I half cry a lot. It’s happened for years now and I’m not sure why.
When we were younger, my sister used to joke that I “had no heart.” We’d watch sad movies and I wouldn’t shed a tear. My best friends in elementary school gasped at my dry eyes when Mandy Moore died at the end of A Walk to Remember. (Um, Spoiler Alert)
“What is wrong with you?!” they said mid-sob.
It wasn’t that I didn’t think it was sad, I wasn’t (and remain not) some emotionless being that is internally cheering for bad endings and smiling at the pain of others, I just didn’t cry during movies, and I liked it that way. I liked my tearlessness; it made me feel tough. If no one saw me cry, no one thought me weak.
As time went on however, something changed. I got into a lot more “THIS IS HOW LIFE IS SOMETIMES” situations, and the “hard-as-stone” me, melted like a crayon in the dryer.
It took a while for me to translate all the snot crying, but when I did, I realized that it made me stronger than I ever thought possible.
Review: SNOT MAKES YOU A BETTER PERSON.
That “pride” that I used to walk around with, thinking I was tough and brave and strong for not crying, was just a false sense of security. I was afraid that crying was for the weak, that it made you vulnerable to a point of no return. Truth is, once someone sees you cry, you immediately become closer to them. (Note: This does not work the same with celebrities. I assume shedding inexplicable tears at their feet usually provokes discomfort and slight fear, rather than closeness.)
If I could verbalize a half cry, I think it would sound something like Kristen Wiig’s character, Sue, on SNL, that can’t contain her excitement when she learns of a surprise party being planned for a friend. She paces and sweats and repeatedly gasps, “OH MY GOSH, I’M SO FREAKIN’ EXCITED.”
That’s how a half cry feels.
Sometimes its excitement: SO FREAKIN EXICITED.
Sometimes its wonder: SO FREAKIN BEAUTIFUL.
Sometimes its cuteness: SO FREAKIN ADORABLE.
Most of the time, I prefer half crying to full crying, there’s no snot involved, thus decreasing the number of tissues needed to control the situation.
Review: HALF CRYING SAVES THE ENVIRONMENT.
I know that there have been many people before me, and will be many after, that better define how to properly express your emotions. Some will say it’s healthy to let it all out all the time, some will say to only cry when the moon looks like a toenail and you have 6 green jelly beans in your left hand. I don’t have the scientific reasoning that they will present you with, but I do have ideas that may give you some sort of vague insight, sort of, maybe.
(This will most likely be in the next edition of a prestigious Psychology text book, so remember, you heard it here first.)
Crying is like farting. Everyone does it and everyone has their own opinion on where it should take place. Example: It is considered polite not to fart in someone’s face unexpectedly and the same can be said about crying. The stench of unannounced flatulence can be similarly off putting as a sudden sob. However, a warning can be similarly worrisome.
Growing up with a little brother, “I have to fart” were 4 of the most common words in his vocabulary—besides valiant and intrinsic (my brother is brilliant). Upon hearing this Paul Revere esque warning, I would brace my respiratory system for the temporary blockage, and participate in the ever popular, “I don’t want to smell it, but I can’t stop trying to get a whiff”, game. Eventually the bomb would drop, the smell would be smelt and then we would move on with our day.
Once in high school when I was over at a friend’s house, I was flipping through a magazine when she announced that she might cry. She was going through a hard time, and the emotions came in waves. I replied with an, attempting-to-be-supportive-but-overall-shaky, “Okay,” and kept flipping the pages of the magazine, in stomach cramping agony, waiting for the bomb to drop. It never did, but I always admired her for that.
Showing true emotion takes courage. It’s hard to put yourself out there and hope that the other person(s) aren’t going to judge you for it. It’s an unspoken step taken between humans, an opening of a door that reveals all your smells and tears.
Quick Notes About Opening the Cry/Fart Door
- Laughter is only appropriate when the second party has farted, I have yet to find a level of trust that allows someone to cackle in the wake of your tears.
- Don’t be the person that sits in the corner, smiling like a super-villain once your colon has burped up last night’s chili. Own up to it, and maybe check into a bathroom and work it out with a Reader’s Digest.
- Don’t worry about the way you cry. (Snot it up, cry it out, slobber it down)
- Accept the offered tissue. (This will save your sleeves and will allow the other party to hug you without worrying about a viral infection.)
- Don’t do either of these things while scuba diving. You will likely kill underwater sea life and then drown.
Over the course of our lives, we will continue to be put in situations that make us cry (and fart) and it is important for us to remember that we have a right to express our sorrow (and stench) so that we may better ourselves (and our stomachs). Surround yourself with people that let you express yourself (and your butt) and do the same for them.