Tuesday, January 03, 2006

There's No Crying In...

On my drive to school this morning through about eight inches of unplowed snow I was faced with a car sliding backwards down a hill towards me. I stopped and then my car started to slide off to the side of the road (towards an incline into a forest). Behind me there were two snow plows, lights flashing, not budging. The car in front of me spun around and into a snow bank where it thankfully stopped instead of sliding into me.

My response at this point: panic and tears. I actually thought about calling my father as if somehow waking him up at 5am MST to ask for driving advice would help. Then I thought better of it, told myself to pull it together and managed to successfully back down the hill.

Forty minutes later after I finally arrived at school (3 miles from my house) I was sort of disgusted. CRYING? What kind of response is that, Anne? It didn't help at all and it just made all those panicky feelings worse. When did I become the kind of wimpy person who cries in stressful driving situations? WORST.

I never used to cry except about schoolwork or movies about dying dogs. I was a serious stress-case in high school and I only cried out of frustration at my inability to be perfect at everything... go figure.

Then my dog died and I cried about that.
And one of my best friend's mom's died and well, that funeral was miserable.
Then three of my grandparents died.

I think maybe that was the point at which I started crying about people dying in movies too. But even then, when I say I "cried" at the movie I'm referring to silent tears, not any of that ridiculous sobbing behavior you sometimes see. And definitely not at movies like Titanic which I still claim is far more funny than sad (funny in that it is so godawful and people actually paid money to see it).

My personal life meltdown of 2004 saw more than a few tears but frankly, I think they were warranted. Now though I'm back in the "crying is unacceptable" mindset. I guess I always sort of think of crying as exposing a weakness and I find (or at least believe others find) weakness to be unappealing. But maybe I need to learn to be more vulnerable and less concerned about conveying myself as some stolid, independent, emotionally unpenetrable person. Apparently all it takes is a few inches of snow.


At 11:14 PM, January 03, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But wait, there is all sorts of crying. There is emotional crying of the happy variety, like the birth of a child, where the crying is just emotion flowing out of your eyes. There is the "Oh, I am so glad to see you" type crying, also just emotion flowing out the eyes. There is anger/frustration crying, probably the least acceptable in the workplace if you are a woman, though when I had to put the dog down this summer, I was somehow comforted that the vet had a few tears with me. Then there are all the sad reasons people cry, and you have had enough loss this year to make you still vulnerable. Crying isn't always weakness. Some families are just more likely to let their emotions show. I happen to think that is healthy. Better than keeping it all bottled up. Mom

At 7:36 AM, January 04, 2006, Blogger T said...

Well said. I mean, you don't want to be the crazy girl in my class who goes and weeps in the bathroom in the middle of a test, then winds up getting a 97 anyways. Then again, you don't want to be some sort of stoic emotionless robot. Walking that fine crying line is something I still haven't gotten right yet. I was almost blubbering in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and that was with a CGI lion for goodness sake. Yikes.

Drive safely

At 9:12 AM, January 05, 2006, Blogger RandomThoughts said...

Since being introduced to your blog, I have taken to reading it periodically and marveling at both your perceptions of life and your creativity.
Regarding this entry...
While I agree you don't want to be perceived as a wimpy bucket of tears, I do believe that tears are a way of releasing built up emotions. Without an occassional release of the dam, you might otherwise burst in some other less desireable manner. A good cry can often provide a good vision of what you need or should do next. By the way, slamming a door often helps too.

At 2:07 PM, January 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a few freak outs on the way to school that day too! Too bad we're now "essential personal" and have to brave the crazy snow storms when the school that never closes actually closes!
-rachel d
By the way I love your blog.

At 10:17 PM, January 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am really glad you're ok.


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