Wednesday, May 9, 2012
I’m a crier—always have been, probably always will be. I cry at good news, I cry at bad news. I cry when I’m touched and when I’m angry. I cry at sad movies and at happy ones. I’ve even been known to cry at commercials (and if that isn’t an embarrassing admission, I don’t know what is).
Back in the early days, when I was a teen and a twenty-something, I could usually manage not to get blubbery in all situations. But I find it’s getting harder to do these days. When I see pictures of my (very adult) kids as babies, I get the sniffles. When I talk about my dad who died when I was eleven, my eyes get moist. And don’t even ask about my mom—you’re likely to get drenched. Sometimes it seems all I need to do is think about crying, and whoomp, there it is.
I guess it goes without saying that I cry at books, some more than others. Mary Balogh gets me. So does Loretta Chase and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I’ve been known to cry at some Nora Roberts but not others (her straight romances, but not her suspense). I’ve even been known to cry at my own stuff, which is really sort of silly, but what can I say? Nothing about this is particularly logical.
Honestly, I understand how people on the other end of this must feel. It’s embarrassing (to say the least) when your conversational partner suddenly gets emotional for no particular reason, and most people have no idea how to react—whether to give me a hug or pretend my lower lip isn’t trembling.
My family has pretty much grown used to me over the years. When I start sounding teary, they usually just keep going, secure in the knowledge that I’ll pull myself together sooner or later and it’s not really their problem anyway. I kind of wish other people would follow their lead. Given the fact that society frowns on people who get emotional, it’s bad enough being a tearful person. It’s even worse to have it called to everybody’s attention.
The thing that strikes me, though, is the way a lot of people react to tears. Many people seem to find them sort of, well, scary. People edge away. They want you to stop. They’re afraid that they might be called upon to do something, and they have no idea what that something should be. I sometimes wish I could say, “Look, don’t worry, I just do this. I’m really okay. I won’t explode, so help me.” But in fact, saying that might scare them even more.
I guess Ella Wheeler Wilcox had it right: “Laugh and the world laughs with you;/Weep and you weep alone.” Sniff. So what about you? Do tears bother you? Are you particularly weepy yourself? And what, if anything, have you found to do about it?
Posted by Meg Benjamin at 4:00 AM