The other day a friend texted me:
I was at a meeting today where someone I’ve known for years told us she has breast cancer. I started crying and couldn’t stop. I still feel like I could burst into tears – what is wrong with me? It’s not like we are close, just mommy friends…our sons are the same age. I don’t know…one of my worst fears I guess.
I texted back right away:
There is nothing wrong with you; that is heartbreaking news. And it shows you have a big heart. Hell I cry at the drop of a hat nowadays.
And this is true. There’s something about the past few years (hormones maybe?) that have made me much more susceptible to crying, even when it’s totally unexpected. I’ve basically turned into my mother, crying when I see a First Communion.
I think in some cases my tears are fully justified. For example, the other day the verdict came out on the “suicide texting” case. If you’re not familiar with the case, a teenage girl basically texted her boyfriend that he should kill himself. He was already seriously contemplating it, and she sent him several texts encouraging himself to do it already. And he did.
The entire case garnered a lot of national attention, and now here she was on live television, about to get sentenced. As I sat and watched the closing comments of her lawyers and then the sentencing, I couldn’t help myself. I just cried. The entire situation was just so horrible and sad; the girl looked like a complete zombie, her eyes barely fluttering to stay open. I couldn’t help but cry for everyone involved.
But then we move on to two other situations where my tears just flowed from out of the blue:
Last fall I participated in running a relay marathon. (And when I say “running”, I really mean slowly jogging and wishing it all would end.) My part of the relay was just 5 miles, as opposed to all the folks running 26.2. After my relay group had finished, had a snack, took some pictures and patted ourselves on the back, we started walking back to the car (well, actually to the bar, if truth be told). On the way there we continued to watch all the marathoners finishing the race. Now by this point we were down to the slower people, but by all means I’m not judging…because they just ran 26.2 miles. I don’t care how slow you are, you had the discipline to do it, and that’s about 21 more miles than I ever care to run.
So as I’m watching the runners, all of a sudden I see an acquaintance, someone I used to work with. He was clearly suffering; every step he took looked painful, and he could not be any more drenched in sweat. At this point it was all he could do to finish the race. Man, this guy needed as much encouragement as possible, which lead me to scream out his name and keep shouting, “Good job! Keep it up! Keep going! Woo hoo!!”
Except I just barely got the words out. Because I was crying.
My husband looked at my oddly.
“Honey, are you crying?”
I looked away, slightly embarrassed.
“Well, yeah…”I started. “It’s just that he did it but it looked so painful…but he did it…” I drifted off. I couldn’t explain it. I was just so proud of this guy because I knew he wasn’t a typical runner; he just happened to have this goal and he trained for it and accomplished it. What could I say? I was verklempt.
But perhaps the most embarrassing of my sobbing happens at other happy times. Nope, I’m not talking about graduations or wedding speeches or gender reveal parties.
I’m talking about The Price is Right.
First of all, you can’t help but get happy when you watch The Price is Right. Having a crappy day? Life got you down? Trust me: Turn on this show and you will immediately be cheered up. No wonder so many unemployed people watch this show! (I’m guessing) And did you know they have a guy model on there too? Yes, a male Barker’s Beauty! (Insert purring noise here.)
Everyone on the show is just so freaking excited to be there, you’d think they’d all won a million dollars, whether they were sitting in the audience or had just won a brand new car. You seriously can’t tell the difference between the two.
But most of all I just plain love it when people win. You can tell that these people don’t have a whole lot happening in their lives, and being on The Price is Right will probably be the best thing to happen to them. So they just completely lose their shit whenever any prize (no matter how small) is announced. Years’ supply of Rice o’Roni? Hell yes, somersaults! Some jet ski that costs more than their double wide? Bring it on!
Spinning one dollar on the big wheel seems to give the biggest reaction, even though it’s only a thousand bucks. But to most of these people, that is a huge deal. And so I cry. And one time I saw the historic occasion when all three people spun $1.00 on the wheel. That was a veritable sob fest for me, not just because I was witnessing game show history and everyone was freaking out, but everyone was just so happy for each other. Even when only one person could eventually move on to the Showcase Showdown, the two losers were still hugging and rejoicing and congratulating, just so excited for the winner. (Basically if you want to see good sportsmanship, all you have to do is watch The Price is Right. Sure, the people on Wheel of Fortune are clapping for the other contestants, but if you look closely, they’re cursing under their breaths when the dumb-as-rocks person ends up winning because everyone else landed on Bankrupt.)
And don’t even get me started when Drew asks everyone to spay and neuter their pet.
But…he’s carrying on Bob Barker’s legacy with such class.