Friday, February 16, 2007

Blubbering girl, by Susie

I never used to be a cryer. I remember distinctly going to see Kramer Vs. Kramer with my friends in junior high and their bawling through the entire thing while I laughed at them. Ditto The Champ. In fact, I was pretty famous for never crying. (At least where no one could see me.) Books, movies, graduation . . . not a thing.

Then I had a kid.

I'm hopeless now. And it's not even the obvious things, weddings and funerals. Those I can deal with. It's stupid stuff. Kodak commercials. American Idol. I pretty much blubber non-stop from beginning to end during the Olympics. Kid movies.

I didn't cry at my older children's graduation - they were very proud of me - but I think that's only because I dripped most of the year in advance, in preparation. I cried at every time I passed a graduation party sign the entire year before. At their last band concert, their last play, awards night. I got it all out of my system and was good and cried out by the actual night of graduation.

Songs. Green Day's When September Ends is a guaranteed cry for me, for good reasons. But it's very embarassing when it happens in the middle of a mall. Thank goodness it's no longer played a zillion times a day.

I assume some wierd hormonal switch got flipped during my first pregnancy. That's my theory, anyway.

But I know Helen's worse than me. How about the rest of you? Anything surprising guaranteed to set you off?



Betina Krahn said...

I'm a cryer from way back. Whole family cried. Real catharsis crying. Very Baptist. A lot of it in church. Men even cried in church, where I grew up. Then I married and became a Lutheran. People used to come to church to see me cry. I swear the pastor had a secret sadistic streak-- used to plan certain hymns into the services, when I'd TOLD him they always made me blubber!

I tear up at movies. Did make it through my boys' HS and college graduations without disgracing them too much. I managed to cry with a modicum of dignity; no overt sobs or nose blowing.

Age increasing and hormones subsiding have taken the cyclic nature of this out of the equasion. But occasionally the sad points build up and I have to let loose. Fortunately, I'm able to reassure the family and neighbors of what's happening. They no longer have to set off the tornado sirens to alert the unwary. Just don't cry as much anymore. More philosophical, I guess.

Suz-- it's the kids AND the hormones they produce. And the bonds they build with us. I say, with all the work incolved, we're entitled to mark the passages however we wish. . . including tears.

Cindy Gerard said...

Hi Susie
I cry every time I step on the scale. Does that count?

Kathleen Eagle said...

I'm like you, Susie. It's not the weddings or funerals, but the same stuff you mentioned--last times, movies, songs, photographs, coming across some memento I've saved.

Music: "Taps" often does it to me. "Fire and Rain," "Let It Be," "Amazing Grace," and lots more.

But "You'll Never Walk Alone"is automatic and goes way back to when I was really little and the song was used in connection with the March Of Dimes in an ad they played at drive-ins during intermission. I think Howard Keel sang while people went around to cars with collection boxes, but much of the explanation came from my mother in later years. I still get teary.

"Mary Poppins"--the bird woman scene, the song "Tuppence". But I cry regularly in movies. Always have. I think it's a release for an otherwise fairly stoic Swede like yours truly. But maybe I shouldn't attribute it completely to my Dad's heritage, because my mother discouraged crying in public, aka "making a spectacle," and she was the Southern Lady. But she wasn't Baptist. Methodists seem much less demonstrative in public. Then she married my Dad and became Episcopalian, which, if you'r not familiar, is Anglican, so if you've seen "The Queen" you get the idea. Decorum squared. Mama was like Betina--way expressive and friendly by half in that crowd.

What a backround mix. No wonder I'm so conflicted. It's bringing tears to my eyes. Waaahh!

Helen Brenna said...

Hey. I resent that, Susie.

Oh, wait. It's true. LOL!

Yes, I cry at everything, anytime, anywhere. Betina's got a point, though. I've noticed as I get older that's not as much the case.

Hormones come and they go. Mine are going. LOL!

Keri Ford said...


Frustration brings on my tears. I'm talking the dry-heaving, snorting, slobbering, headaches, red eyes and face, whole nine yards. I get mad, I cry. Can't help it and it only makes me madder.

You do NOT want to go through an airport with me unless you don't mind being part of a scene. Twice airport security has brought me to tears, and let me tell you, those people don't like dealing with tears. Especially in front of a crowd of say, 500 or more.

However, crying at the airport does get all those security people to get their crap together.

Wendy Richards said...

It's a kid thing for me. Watching my boys play at the park, both of their Christmas programs every year, since they started school. And they're only 8 and 6. Man I'm a mess!

Christie Ridgway said...

Susie: I get choked up a lot but try to hold back the tears since they make my all-male household laugh. But my voice came out strangled the other day when I was reading the family a news article about a dog who saved a stranger's life (we love animals around here, particularly dogs) and my younger son peered at me suspiciously. "You're not =crying= are you?"

I coughed. "Over a newspaper article? 'Course not!"

There's a reason I write fiction. I'm a pretty good liar.

lois greiman said...

Cried at Toy Story. Been crying ever since. And I don't know why. I'm with you, Susie. Didn't shed a tear till I was 20 something and then wham.... I tried to keep my sobbing down at my son's wedding so I didn't drown out the pastor. Not sure if I succeeded.

Candace said...

I don't have kids and I pretty much don't have any hormones anymore, I don't think, except the ones that come packaged in that little round disk. But I'm a crier. Not--as so many of you have already noted--at the big things. I can handle a crisis without flinching. But Hallmark commericals turn on the tear ducts. And those commercials that usually come on during the holidays about people getting home. And scenes of soldiers embracing their families when leaving for or returning from harm's way.

It's a writer's gene, I think, more than a female thing. Really. Most writers are INFPs on the Myers Briggs personality test. The "F" stands for feeling as opposed to thinking (it doesn't mean we don't think, it just means feeling is our automatic fallback). Crying at the small, significant emotional moments is encoded in a writer's DNA.

That's my excuse, anyway...

Debra Dixon said...


I was never a crier until I had a kid. something about recognizing the fragility of life and how lucky you are certain turns on the water works!

I don't actually blubber in movies, but I have to swallow hard and blink my eyes. And I can see the "cry moment" coming for way far away. Sometimes you just *know* things are heading that way.

When watching movies or reading books, a character's noble sacrifice of their dreams/life for someone else gets me every time.