Proper Cry

Photo Source: via Stephanie on Pinterest
I love to laugh.  I love laughing so hard I lose  control.  I love that release.    For this reason and lots of others, I could not wait to see the blockbuster, Bridesmaids last summer.  Everyone told me, "you are going to pee yourself. It is so FUNNY."

And yes, I almost did pee myself, but I also cried through almost the entire last half of the movie.  I did not laugh so hard I cried, I just plain sobbed. I felt really sad watching the story of two friends come to terms with how their friendship was changing.  I was really surprised by my reaction after all the hype about how hilarious the movie was, but I knew why.  The brilliance of this movie was how life can be so hilarious and painful at the same time.  

Yesterday, I was on a social networking site and one of the people I follow mentioned that she cried "proper tears" upon reading a story about a woman's tragic childhood.  Out of curiosity, to see if it would make me "proper cry", I read the article.  It was a very factual telling of the convoluted family relationships and dynamics of this semi-famous person's family.  It was not particularly poetically told, just a straightforward sharing of her undoubtedly tragic circumstances.  I wondered what prompted the "proper tears".  Anyone hearing me talk about my Bridesmaids' "incident" would probably wonder the same thing about my reaction. Do we have different thresholds?  The threshold rises and falls depending on what else is going on in our lives.  Given different life circumstances or a different context or a different mood, I would not have cried.  

Some days I think I cannot cry enough. It is like I am just looking for an outlet to have a cry.  I'll hear someone tell a story on the radio that hits a nerve and my children patiently wait while I regain my composure.  Other days, I think I must be a callous unfeeling person. No matter how sad the story or the reasons, I've got nothing.  

I hate, I mean really hate crying in front of others.  I used to hide to cry.  As an adult, I'm beginning to see the redeeming features of tears.  Crying can crack open the normal, everyday and collapse some layers that I am wasting too much energy propping up. 

On those days that I'm more receptive to crying I seek out crying opportunities to flush out all the stored up fluids. Those fluids that have made my insides turgid with pent up emotions, exhaustion and unrequited feelings. It is like those tears distill what it is that is most important to me.

This crying song by Hawksley Workman is one my favourites  triggers.


  1. I really liked this... I can always tell when I'm really really upset, by the difficulty I have in beginning the cry... ah...

  2. Interesting. I'll have to pay attention next time and see what happens to me in really really upset mode.

  3. Bas Jan Ader did a video in the 70's called 'I am too sad to tell you' and it is just him, crying. I have been really inspired by that work.


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