Sunday, 13 June 2010

Small stories: I'll be crying, crying ...

If you've been following me here for any length of time, or if you've ever dipped in and out of my Twitter feed you'll have seen me mention, what now seems like many, many times, something which has made me cry, or almost made me cry that day. [Photos are of the Rob Ryan cut-outs decorating the windows of Yorkshire Sculpture Park visitor's centre]

All those tales which have ended with: 'I nearly burst into tears' or 'and then I cried' have all been true, so it's not as if I could have forgotten about the times I've said such things, it's just .....

... I saw something last week which, you guessed it, made me cry and while my first thought was 'Oh, I should Tweet about that' I was surprised by my second thought which was 'What? Again?'.

And it began to dawn on me just quite how often I conclude a tale with such an admission! Then it all flooded in...

... the times I've mentioned crying in various 'About me' online lists and how often I've summarised work by my friend Jack with the phrase 'It made me cry'. Granted, it's not the only feedback I've ever given him but still ... what's he meant to say in reply? "Er, good?", "Thank you?", "I'm glad you cried"!!? And suddenly I find myself wondering if people appreciate having their life's work measured on my personal lachrymosity scale...

Yet, despite all the evidence to the contrary I do not consider myself a cry baby. Nor am I a hormonally unstable drama queen prone to hyperbole. Oh, OK then, I'll admit to the hyperbole ... but everything else? Nope. Not guilty.

I am however, happy to be categorised as 'sensitive'. Well, I can't really fly in the face of the the obvious, can I?

Once frequently accused of being 'too sensitive', 'hypersensitive' and 'over sensitive' I now consider myself 'just right' in the sensitive stakes thank you very much. It's why I've always chosen to work in support roles. And it's the reason I'm good at what I do.

But then, I've had enough practice, I've always been like this.

Family lore states that, when I was tiny, I would cry if my dolls got 'hurt' or even if they were held upside down! Burned into my memory is the time I accidentally stood on a snail I'd been keeping as a pet and the image of a lamb we saw limping across a road on the moors when I was young!

Even now I have to turn away or close my eyes if there's anything violent on screen especially if it's a head injury or else I'll ... yes, you guessed it, start crying! On the other hand, I regularly seek out tear-inducing films and documentaries about babies, children, ill people, brave people, disadvantaged people, inspiring people, people in love, people out of love ... you get the picture ....

Look, I'm not saying it's a regular bout of all-out, hands-down weeping and wailing, but I bet at least once a week I well-up and sometimes I even lose a few drops of water from my eyes. I swear I've even toyed with the idea of a regular blog feature entitled 'Things making me cry this week'... [a feature I've not entirely ruled out ... ;)] and I could probably go on regaling you with such moments for the rest of my natural, blogging life. But for now, how about I share the thing that made me cry last Monday? The thing which stirred both my tear ducts and this entire train of thought.

I'd better warn you that if you're of an equally sensitive disposition you might want to look away now or at least have a tissue handy. Ready?

OK then. Meet Miss Ellie:

Miss Ellie featured in the Guardian newspaper's regular 'Unsettling animal picture of the week' spot last weekend and after reading her story ... I might just have leaked from an eye .. or two.

It told of how, one year on from being voted the somewhat heartless title of The World's Ugliest Dog ... she's just died.

I know!!!!

I'm not even a dog lover, in fact I'm scared of most of them, but seriously, how sad is that? Talk about adding insult to injury! Or in little Miss Ellie's case the insult of being considered the ugliest dog in the world came first ... and then she died! Poor thing!

So what do I want you to do with this information? I don't know. I just thought I'd mention it, just so you know ... Maybe so you don't think I'm on the verge of a breakdown the next time I mention I've been crying.

Because there will be a next time! There's undoubtedly a whole emotional, uplifting, stirring, inspirational, saddening, frustrating, infuriating, wonderful world of 'next times' out there just poised to draw a tear from me. And it'll succeed.

As for you ... well, if Miss Ellie's story has left you in tears too, I'm really sorry, and I fully understand ... would you like to share a tissue with me?

J x


  1. Well, call me heartless and insensitive if you want, but this post didn't make me cry... it made me laugh! I just loved your description of yourself as having a "personal lachrymosity scale" and "prone to hyperbole"! And the denials of being a drama queen or unstable!
    Yes, I think you are sensitive and there is nothing wrong with it either. I am too, though I did laugh at this post... Several times a week, I will find my eyes filling as I read, see or hear something that touches a sensitive spot in my psyche.
    And, like you, I'm rather proud of it!
    Rah rah for the Sensitive Souls!

    (Mind you, I do agree that you should review your practise of measuring your appreciation of your friends' work in tear-drops!)

  2. Oh, no! I hate crying - not in others (of course not!), but the feeling of *me* crying or wanting to cry. Will go to almost any lengths not to do it, including the old turning-away-from-the-scene (or screen) trick. 'Tear-inducing' is a definite no-no on the channel-select front here. :)

    [Although, just in case you think I'm a total cold-fish, when we went to see Titanic at the cinema, I sat for the whole three hours scoffing over the mawkish Kate+Leonardo story, only to accidentally burst into tears when we were walking back to the car because I couldn't stop thinking about all the people who'd died on the real ship.

    I also have to avoid the 'Daddy, my Daddy' scene in the Railway Children movie at all costs, which guarantees eye-seepage, if not full-on sobfesting...]


  3. I'm right with you there, Julie. I wasn't moved to smile at your post, I felt a real rush of yep, let's call it tender-eyed-ness. Never knew about Miss Ellie but found the photo very sweet for the top half, and unbearably painful for the lower half. Now, I'm not a dog-lover either, but imagine a child with a label round its neck like that ... Can I borrow a tissue?


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