Friday, August 12, 2011

thoughts of a recovering woman-hater at 3:30am

Lately I feel tired. More than normal tired.
Dinner tired, mom tired, please stop calling to ask me to do things tired.
Monday I found myself flipping through the channels to the TV by my sewing machine just in time to see Sally Field have her meltdown funeral scene in Steel Magnolias. I cried a little. Then Fried Green Tomatoes came on (it was some country station showing good southern women movies or something).
Now I gotta say Fried Green Tomatoes is probably my favorite movie. Ever maybe.
I may go years without seeing it and then I do and I bawl like I've never seen it before in my life. But then if I see it again the next day nothing changes. Every time I see Idgie's mother read to her from Ruth's letter containing her mother's obituary and the passage from Ruth where it says "Whither thou goest I will go..." let the waterworks begin.
Then when Ruth dies I'm fully into the term made famous by Oprah known as the "ugly cry."
Why do I do this? Do I think they're my friends? Do I just need a good cry?

So Tuesday comes around and I'm getting dressed in my bedroom (with the door locked-- mini-vacation!!) and I turn on the TV and guess who's there? Sally Field is there, bent over Julia Roberts, watching her slip away. As the funeral comes around I'm glued to the screen as she screams that she doesn't think she can take it and I grab the nearest thing to muffle my weeping and cry into my sports bra like my heart will break.

I suspect other women do this. I've never tried to understand why until I became one of them. A pragmatically-minded, even sometimes cool-hearted girl I suppose, until I became pregnant with my first child and boy did I eat my words of ridicule for those pansy girls the first time someone said something "mean" to me. I just need a good tear-jerker chick flick once in a while. Not just any sad movie--those just make me depressed. A good one makes me feel emotional, a little irrational--"Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion," (Dolly Parton in Steele Magnolias) and kind of . . . pathetically womanish.

I've spent a fair amount of my life denying my softer side because in a strange contradiction it turns out that showing that raw side of ourselves takes more guts than to shrink in your chair as you listen to your date cry through a movie when you don't shed a tear.

Why I've done that I don't know. It's exhausting and stupid and now I think my kids are programmed to freak out and freeze up when I try to express emotional things to them, like how much I love them and how I get teary when I think about them growing up and leaving even though I want them to move on and be successful, confident adults. Or how I may even take it harder than they do when I see them teased, disappointed, or fail, or have a fall-out with a friend. It may not even have anything to do with them. Sometimes I just cry because I feel the spirit, or because I'm remembering that time . . . or how that must have felt for so-and-so when . . .

I'm also, maybe not so shocking to you, coming off a medication. Just one. Not both. Side effect of this one being debilitating fatigue. As in I think I'll just lie here on the couch when I'm not in bed so I'll feel productive. And the emotions are all over the map.

But for every accentuated emotion I have right now, whether it be happy, or sad, or anxious, and am then able to take a breath, return to rational thought and more or less get on with my life, is a major step in the right direction. It brings me to terms with that sensitive girl inside me I can never seem to get along with.
Again, I'm like Bob in What about Bob?
Baby steps to emotion . . . baby steps to feelings . . .

Don't think this changes my opinions for even one second on those lets-mock-woman-fantasy-movies like Twilight. Sorry ladies, I know. I still don't get it.
(But if I did, just for the record, I'd pick Edward every time)

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

For the record the twlight movies completely blow, but I am a fan of the book! And I'd choose Edward as well. That being said, I totally cry in both those moves, when I see the baby crying on the porch all by himself it's already started! I think it's a good cry. And for some reason fried green tomatoes has always been you and me, maybe it's since we were friends when I first saw it! And you so need to call me about your last post on my site!!!