Not me, actually, right now. But thank you for your concern, if you clicked through because you thought that I was upset! I’m actually referencing a quote from Grey’s Anatomy that has stuck with me. I saw this article on theFrisky today, and it got me to thinking about crying in public. In “Girl Talk: Everyone Saw Me Cry“, Maude Standish recounts her recent experience with tears at a wedding. She made a solid observation that also cracked me up when she noted that:
I am also not a cute crier, delicately sniffling while a few scant tears well up in my eyes. At the very worst of times I find myself with a red face, stuffy nose, and that gross wetness on your neck from when your tears are falling too fast and furious to be caught with a tissue. I also wear glasses, so those end up totally smudged from tears on the ends of my eyelashes. There is also the issue of crying at inopportune moments. When I get really angry, or frustrated, or overwhelmed, I tend to cry. I cry for the normal reasons, too, but sometimes my other strong emotions take the form of tears. Others have judged this as a weakness, but I don’t really think it is. For the most part, I’m comfortable with my emotions, good or bad, and not ashamed of my reactions.
It can really inconvenient in the workplace, though, because it is completely rational to doubt someone’s professionalism when they are crying during a discussion. Altogether, though, I’m okay with the tears. At least they’re an honest reaction, and one that occurs for no reason except a sincere expression of emotion. I don’t use my tears to trick, guilt, or dissuade anyone, and I don’t cry every time something bad happens. But if you hurt my feelings, or really make me angry, I will cry. That might make you feel bad, or make you feel like you have accomplished something by breaking me down. You should, in general, feel bad if you make someone cry, right? But if you’re taking pleasure in someone’s tears, that’s kinda messed up. Plus, one crying jag does not a breakdown make. Don’t let my tears fool you – I’m tougher than I seem!
I was super into gymnastics for a few years when I was a kid, and had dreams of going to the Olympics. That was not likely to happen, because my skill set was completely out of whack. I could navigate the balance beam easy peasy, doing no handed cartwheels and dismounts like it was NBD. Not so great on the vault or bars, though, and despite my best efforts I never learned how to do a basic handstand. But for a while I was all about gymnastics, which led me to this book:
Olga’s story resonated with me, because she seemed like she would understand my passion for gymnastics. I read the story of her mishap at the 1972 Olympics, where she did an almost flawless routine on bars but had a slip that cost her the gold. The expectations of the sport, generation, and culture (Olga was from the Soviet Union) all decreed that she chin up and walk it off, without expressing any emotion. Olga let the tears fall, though, and basically captured the hearts of Olympic watchers everywhere. Beyond that, she helped change the focus of gymnastics from elegance and grace to sheer athletic ability. She also single-handedly humanized an entire nation during a volatile time in American history, so double good job to Olga! Or, rather, 10 points!
All of this leads to the aforementioned Grey’s Anatomy quote. Dr. Arizona Robbins approaches the Chief, and forewarns him about their upcoming conversation:
Arizona: I am going to cry. And I just want you to know that it’s going to happen. And I just want you to ignore it. And I’m not crying cause I’m upset. It’s just what happens when I get mad at people of authority.
Richard: You’re mad at me?
Arizona: I’m mad at you. And I’m crying cause you’re the boss, my boss, which brings up my issues of authority and my dad, who you kind of remind me of. Not that you’re old, but you command respect, people respect you….
Arizona: But…I will fight you. And I will win, sir!
Richard: You think you can fight me? And win?
Arizona: Yes (nodding & crying)
Richard: Good luck.
Arizona: Because I have something that you don’t have. I have joy!