We used to make fun of my mom when she cried in movies.
Whenever we'd watch something together, an exceptionally emotional scene would mean two things: One, The swelling with tears eyes of my beloved mother, and two, the consequent stares at her from everyone in the room, "The Check" to see if she was tearing up.
The things she cried at were weird to me as a second grader. When Shadow, the aging golden retriever in Homeward Bound, makes his fashionably late arrival over the hill of his family's backyard: waterworks.
She cried at the happy parts!
And I was so confused.
"You should be smiling!" Stupid Mommy. Her emotions are all wrong.
And I always prided myself as a person who didn't cry in movies. When Noah and Allie peacefully and beautifully die in one another's arms at the end of The Notebook (Spoiler Alert: Noah and Allie peacefully and beautifully die in one another's arms at the end of The Notebook), I didn't cry. When Scar lets his BABE of a a flowy-maned big bro fall to his death into a stampeding blur of antelopes in The Lion King, I didn't even cry when Simba finally talks to him via Rafeke Star-Weirdness.
But Internet, I am telling you, as of this summer I am a changed woman. I am my mother.
Not only have I been caught talking to myself while dusting the top of the TV or folding Tshirts, I have been crying at movies, especially the happy parts. And not just the extremely overwhelming happy parts, I've been crying at the moments in a movie that include even the slightest twinkle of happy resolve. For heavens sake, I cried at FREAKING Bride Wars when Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson's characters make up in their big white dresses on the floor of the Plaza (Spoiler Alert: Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson's characters make up in their big white dresses on the floor of the Plaza.)
And for the first time (in ever) I'm finally starting to understand why perhaps I'm crying at ordinary happy moments.
This is my hypothesis:
Crying is a coping mechanism. The body is literally shedding tension through tears and their subsequent blush and sweat. Just as crying makes our squished and sad little hearts feel a little less squished and sad, the overflow of joy from an exciting experience is one so large it can only be released via tears. I am overwhelmed by joy in my life. I am incredibly blessed with amazing people. I get very nostalgic. And I love happy so much that I cry.
People are brutal pieces of shit to each other a lot of the time. So when they actually take time to help and say something of particular love, it is worthy of tears.
Perhaps "The Check" we used to do to my mother was our own coping mechanism, so that we wouldn't cry ourselves.
If movies haven't gotten any happier, maybe I've gotten happier.
No complaints here, I'm just crying.
Friday, August 24, 2012
Today was the first day of our leadership retreat for the managers and supervisors at OU's Ping Rec Center where I am Employee Relations Manager (WUDDUP).
The day started off pretty well. I'm still on my super lame summer schedule where I can't physically stay up past 10'o'clock and waking up is a natural occurrence at six am. So I woke up early enough to pack a pretty healthy lunch in my new Bengals lunchbox, got a good shower in and had enough time to stop by a coffee place on the way
(sidenote: I went to Court Street Coffee today and will be turning my first few morning walks into a recalculation of my favorite coffee on Court. It's not just a taste test: it's a geographical survey of the best locations, an anthropological study of the best groups of people at each shop and an economic look at which is best on my wallet. I'm calling it Coffeelympics 2012. But it's really just because my coffee maker doesn't come in until next week. end sidenote.)
I also found enough time this morning to ponder if I'd be spending the leadership retreat playing my new phone-game obsession: a brand new game the kids are calling 'euchre'. It's not the best on an iPhone's battery (probably more related to the ads for hot singles in my area constantly scrolling at the bottom of the app than the actual game). And because being able to use your phone to inconspicuously play euchre under a table is more important than, you know, making calls, or whatever, I disabled those obsolete, battery-killing softwares like wifi, location services and my by-the-minute Twitter updates (sorry @McSean3).
We had OHIO police officers come in and teach us about active shooters on campus and what we can do if that horrific situation is thrust upon us and our staff at Ping.
I spent my lunch break doodling and writing my next blogpost about how my mom always cries during the happy parts of movies (really, Erin? A blog plug on your own blog?).
Then we had Ping Olympics events where we ran around, er, sprinted around campus for two hours collecting clues. My team got silver. >>>
Tired from a long day, I dragged my feet the long mile home. Twenty minutes later, I'm walking into my new apartment to start working on my The Essay Magazine's new redesign coming this fall (really, Erin? A magazine plug on your own blog?)
Ready to send a couple emails, I realize I've left my phone at Ping.
I grab nothing but my keys and sprint to the Rec Center. Hands down, I set a new PR for my mile time (six years late from field hockey conditioning camp).
The building was locked and closed, but I saw my boss backing out and driving away in her micro SUV. So naturally I sprint after the car with arms flailing like I'm being chased by bees. She eventually sees me in her rearview and lets me in the closed building. No phone anywhere to be found.
I run to my friend's house to use his phone, but it starts to pour rain. I try to use his 'Find My iPhone App' but I had disabled location services this morning. I'm an idiot.
I am not really sure why I'm telling this long and boring story. I'm still trying to figure out the lesson to take from it all. How sad is it that I feel completely lost and helpless without it? Yes. (Let's not forget the overly dramatic call to my boyfriend from my neighbor's phone at two in the morning about how I was going to be murdered from an active shooter.. the kind I had learned about earlier that morning).
But I think the greatest lesson is that my reaction to realizing where I had left my phone-- the consequent olympic-speed run, the spaz chase after my boss' car, the work to find something so unimportant as a cell phone-- it all made me feel a little better about being ready for something that I will actually need to be ready for. When there are actual lives at stake. I know that I will be able to haul ass and hit the road.
And just what the world needs is another blogpost about the insanity in how much we care about the 4.9 ounce piece of stainless steel and glass in my back right pocket. But really, I didn't have my phone for twenty four hours. and it scared the crap out of me.
I eventually found my unharmed phone on a desk in one of Ping's back rooms. Nobody died. Nothing burned down. And I got to write a long blog post about it.
I'm going to try and get back to basics with my phone. Instead of laying in bed at night checking any extra emails and reading The Onion until I'm so tired I start to confuse the headlines for real news, I'm going to read a book or gather my thoughts like the OLD days. I may have an app for npr, but I also have a radio. I may have unlimited texting, but I don't have unlimited time to be with those people. Plus, in the time it took me to load the horrible Facebook app to look at the picture of your new puppy, I could have walked to your house and cuddled with the lil' guy myself.
And then maybe if I lose my phone again, which is a very high possibility, I won't be such a spaz. Lesson learned.