Blank screen and blinking cursor–I hate this place. Its been a very long day and I’m feeling exceptionally weepy. This is my default emotional reaction: crying. I weep when I’m tired, sob when I’m frustrated, wail when I’m bereft. I even cry when I’m happy. And I’m most likely clasping my hands and gazing in wonderment, tears streaming down my face. I once cried three times during one episode of “Glee”. Everything makes me cry–songs, newspaper articles, documentaries, of course movies–don’t even talk to me about “The Notebook”. The ending of “Superbad” makes me cry people…”Superbad“. (But it’s a really well told coming-of-age story, and I highly recommend it). I think I get this from my mother, who can’t even begin to tell you about the ending of “Saving Private Ryan” or the beginning of “Love Actually” without getting choked up.
I just asked my husband for his thoughts on what makes me cry…and he looked as if I just asked him to describe what it was like for him in his mother’s womb. His eyes get really wide at the concept of recollection. “Wow…everything…just everything”. This makes me sound like a Sylvia Plath sort of gal, but I’m really not meant for the bell jar , I’m just extremely sentimental. This is a salty cocktail when mixed with my busy and romantic imagination. I get really worked up over biographies. I once cried on my husband’s lap because I would never know Audrey Hepburn, I’ve cried because Marilyn Monroe died alone. Once while working on a construction site in Australia, I was so hot and frustrated that I cried in front of my foreman, who blanched at the sight of my tears. “You cut that out now–I get enough of that from my wife at home”. But I can’t help it, I’m a sensitive sort. The tears are here to stay.
Shortly after my fiance and I broke off our engagement, I watched “500 Days of Summer” at the cinema with a group of people I didn’t know terribly well. Now…if you have never seen this movie, let me warn you right now–if you have just gone through a devastating breakup, and/or have a propensity to shed tears, DO NOT see this movie in public. This movie beautifully depicts how two people come together and fall apart. It’s well acted, poetic, stylish, and completely heartbreaking. The film’s content was trying, but I maintained my composure. And suddenly there’s this scene with a gorgeous wedding–my dream wedding, and playing in the background is Feist’s “Mushaboom” and I feel a tempest of tears crashing against insides of my ocular cavities. There had been a tall person sitting ahead of me, so I had moved one seat over to see better. Sitting separately from the others, staring up at the screen, slowly unraveling over the story, I had never felt so alone in all my life. I slipped into the emotional equivalent of having one drink too many–there is no going back, these tears would come. And it will be an embarrassment.
The film ends and the credits roll, and we gather in the lobby, and my eyes projectile vomited involuntary tears. It revolted from my body and my whole face contorted like a really ugly sneeze and a flash flood of fluid rushed from my face. I retreated to the ladies room. I splashed cold water on my face, and looked at myself in the mirror, I wished for an enormous pair of sunglasses…or a Hannibal Lecter mask, whatever was available. When I returned everyone had polite smiles and I could hardly look anyone in the face. What a fabulous impression. That chapter of my life was full of capital-c Crying, (remind me to tell you sometime about when I cried on a plane and my sopping tissue wound up on my unknowing neighbors’ lap, and I had to pluck it with lighting speed off her cotton-poly blend trousers before she looked up from “The Da Vinci Code”). Christ, I could fill a book with what makes me cry—and today, tired and frustrated as a child, I feel as though I could open the floodgates and dehydrate myself with sobs. But somehow, writing about crying does put a finger in the dam. Soon enough I’ll wrench my hand away and the tears will flow like fine wine, but not at this moment…not for the next five minutes at least. And for me…that’s gotta be a new record.
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