Look, I’m going to say it: This Square Peg sheds more tears in a day than your average baby. While this troubled me in the past, primarily because I was rarely a crier, I now fully accept the soggy fact that I weep at the drop of a dime. Hardly an exaggeration–I’m sure

crybaby
They sure do.

I’ve watched many dimes fall to the ground and wept over my inability to loosen my back in order to pick them up. Anyway, so, so many feels. Let me go over some of the things that invariably get me:

Children being cute/wise/happy/every emotion. If a video is posted on a social media platform about a child being all of the above, I will sob. I’m the worst babysitter known to man (the refusal to change diapers is a clue), but little kiddies just get me. Maybe it’s because I long for the days when I didn’t know what a bill was or what taxes were. Mostly, though, it’s because of their innocence and joyful discovery of life.

Daughters and Dads. No surprise there. I miss my dad. When I see girls or women interacting with their fathers, the lump in the throat is unbearable. One of the reasons I distract myself with an assortment of things at wedding receptions–the tablecloth, my drink, the ceiling tiles–rather than watch the new bride dance with her father. Le sigh. Within the tears, however, there’s hope.

Cute animals. Yes, when pandas try to take baths or elephants roll around and pretend to be lap dogs, I smile and dab at the tiny tears forming in my delighted eyes. (Can I just add that this is one giant hint that I’m just getting older? I was a former side-eyer of all animal life. I blame YouTube. Not sure how many videos of dogs protecting newborns a woman can take.)

This Story/Nothing at All. When I was 19 years old and worked here, I worked with a bunch of fantastic, fantastic people. One of them was an awesome woman named Kate. Kate was a mother, a teacher, and had such an intriguing take on life. One afternoon, she told me how she found herself sitting outside at a cafe, having lunch, when she simply burst into tears. “I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t depressed,” she told me. “But I let myself cry. Because sometimes a woman just needs to cry.” As she went on to describe the healing and cleansing her tears brought to her soul, I was both horrified and fascinated by her tale. Horrified because remember that I wasn’t a crier back then. The idea of sitting outside while tears streamed down my face, as strangers passed me by, was nothing short of terrifying. Fascinated because I envisioned this lovely woman sitting at a table, her food abandoned, grinning and laughing as she wept. Needless to say, I remember Kate’s story often, particularly when those strange, incited by nothing tears envelop me from time to time. To her point, sometimes a woman just needs a good, long cry, apropos of nothing. When those moments happen, I let the tears come. I’ve yet to experience spontaneous tears at an outdoor cafe, but should you be driving and see the chocolate lady in the car next to you weeping, nothing is wrong. It’s just me and I’ll be fine.

C’est la vie, right? Sometimes we cry. Even if it’s because a baby elephant wants to be a puppy.

Are you a crier, my dear? Or are you a soldier like I no longer am?

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