My Crier Broke

Jun 2 2011

It’s pretty awkward looking like a 37-year-old woman when my inner child is a 14-year-old boy.

I only wanted to know which of several house-made sausages the waitress would recommend.  It was an innocent question.

“Well, that depends,” she replied.  “How do you like your sausage?”

How do I like my sausage?

For real?

A grown-up could’ve handled that question with a straight face.  A grown-up wouldn’t have, for one second, thought of 12 different, inappropriate ways to answer.

Me, giggling:  Um…

I obviously needed a little help, although I swear I did my best to chortle behind my menu.

Waitress, helping:  Like, do you like your sausage spicy?

Aw, come on!  That was hardly fair.  You seriously cannot expect a 14-year-old boy to answer that question without choking a little.

Emphatically not my fault.

Next time, I’m ordering fish and chips.

But that wasn’t the part of Grown-Ups’ Night Out that made my brother laugh like a ninny.

(Clearly, I use “grown-ups” loosely.)

Nope.  It wasn’t sausages.

What made Jeff look like he was dying from a delightful heart attack was my humiliating confession.

I didn’t think it was all that funny.


I guess I was wrong.

See, I’m not a crier in real life.  You could probably say my crier’s on the fritz.  It broke years ago, and that means I don’t cry very often.

Except, as I told Jeff over dinner, I seem to have discovered that I can cry when I run.

These days, I say I’m going running, but I might as well say I’m going crying.  Because it’s pretty much the same thing.

And, by cry, I mean blubber.  Big, crocodile tears.

I swear to you that anyone who knows me will tell you that I am not a crier.

The reason I’m not a crier is because my heart is as hard as stone, and I feel nothing.  Nothing, I tell you.

When my girlfriends cry, I am a rock.

When my children cry, I am solid.

When that Folgers commercial is on where the soldier arrives home with his duffel bag slung across his strong, uniformed shoulders, and he wakes his parents by brewing coffee, and they sit up in bed blissfully taking in the aroma until they realize what it must mean, and they FLY down the stairs to see their baby, whole and hale, chuckling into his coffee cup… well, I cry like a baby, but I run to the bathroom first so no one will see me.

Excuse me while I go brew some Folgers.

But when I go running, I cry.  I’m sure it’s because of the endorphin release.  Which is totally biologically normal.  (FYI, I have no data to back up that claim, but I’m saying it with confidence ’cause that’s the way I was raised.)

Totally biologically normal, I say again!  For someone who bottles up her feelings.  And smashes them down with a hammer.  And stomps on them.  And mails them to the Arctic so that the native muskox and narwhal can keep them safe and frozen.  (Thank you, muskox and narwhal.  I love you.)

I just love being part of a family where I can really open up and admit my vulnerabilities and be warmly embraced and accepted.

Like this…

Me:  I cry when I run.

Jeff:

See how that works?

Let’s try it again.

Me:  I cry when I run.

Jeff:

Me:  I cry when I run.

Jeff:

Me:  I cry when I run.

Jeff:

I finally had to stop.  I was afraid he was going to hurt himself.

But, P.S. — I may cry when I run, but Jeffy cries when he laughs.  So, HA!