Sometimes I Cry

Last night I had a major meltdown. Major. Meltdown.I bawled my eyes out for an eternity. I still have some wicked puff surrounding my eyes, and that’s not pleasant for anyone. Let’s hope some coffee and eyeliner will do the trick. (Disclaimer: Brian did NOT make me cry. He was actually very good about the whole thing…even though he keeps telling me that it was some serious crying and that normal people only cry that much when someone dies.)

Of course, I started thinking about myself and crying. It’s been a long road of emotional skydiving in my young life…for mostly stupid stuff. But not all. When I was really young, I cried a whole lot. I remember hyperventilating more times than I can possible recount. My mom would have to stop yelling at me and try to calm me down so that I didn’t die. As you may have noticed, I was a pretty dramatic child.

Then I got a little older (grade school) and nothing in the world could make me cry. My favorite movie was Steel Magnolias, and I had a girl crush on Julia Roberts (in all her Shelby-pink glory). I may have only been 6 or 7, but I loved that movie…and couldn’t understand why it made Mama cry so darn much. My grandpa passing away didn’t even trigger a tear.

I used to tease my little brother ruthlessly for his tears. He and Mom would watch movies and cry together…and I would just look at them like they were crazy. I was hardened. At 7, I was ready to take down the world. I had been teased for not being as cool as some of the other kids…I was a little chubbier than some of the other kids…and everyone loves to tease the chubby kid…So I didn’t cry…I’ll show them. Some day.

So I remember the first movie that made me cry. It was a movie called Fluke…about a man who dies and is reincarnated as a dog, who goes back to find his family. I was 13…and it was about the saddest thing I had ever seen. I bawled like a baby. I bawled like I hadn’t cried in years. I was a hot mess.

Then, throughout high school, I would get stressed, but I didn’t cry much. Except when Leonard DiCaprio died…both times. Although I have to say, that I can’t stand Claire Danes’ crying. It’s ridiculous. Even now, 15 years later…she still has the most ridiculous fake cry. It makes me so frustrated! Because I love her in every other aspect of her acting career. Just not the crying.

When my first boyfriend came around my junior year of high school, that was when the crying really started. Apparently, I had been right to stave off the swarm of suitors (LIE) and stay without a boyfriend…even though my mother was convinced I was a lesbian at 13…(Just because I do not want to talk about boys with my mom, does not a lesbian make. I still love you, Mom!) I saw all of my girlfriends crying and whining about dudes…and I wasn’t down with that. I was a busy girl.

Why I Cry

So boys made me cry. A lot. The Goat. The Ethiopian (AKA Tex AKA Johnny Cash AKA The Rockabilly Greaser). 6’6. The Chiropractor. The Scorpion. The Old Guy. Tiny. The Pike. The Bartender. The Drug Addict.  The list goes on and on. I look forward to introducing you to them.

And movies make me cry.

And sad songs make me cry. (And happy songs, too-depending on the memory they invoke.)

And Disney makes me cry. In a good way.

And death and illness make me cry.

And I’ve just become this wave of emotion that cries a lot. Happy or sad. Tears.

I don’t have any images of myself crying…but I’ll leave you with my favorite video ever.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Rude Awakening

Sitting at my kitchen table with my flavor of the week and my parents wasn’t exactly how I envisioned Thanksgiving 2006. But there it was. The four of us, sitting there, talking, if you can call it that.

Brad wasn’t exactly everything my parents ever wanted for me. He was a republican. He was very much not Catholic. And he was a Nascar fan who cheered for the Cubs. Politics. Religion. Sports. The three most controversial subjects known to man. Or at least to my mom. She loves to argue her point(the only point). So of course, she loved him. Not because he agreed with any of her points. No, he argued with her and didn’t back down. Not once.

My dad hated him. That made Brad feel really bad. He knew that he was blitzed (I had picked him up from his parents’ house to save him from whatever was pissing him off at the time). He knew that he had fucked up, but really, I didn’t care. I knew he wasn’t going to be around in my world for too long.

So there we were in my parent’s kitchen and he was rambling the drunken ramble. And mentioned his dog tags. Dog tags. Mom got up from the table. “Did Dad tell you we got dog tags in the mail?”

“What?” I looked at her. Knowing. But not knowing. Wondering. And thinking. And feeling the inner turmoil spew its way up from the depths of my heart. She dropped a set of dog tags in front of me on the table, along with some pins and a chevron. I stared at them. Brad  kept talking, but I didn’t hear a word he said. It was as if I was overcome with this feeling. By far, the strangest out of body experience I’ve ever felt. I was in another place. Tears welled up in my eyes. “Did she send a letter?” The boy kept talking. I had no clue what was going on outside of the inner sanctum of my mind.

Back in the 80’s, it was apparently very popular to wear camo, army gear, dog tags, just about anything relating to the army. My teenage sister(yes, older sister) took Daddy’s army stuff and wore it. For the 10+ years since we had last heard from her, she had kept these things. You see, Deven disappeared from our lives when I was 12. She was 10 years my senior, and I adored her. As a kid, I literally worshipped the ground she walked on. But after she graduated from college, she left and never came back.

So that Thanksgiving evening in my kitchen, Mom pulled out an envelope and showed it to me. I stared at the handwriting, not unlike my own. The tears almost fell. I stared. And just as abruptly as she had mentioned it, she pulled the envelope back. And somehow Brad reappeared, as if I had forgotten for those minute seconds that he was there. In my kitchen. With my parents. And Brad. And I was finishing a bottle of vodka. Except, the vodka bottle was empty. And the things my mother had just shown me were gone. And everyone was still drunk. It was almost as if a dream had pulled me out of existence only briefly, to be shoved back into reality with a force that could not be reckoned with.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!