Tuesday, September 5, 2017


It starts like the slow drip of a faucet. Every once in awhile you wipe away the wetness discreetly. Maybe it's allergies. Something in your eye perhaps? You start to sniffle. What is going on?

You soon find yourself covertly wiping at your eyes and making the skin at the edges raw in a fierce attempt to hold the water back, to not let anyone see. It's too obvious to hide at this point, so now you agonize over what to say. Do you lie and say you got makeup in your eye? You mentally debate if you brought tissues and if you can slyly search your purse for them.

Here's the worst part about it, you really have no idea why the tears are there. It's embarrassingly ridiculous. That about sums up my life sometimes.

I never used to cry. I was one tough cookie. Funerals, sad movies, pain, nothing could touch me. My nickname should have been Stoic. Then I had kids and something inside me was unleashed. My faucet was permanently broken.

But the leak is very situational. I still rarely cry at standard issue crying moments. Nope, instead I make things weird. You see, I've always struggled with authority. Police, doctors, dentists, teachers, they're a bit hard for me to summon the strength to talk to. But...being so Stoic, I can generally muster up the courage, put on my brave face and push through when the need arises.

Now, there's nothing left to muster and no face brave enough, I'm just a mess. I walk into the parent teacher conference with a running mental mantra, "Stay calm, don't cry." Doesn't matter if the news is good, bad or inconsequential, the tears will flow and I'll be trying to say it's fine whilst looking like my dog just died.

Lord help the policeman that pulls me over. Again, doesn't matter if it's a sobriety checkpoint (I don't drink, so no worries there) or if I was speeding. I'm instantly flustered, constantly bumbling and moments away from full on waterworks. Needless to say, I have never received a ticket, maybe in this instance the tears work in my favor?

The dentist moments are extra ridiculous for two reasons. One, I can't wipe the tears because there are a million hands and contraptions all around my face, blocking me from erasing the evidence of my silent stream of shame. Two, it really freaks out the dentist because they think they're hurting me. I probably have really weird notes in my file about my crying problem, but they still always have to check, because, I mean, what if they were hurting me?

Finally, the doctors office. I just left there. I saw a doctor for the first time and there were clearly no notes in my file to indicate my tearitis conditions. I could feel them trying to burst out before I got into the exam room. As we sat and talked I tried a hundred different things to occupy my mind and body in the hopes that I could trick myself into staying calm. I almost did it. The first 20 minutes it wasn't more than a leaky faucet, I could have blamed it on my makeup easily. But as soon as she was ready to finish the appointment I could no longer hold it in. I made a beeline for the worlds scratchiest paper towels from the medical dispenser on the wall. Then it was awkward. She couldn't leave me like that and I couldn't explain. I recomposed myself as best as I could and hightailed it out of there. On the way home I berated my addled brain for doing this to me and tried to make myself sob to get it all out. Apparently that's not how it works and the body has a seemingly endless supply of tears.

So now you know. I worry about how
flawless I come across on a daily basis. I mean, my seeming perfection might make you feel bad about yourself right? So sharing this is my way of bringing things back down to earth. Don't worry, I have a lot more weird stuff that we haven't even begun to broach yet. The time will come. Anybody else out there have a weird struggle like this?