Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Crying Game

Crying is in a rather precarious position in female society. Not unlike perming or casual sex, it's something that women are fairly certain they have the right to do, but deep down still feel weird about doing.

Sandy from Grease being the one obvious exception

 If you're a girl, the times you cry are divided into two categories, clearly labelled, and never confused. They are "Crying Because You Are A Human Being" and "Crying Because You Are A Giant Girl".

Examples of times that you are crying because you are a Human Being:

You are mourning the death of a loved one.

You have just seen The Green Mile. (An old boyfriend once made me watch the Green Mile, and I cried for two hours afterwards. Every now and then I would dry up, think I was over it, and then suddenly a new wave of meloncholy would hit me all over again. I was reassured that this was in fact, the appropriate, human response.)


Examples of times you are crying because you are a Giant Girl:

You've accidentally bitten your tongue while eating, and you're pretty sure that nothing more painful has happened to anyone, ever.

There's a three-legged dog outside.

Because for once, you are sick, truly sick, and not hungover. And no one will believe you.

Someone just yelled at you, even though it was completely not your fault. Or worse, it completely was. And everybody knows it.

You're mum just told you that you can't accessorize for shit.

The couple from the BT ad just don't seem to be able to get it together.

It doesn't matter what specific reason for crying you have, if it seems even vaguely nebulous or it doesn't involve the unfair execution of a hulking black dude, you might as well trade in your shoulder pads and makeshift testicles. You're a lady.

It's no fun being a lady, and that's why the institution has been all but abandoned. I don't even know what being a lady in this day and age would entail. Clear lip gloss? Tan-tights? A nodding respect for camel clothing? When you work in a shop that values your ability to carry a crate of Sopranos boxsets up and down a stairs above your ability to wear white and not spill on it, you have to keep your emotions to yourself. Unless, of course, you're talking to Jack.

Jack works in the stockroom where I work. He is ordinary in virtually every respect, except for one crucial factor: women like to openly weep around him. The rule is, if you've worked in our shop long enough, and you are a woman, and you are not a robot woman, you have cried in front of Jack. I don't know why this is, and neither does anyone else. Having a bad day? Customer yell at you? It's ok. You can always go into the stock room and have an emotional episode while Jack stares at his hands and mumbles something about having things to process. Fuck you, Jack. WE have things to process.

1 comment:

  1. I myself have cried in front of said Jack on two (possibly three) occasions..... poor Welsh man....