It took me by surprise when I went to have a tire patched at Pep Boys last year and drove home from the experience in full, wailing, sobbing, freak-out mode. Because as much as I have banned myself from ever crying with eye makeup on, it turns out my desire for mascara-free cheeks is no match for 40-something hormones.
I had a nail in my tire, and it was deflating quickly, so I needed to stop by Pep Boys. When I got to the service desk, they told me it would be about an hour. An hour later, they told me another hour. An hour later, they told me another hour.
Meanwhile, everyone in the waiting room around me was watching videos on their phones of TruTV or something similar, where the shows consisted of people screaming and being chased by the police, and for some reason, all of them had the volume cranked to 10, on phones that were seemingly made entirely of broken speakers. It sounded like a room full of robot parts being dragged across a floor made of chalkboard. You know, in a bad way.
(Oh, hey, side note: When watching a video on your phone in a public place, turn the volume down to a respectable level, you goddamned animals. Literally NOBODY wants to hear it. Also, don’t say, “Oh man, you gotta see this!” and then make someone watch a five minute long video on your phone when you’re just out to dinner. NOBODY wants to have an unscheduled five minute long video thrust upon them when they’re sitting at a restaurant.)
I’m hypoglycemic and my blood sugar was starting to get really low, so I reached for my emergency snack in my purse only to find it wasn’t there, so I had to make do with eating sugar packets from the free coffee station in the waiting room. As I tossed back the sugar packets like someone throwing handfuls of dead mullet at a sea lion’s gaping maw, I couldn’t help but feel it was a classy move by a classy lady. /brag
When the service guy emerged from the bay three hours later, he handed me my keys and sent me on my way. I pulled out onto the road and immediately made a wrong turn, which meant I would then have to make a U-turn.
That was it.
I immediately burst into tears and started sobbing like I was having a nervous breakdown. This went on for the entire thirty minute drive home. I cried so hard that I had burst capillaries around my eyes the next day. I cried so hard my neck muscles were sore. Because making that wrong turn was just IT. Five minutes after I got home, I was fine.
A few months ago, I got into my car after work and burst into tears for literally no reason. Then I cried even harder because I couldn’t figure out why I was crying and sobbed and shouted at myself, “I don’t know what’s wrooooonng!!!!!” Five minutes after I got home, I was fine.
More recently, my boss emailed me a couple follow up questions on a long project I had just turned in. He asked nicely, as always, because my boss is actually a really fantastic boss. So anyway, he asked nicely, and then the tears started welling up in my eyes, and I had to leave the office to go collect myself in the ladies room before I completely fell apart. Because he asked me a couple follow up questions. Nicely. Five minutes later? Fine.
One day I was watching a duck waddle across a street, and I burst into tears. Totally fine five minutes later.
I have melted down in the past year because the dishwasher had clean dishes in it, because that meant I had to put them away, and I was not emotionally prepared to put the dishes away right at that moment. Sure, theoretically I could just put them away later, but in the meantime I would sit on the couch and it would just gnaw and gnaw at me that I was lying around doing nothing when there was work to be done. Basically, I cried over clean dishes because I have a really good work ethic.
To summarize, these are the situations that will make me cry in my 40s, along with a visual aid of Dawson from Dawson’s Creek to demonstrate the crying scale:
(1) Making a wrong turn:
(2) No reason at all:
(3) Being nicely asked a couple follow up questions:
(5) My own work ethic:
The only thing they have in common is that five minutes later, I’ll be fine.
40-something hormones? You figure that shit out. I have to go make sure that in the past five minutes I haven’t started growing a mustache and a dumpster ass like Mike Ditka.