.

Leona Bloom: [CC is at the beach, telling her mother that she's left John] What do you mean, you left him? What happened? After only three years, you left him? Was it another woman?
CC Bloom: [rolls eyes] It's not a soap opera, Leona. Everything with you is a soap opera.
Leona Bloom: Tell me, honey. Go ahead. Get it off your chest.
CC Bloom: Something just died between us, that's all. He used to care what happened to me. But he stopped paying attention to me.
Leona Bloom: [Leona shakes her head and starts to chuckle]
CC Bloom: What's so funny?
Leona Bloom: [still chuckling slightly] Never mind.
CC Bloom: Leona, what's so funny?
[Leona's laughter continues]
CC Bloom: Why are you laughing? Tell me why you're laughing! MA!
Leona Bloom: [stops laughing] WHAT?
CC Bloom: Tell me!
Leona Bloom: All right, I'm gonna tell you. You wanna know, I'm gonna tell ya. Why do you think I'm living down here in Florida, huh?
CC Bloom: [throwing up hands] I give up. You like the sun.
Leona Bloom: I don't give a shit about the sun! I'm here because it's peaceful, that's why! You always wanted too much attention! You wanted so much attention from everybody all the time, that you wore people out! You wore me out, you wore your father out, may he rest in peace, by the time you were 15 years old!
[CC looks down... Leona takes her hand]
Leona Bloom: I love you, CC.
CC Bloom: [whimpering] No you don't.
Leona Bloom: Oh yes, I do. I love you very much. But I just... I just can't pay any more attention to you. You know what I mean? I want to... but I just can't do it. And if I were you, I wouldn't leave anybody for not paying attention to me. Because sooner or later you're gonna have to leave everybody. You understand me?

When I first saw this film at the age of 21 I cried, I cried so much for the losses, for the betrayal, I cried a whole lot. Every time I flipped the channel on television and it was on I would stop and watch it.  Today was the first time in several years that I watched it from beginning to end and I must tell you I cried a whole lot less but for such different reasons.
At 21 I was concerned about the little girl at the end of the film but more-so I was deeply touched by the losses of the relationships.  

From the time I first watched the movie until now every single time I have a conversation with someone about Attention, wanting it, giving it or anything having to do with it I always hear this conversation in my head.  This particular dialogue in the film was always intense for me but it seemed funny at 21.  It seemed like the mom was just being mean to her daughter but trying to be coy at the same time. I don't really know how to explain it. Now after almost two decades it seems extremely intense and it has provoked deep thought and stillness.

'DON'T LEAVE ANYONE FOR NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO ME...SOONER OR LATER YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO LEAVE EVERYBODY.'  One thing that truly struck a cord for me this last time is that this is said by a mother to her daughter. This is the first time in my life that I have watched this movie and I am a mother.  The times prior to this time I was only a daughter, I couldn't even fathom hearing that from my mom much less say it to my child.

Are you a parent who pays too much or too little attention? How much is too much attention? Do you give the amount of attention that feels right or no attention because of the fear of being seen?  Or do you pay too much attention because you don't want to look inward?

If you haven't seen the movie Beaches and you want to, you should!
Bette Midler's Movie: Beaches 1988

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