Oct 22, 2015

Old Lady Crybaby

I feel like as I get older I'm only getting more emotional.  I get misty at weddings now, gentle tears slide down my face during a particularly poignant scene in a book, and some TV scenes have had me outright sobbing.

To document this newly found emotional weakness, I've made a list of books, movies, TV shows, and life events that have made me cry as an adult, in order of least tears to most.

9 Tear-Jerkers I Wouldn't Have Cried About as a Kid

9. Weddings

The list wouldn't be complete without them, I suppose.  It's happy, but for some reason my brain says, "Hey, look, we're going to cry now.  Just go with it.  It'll be easier that way."

8. Videos Where Disabled People Regain a Sense

That's not terribly clear, but basically Reddit had a spree of videos where deaf people were given implants that allowed them to hear, and then there were a few color-blind people who got those glasses that let them see color.  Their reactions were so emotional, and overwhelmed, and I knew I should feel happy, but I think I felt just as confused as they must have.  I recommend cute cat videos as a chaser.

7. Anything I Watch on the Treadmill!

Something about running brings emotions close to the surface.  I've treadmill wheeze-cried through Kerchak's death scene in Tarzan, during the song "Friends Never Say Goodbye" in El Dorado, about every other scene in Moulin Rouge, and even to Sam's tears when Frodo rejects him in Return of the King.  I'm a mess.

6. A Tale of Two Cities

A recent read, I was struck by the similarities to Les Miserables (which you will see further down the list).  More mild than some stories, I cried only during the tragic scene and recovered after finishing the book.

5. Sword Art Online

It's an anime, but surprisingly emotionally loaded for all that.  The end of season 1 had me alternately crying and hopeful.  Despite being exhausted, we had to watch until 2am to figure out WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN!!!

4. Once Upon a Time

OUAT has a tendency to end the season with people being separated or having to say goodbye, and watching the character's grief always gets me more than the death or separations themselves.  I've been left still teary-eyed after the credits, but manage to recover hastily if I hear the key turn in the door.

3. Interstellar

That space movie with Matthew McConaughey?  Yeah...  Without spoiling anything, there was grief and regret aplenty, and I cried whenever they did.  At the end, my tears were stifled only by my irritation with certain elements of the story that DID NOT MAKE SENSE (if you've seen the movie, talk to me).

2. Les Miserables

The book, the movie, the musical, you name it!  Although the musical is a bit more light-hearted.  I've read the book twice now and cried both times.  The movie has at least 3 spots that make me reach for the tissues.  Despite this, I love it, and will continue to watch and cry in the coming years.

1. The Doctor Who Season 4 Finale

Doctor Who has been pretty rough on our emotions throughout the first 4 seasons.  It's a goofy story with fun characters, built on an incredibly tragic premise (which takes a while for you to realize).  You never know when you're going to laugh or when you'll cry.  But this finale was the kicker.

After it ended and the credits rolled, I waited for the waterworks to turn off.  It usually only takes a minute before reality snaps me back into remembering that it's just a show!  But it didn't happen this time.  As I continued to sniffle and wipe my eyes, I became aware that Roommate and Ryan were staring at me, uttered a choked laugh that convinced no one, knew I wasn't going to regain my composure, and excused myself to bed.

I'm still recovering from that one.  Sorry, Doctor Who, you're grounded for a while.

So here's my question.  If I've become this much of a crybaby since teenager-hood, how bad will it get by the time I'm an old lady?  Will a kind gesture by a stranger cause tears of appreciation?  My grandchildren's infantile tantrums cause sympathy weeping?  Let's hope not - I'm embarrassing myself enough as it is.

What movies/books/shows make you cry?  Do you ever cry during happy moments?

Edit: My grandmother emailed me a really thoughtful response, so I thought I'd include a snippet of it here.

"...But today's blog talks about getting old and I certainly qualify.

Although mostly I am stoic, forever and ever I cannot handle seeing people say good-by to one another whether I know them or not, be that at a train depot, in a movie, people moving away. When the kids were little, we boarded the train to Michigan without [husband] who stayed behind to work. Sitting on the train, I was having big-time tears, and so [youngest daughter - my mom] started crying and finally said, "Mommy, why are we crying?" I confessed I couldn't explain why and so we had better quit. You get the picture.

Yesterday I addressed the envelopes for my annual letter and realized how many people I have in my address book to whom I have said permanent good-byes. However, most of the ones of whom I speak were far away, out of my line of sight, and so I had shed few tears over any of them. Last week the friend with whom I have traveled extensively died (one of my Yia Yia sisters) and I was asked to say a few words at her memorial service. While the other Yia Yia's were a puddle of emotion, I could talk about [long-time friend] easily because I didn't have to say good-bye in the normal "train station" way.

I think that the reason tears and aging are connected is that as one matures one looks beyond self whereas when young one pretty much reacts to how it affects only "me". I recall getting a very fatalistic, but erroneous, diagnosis from my doctor some years ago that I had cancer of the everything. My concern was not for me physically, but how I was going to handle saying good-bye to my children and grandchildren. Fortunately, I didn't have to."
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  1. Les Mis always makes me cry! Lately, inspirational teaching videos have been making me tear up. I never used to be like this--IS it age?

  2. Haha, I started getting more emotional as I've gotten older too. Up until recently, the only movie where I cried was The Nutty Professor. (I know it's a comedy, but I felt so bad for him in that scene where the comedian was making fun of him!) I definitely get misty during weddings, and though I've actually only seen a few episodes and not a follower of the show, every time I've watched Grey's Anatomy I've cried.

  3. I feel emotional sometimes when I watch K doing everyday normal things, I feel like someday she's going to be like geez mom get it together. haha

  4. Oh boy, wait until you have kids (if you do) someday...I cried constantly during my second pregnancy but I am also generally more emotional all the time (not in an unreasonable way, lol??) My husband totally loves it as you can imagine!!! I find I often cry at weddings now, or when we get really good news about something, I usually cry at gender reveal videos and always at videos of soldiers coming home and surprising their families etc etc...About Time made me cry for hours. Anyway, the gist of all this is that you are not alone! lol

  5. Ok first, I love your grandma's response! I find myself tearing up or crying often over things like this too. Goodbyes, weddings, babies, illness, happy moments like when someone comes home from the army or something, any commercial with sad animals, milestone moments for my nieces and nephews, basically at anything.

  6. Running and sometimes even yoga—heart opener poses specifically—always bring everything inside me right up to the surface. If I let my mind wander to something emotional, I absolutely tear up and sometimes full on cry if the run is strong enough. I also think I laugh harder when I run too, which is why I like to listen to comedy podcasts sometimes :)

  7. I love what your grandma had to say. I know I feel weepy when I think about the fact that my kids are growing up and will be leaving home before I know it. Empty nest really will be empty for me and that makes me sad.

  8. awww what your grandma said <3

    i cry a lot. it's ridiculous. i don't watch anything on the treadmill because i don't want to cry at the gym lol.

    and OMG don't even talk to me about that finale. ALL THE TEARS.

  9. I actually loved Interstellar! But I agree, the story was not linear at all. Sometimes I cry during meditation. And especially when I watch my niece do amazing things or when she says stuff like "No! Please don't go!!!" when I have to leave to come home after the weekend. OMG it breaks my heart.


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