My Crier Broke

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!

 

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
14 comments
  1. […] my house anytime ’cause, God help me, I cannot ask someone for their wood without acting like I’m 14 years old. It’s not pretty; it’s just […]

  2. […] stamina, our pacing, and our maturity level? MATCH! (And this is why my eye wrinkles continue to baffle me.) I mean, sure. There were […]

  3. […] There was an inappropriate sausage joke hoping to get a word in somewhere back there around the haggis, but, seriously, we just got home […]

  4. […] would reject the 14-year-old boy who lives inside me, and I would not repeat the words Chesterberry Muffins over and over and over […]

  5. I cry when I read your blog… So friggin’ funny!

  6. Man, that was a good laugh. I haven’t laughed like that in a long, long time.

    For the record, I didn’t laugh because she HAS cried when she runs. That would be sad. No, I laughed because she cries EVERY TIME she runs, which is clearly hilarious. I’m not heartless. =)

    1. I’m here for all your mocking pleasure, Jeffy. Yes, I am.

  7. I went through a phase where I would get really, really angry when I ran. It was so weird!

    1. Sometimes, when I listen to Jessie’s Girl on a run, I can’t help but sing out loud when the chorus goes: “And she’s watching him with those eyes, And she’s lovin’ him with that body, I just know it”… and then I look around to see who just hurt me spitting out those lyrics like I’m enraged. Maybe I should look around FIRST. Oops.

  8. I cry when I run too. But that’s because it hurts.
    There is another time when endorphins are released that I sometimes cry, but I can’t mention it here, this being a family blog and all. ‘nough said.

    1. Bahaha!

      I mean… what are you talking about, Cathie?

  9. Beth! You are hilarious! I am sooo glad I’ve “found” you again! I love your quirky self. Question: do you cry when you run with other people?

    1. Aw. Thanks, Kristen.

      To answer your question, I don’t cry when I run with other people. I solve that problem by being a solo artist. It might have something to do with the fact that what I call “running” other people call “sauntering.” Maybe. 😉

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