Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm a Big Old Cry Baby

{taken after watching "Jennifer Hudson: Behind the Music."  I cried from the second it started.}

I've always been a Cry Baby.  I came into this world with colic.  What a frustrating thing for a mother to deal with.  I know this because Cooper came into this world as a Cry Baby.  I doubt it was colic because the colic "medicine" didn't do a damn thing.  Our Ped said, "He's just not ready for this world yet."  Umm, thanks doc, but he's here.  But my crying never stopped.  At family meetings, I was the one that cried.  My parents weren't rude or extremely strict.  I just ended the meetings by crying.  I've never used my crying to manipulate, so I'm assuming that I cried because I wasn't being heard.  I'm sure that's what my adolescence self thought.  As an adult, I realize that's ridiculous.  I'm loud & passionate.  Therefore, I'm always heard.  I just didn't get my way.  Enter crying.

And still as an adult, I'm a crier.  I cry when things are sweet & happy.  Show me a scene that ends with someone finding long lost love, I'm crying.  Show me a scene with a baby running towards its Mama, I'm bawling.  Last night, I cried in the airport 3 times.  Time one, I finished "The Gift of the Ordinary Day"  Her oldest son went to college.  Cried.  Time two, a pilot was talking with his daughter about getting home to see her swim.  Cried.  Time three, I watched families greet incoming families.  Cried.  All but Cry One probably wasn't even noticed.  Cry One had to be noticed, but I don't care.  When I got to the last chapter, I almost decided to read it in a bathroom stall.  But I don't want to read a good book with people pooping.   I'm a cry baby & I embrace it. 

There's no good reason for my crying.  Just about anything will do it.  Pearl Jam's cover of "Last Kiss" got me every time I heard it while in college.  I've learned that there are certain movies I will never be able to watch.  "Saving Private Ryan" opened on a flag waving in the wind.  I started bawling.  Mark had to run out of the theater & steal a toilet paper roll for me.  I almost walked out of that movie.  When I was in my 20's, I tried to watch "E.T." a second time.  With salty tears & too much snot, I begged Mark to turn it off.  He did.  When they flash the baby pictures on "Intervention," I start sobbing.  Those pictures were taken when the parents were full of hope.  They couldn't see the darkness of addiction that would eventually rain down on those babies.  I cry.  I cry for the good & I cry for the bad.

You'd think after 30 some years of crying, I'd get good at it.  I know the emotion is coming, so I should be able to wrap it a pretty package of pity.  Nope.  I look so bad when I'm crying.  The emotion bubbles up & contorts my face into an emotional ball of grossness.  Years ago, I watched the  Britney Spears comeback interview.  She was asked some question & I saw it.  I saw her emotion creep up from her hands & then it made her beautiful face crack.  She's an ugly crier too.  Poor thing.  I guess if you could make it pretty, it wouldn't be true emotion.  But man I wish I could.  It might help ease the pain of crying in public.  It isn't a common thing & you'd think your body would take pity on you.  Nope.  I'm an ugly crier.  It's obvious.  It's almost like a vacuum is sucking up all the emotion in the room with a deafening sound.  Something happens on TV & Mark "hears".  He'll look over & say, "Oh shit."  I usually respond with a laugh & then more ugly crying.  I can't help it. 

You name something & I'll cry from it.  Go on.  Try.  Oscar acceptance speeches?  Cry.  Olympic gold medal ceremonies?  Cry.  "American Idol" montages?  Cry.  "Three Little Birds" song.  Cry.  The birth of my sons? 

Here's a strange one...  Not a tear.  Not one single tear.  See?  Deep down I'm a cold-hearted bitch.



  1. O Erika, you and I... we'd be in good company... I think it just means we feel... a lot. And in a real tangible way...

    hugs. xo

  2. Me too! Tears come way too easy. Commercials, movies, couples at the park...
    I also cry as a way to release stress. Sometimes, after a particularly stressful or busy day, I'll go to bed - Scott will wrap his arms around me and I'll start to ball. I'm finally in my safe zone and can release all of it. 2 minutes later, I'm fast asleep and content.
    I say criers unite!

