Sunday, April 13, 2014

6 Things I'll cry about on the spot

This post is inspired by an adorable girl I knew in college named Jessica who posted on Facebook a couple days ago about how sad she gets when she thinks about all the dogs who don't have homes. I read that post and immediately started crying. Not kidding. I'm holding back tears right now. It just isn't fair. They just want homes. They want nothing more than to love you unconditionally and teach you about being an optimist who a, love to eat and doesn't care if they get a big gut and b, love to chase squirrels and doesn't care if they never catch one. Oh God, now I'm crying.

I've never been a big cryer, at least not in the arms-to-the-heavens PRAISE JESUS mega-church let-there-be-light revival cryer sense.

I have a friend who hears a good song and can be filled with a spirit that manifests itself in 138 tablespoons of salty tears. She looks so cool and I am so jealous. SHE LOOKS SO COOL, but I've never been like that at all. I've always been the person who awkwardly sits next to the sobber, patting her on the back saying super-creative and wisdom-filled robotic things like, "there, there" and "don't cry."

I can count the number of people who've seen me cry on my ten fingers. I just don't like people seeing me cry. I'm an ugly crier.

This means, that when I do cry, it's out of nowhere and catches people by surprise. I've always wished I could explain it to people so they can better prepare for possible impending sob fests, but my crying muscle is a completely arbitrary and involuntary character of its own. My tears have cute little tiny raindrop-shaped brains of their own, but this is my attempt to try and explain what I've learned might trigger their appearance.

1. I've already mentioned this, but anything about dogs that don't have homes gets me every time.

My boyfriend and I were outside of Target a few weeks ago and they had shelter dogs to play with. I played with them so long the volunteers thought I was about to buy them all. We then realized that we had to go into Target to get the one thing we came in for  (plus the other $65 to spend on other cute things we didn't need) so we headed passed Target's big red balls and into the dollar spot. My boyfriend was about ten yards in front of me when he turned around to see me crying uncontrollably screaming "THEY JUST WANT A HOME!!" We had to leave the store.

The worst part is that while my boyfriend was telling the story to my parents later that night, I was in the other room crying to myself.

2. Onions

I once cut up four ten pound bags of onions into bits for thanksgiving stuffing in our church kitchen to take to the food pantry downtown. I chose this task because I'm an arrogant ass hole and I had been bragging about how onions never make me cry.

The onion particles hit my nose like the truck that delivered them to the grocery store. I didn't stop gagging and crying for hours. It was a horrible experience. I couldn't even serve the stuffing at the soup kitchen.

To this day, even the thought of that experience makes me gag-cry (which everyone knows is the worst kind of cry).

3. Dads

I'm a sucker for a loving dad. I love living in an era where Dads aren't just called to be breadwinners who sit in the living room with a Scotch after a day at the office. Dads are finally allowed to display the mushy love they've always felt for their sons and daughters publicly and it's wonderful. If I see a dad holding his daughter on his shoulders for the Princess Parade at Disney World, I start crying. I saw a dad pick up a little kokopelli stuffed doll for his kid at the Phoenix Airport last week and almost melted.

My dad has done a lot for me and we have a great relationship. He's totally awesome. But so is my mom. In fact, my mom is the one to blame for most of the reasons I cry. What isn't rational is that moms always do this kind of stuff. I just won't turn into a giant puddle on the floor when I see them do it. It's like it's just expected of them. But they should get the credit they deserve too.  It totally isn't fair and I'm really sorry that I don't cry when a mom gives her kid a hug. I really am sorry. 

4. When people go out of their way.

I cried on my 21st birthday.

I was in the middle of an attempt at following the gluten free fad and hadn't eaten cake in a good week (SO HARD, OMG). We were about to go enjoy ourselves at some of Athens, Ohio's finest establishments when my roommate brought out a big chocolate gluten-free cake with adorable decorations and candles and everything. I immediately started crying.
Here I am crying with Santa as my best friend Sarah presents my gluten free cake. I would also like to highlight my friend Brian laughing at me.
4. StoryCorps

Since 2003, people have been recording almost 45,000 stories and emotions associated with real, human lives via StoryCorps. StoryCorps is an incredible project.  The stories they feature are those of normal people. People who have been through the craziest garbage together sit down behind a microphone and they talk about it. I first heard about the Corps on NPR's Morning Edition a couple years ago and I haven't heard one yet that hasn't made me cry. There is an incredibly brilliant beauty in people sitting down and having honest, meaningful conversations.  They're just real people having real conversations about their connections and what brought them in.

If you feel like restoring your hope in humanity, here's this week's. This is the story of Collin Smith, 23, and Ernest Greene, 72. Smith was in a car accident his sophomore year of high school that left him a quadriplegic. Greene was a member of the Smiths' church and decided he was going to help him however he could. Ernest Greene became Collin Smith's helper. He did everything he could for Smith. And when Smith wanted to go to college, Greene went with him. They graduated in 2013.

People sometimes confuse my blonde hair and bubbly personality for me being a total doofus. I have spent enough time philosophizing and weighing pros and cons.  I've decided that world is already shitty enough. It's a great thing to be able to not make it suck less. My bubbly personality is the product of a lot of DECIDING to not be a grumpy downer all the time. (i.e., Less Squidward. More Spongebob.)

Reading about stories of other people who've also decided to not be selfish buttheads all the time makes me cry. There are some really amazing real-life human beings in the real, actual planet Earth world. I love reading about the incredible things that people do for one another. No fictional movie or book or television show will ever be able to capture the beautiful things that people do for each other, things we do for no further reason than the need to love and be loved.

5. A Wholesome, Happy Ending

It doesn't matter how long the story is. If I've just finished the Harry Potter series or if I've just watched this thirty second Subaru commercial. I feel for the characters and I start wailing.

I don't cry during sad parts of movies or books...or commercials. Because the world is already shitty without having to watch a movie. When something happy happens, I'm in tears because I'm just overwhelmed with a surprising joy. That's what having a good cry is all about.

Three Examples:
  • When Shadow, The Goldenest Retriever of all time, comes over that hill in Homeward Bound. (I've talked about this before)
  • The happy family ending to any episode of Parenthood. The Bravermans hold the remote that controls my tear duct dam.
  • When the all the chubby people in Wall-E land back onto Earth and find a plant and get really excited about making pizza.
Happy endings get a lot of cries. There is always something emotionally stimulating about joy and hope and peace wrapping you up in a giant fluffy happiness blanket.

Some people cry when they're angry or sad or nervous or stressed. I think I cry when I'm surprised. I like when people surprise me in a good way and my reaction is tears.

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