  3. i get choked up a lot too! and i am an ugly crier.
    casey had untreatable colic and we too heard the "she is not ready for this world" and therefore cannot calm herself down... solidarity in that sister! phew the hardest year. all i can say is AUTOPILOT.

  4. Have you seen Toy Story 3 yet? Big, huge, gulping tears ... from both Dave and me. The worst part is crying in front of students. In two days some of them saw me cry twice: once during Up on the bus ride to Knoebels and the second at the end of Where the Red Fern Grows. The nice part about most of them was their compassion (or maybe they were embarrassed for me).

  5. I'm a cry baby also. I was at a concert last week and cried because of lyrics, but I knew I might cry and had tissues at the ready to blot my eyes and nose. My mother calls me her ocean of emotion.

  6. you had me all emotional and then i read that last line. bwahahaha! thanks for ending it on a happy note. :)
    the girls and i watched 'dear john' the other day...oh yeah, ugly cry. you know, i love that you 'own' your crying self. it's part of who you are. just one more thing to love about you. x

  7. oh..I'm also a crier. I just read the velveteen rabbit to my son this morning and cried during and for 10 minutes afterward. I keep having to explain that we are not always just sad when we cry but sometimes it's complicated. I used to work in a hospital and would cry with my patients sometimes....I don't know if I can go back to that job. Love this the ending too.

  8. I watched Cold Case today and at the end they played "You are my sunshine" while an adopted grand daughter meets her biological grandmother for the first time. I tried realllllllly hard not to cry like a baby. Grandmother/grand daughter reunion PLUS "You are my sunshine." I should've just left the room... I bawl like a baby at every new Disney movie that comes out. And boy is it ugly....I can usually try to keep it not too ugly until I get that breath that catches in your chest. Then it's ugly....

  9. oh my, you make me laugh! Im a cry baby too. I think mine comes from being the youngest of 6 kids and being a military family always having to say good bye to friends and family over and over and over from the time I was little.

  10. ha! it's almost like the anticipation of knowing that kevin is going to look over and see me crying makes me cry even worse!

  11. ha! just the anticipation of knowing that kevin is going to look over and see me crying makes me cry even worse!

  12. ...and who did you inherit this crying from? When the flag was being dedicated at the park last night...who was crying? Not your dad!

  13. Im a crier too ... at first hubby used to say things like, 'its just a tv show. or just a book. or just a ____'
    he has learnt now.

  14. oh boy, i cry at everything too! i'm so glad i'm not the only one, i cried the other night whilst finishing reading a book to my eldest, my boys looked at me like i was mad! it was a happy ending!
    the worst film that gets me every time is Bridges of Madison County, buckets of tears!

  15. i am the same way. when we got to the beach on our vacation it was pretty empty and we were the first out of my family to get there. we're walking around, bea is excited, henry is about to jump out of his skin, matt's already checking the waves. we are there not even 5 minutes and i am thinking of the gulf and start crying. matt is wondering if i'm okay and i just nod. i told him if told him why i was crying he would laugh. and he did. a sweet, "you are nuts" kind of laugh accompanied by a hug, but still. he's used to it. and so am i.

    i love that you're a crier. it almost makes me want to cry. if there were favorite buttons on blogs i'd hit this one a few times.

    and this photo of you - gorgeous.

  16. Hey Erika! It's Jess. I'm loving your blog!! And your self portraits too. You are gorgeous and I love the vulnerability you are putting out there.

    I totally related to this post. I cry very easily too. At those Sarah McLaughlin ASPCA commercials with the sad puppies. Any period piece movie based on a Jane Austen novel or likewise. Even at 'So You Think You Can Dance' performances. The one they did 2 seasons back about breast cancer to Maxwell's cover of "This Woman's Work"!?! woosh! i get teary just thinking about it. If you need a good cry: And I'd cry every time a performance would make Mary Murphy cry. I miss her hooting and hollering this season. sigh. I think this kind of crying is cathartic. I always feel better after a good, silly cry.