Cry Me a River

Yesterday I overheard a thought-provoking conversation. First, let me clarify. I was riding  on a ski lift with two high school students, and it was hard not to listen, in such close proximity. The young lady was telling her companion an amazing story, and I was frankly relieved when she finished and he said, “You have the most outrageous dreams.” Just as I was recovering, she went on with her stream-of-consciousness to talk about one of the characters in her dream, saying that the girl in real life was such a “cryer.” She asked our liftmate if he ever cried (emphatically no) and then she told him who was a cryer that he would never guess, who goes home from class and cries every day, and so on, running down the list of their mutual friends, till we eased off the chair in different directions. All this talk about tearing up made me head straight for the thoughtfully-placed tissue boxes for which Deer Valley is famous.

Why is crying important? We all know it releases tension and clears the eyes of foreign matter, etc. But what of the psychological ramifications of crying? (I get very philosophical when I’m at high altitude.) I despised my weakness for weeping as a child when a teacher would reprimand me, and it hasn’t gotten any better, letting loose with some salty ones when I bumped elbows with, and hurt, that famous game-show host about a year ago. I was devastated, and my eyes showed it. The belittling tone with which the girl had spoken of her sobbing sister reminded me of chants of “crybaby” from my youth. But I was, and am, in good company. Just think of the abuse John Boehner suffered when he was dubbed, “Weeper of the House.” Of course, he is a male, and that was part of the reason for the criticism; men are historically stoic, or at least they’re supposed to be. Anne Kreamer, author of It’s Always Personal, referring to the difference between the sexes on this subject, said on the Today’s Working Woman segment of The Today Show this morning, “our tear ducts are anatomically different!”

It's Always Personal: Emotion in the New Workplace


In the segment, clips were shown of women who were interviewed on how they felt about emotion in the workplace, and there was much discussion about how employers should handle these apparent lapses in protocol. One woman said she liked the way she looked, all pink and flushed, when she was weepy. (I used to like that my hazel eyes turned emerald green when my floodgates opened, but soon discovered it wasn’t worth the post-puffiness.)  

I’ve concluded there’s only a certain amount of control we can exert with respect to this. Whether it’s the amount of the hormone prolactin in our system, or something deeper, some of us, more than others, are hard-wired to express ourselves with waterworks. Here’s a barometer for you: watch this video, and let me know how you do . . .


About Tricia Pimental

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Tricia Pimental's second memoir, A Movable Marriage, has received 5 Star reviews from both Epic Book Quest and Readers' Favorite. It's available on Amazon in both Kindle ( and print ( versions. She is also the author of two Royal Palm Literary Award Competition-honored books: Rabbit Trail: How a Former Playboy Bunny Found Her Way, and Slippery Slopes. Other work has appeared in International Living Magazine; A Janela, the quarterly magazine of International Women in Portugal; and anthologies compiled by the Florida Writers Association and the National League of American Pen Women. A member of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and a former Toastmaster, Ms. Pimental resides in Portugal. She can be reached at and on Twitter @Tricialafille.
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2 Responses to Cry Me a River

  1. Sallyann says:

    I’ve always believed that there are those who cry well and those who don’t. The ones who cry well are like Melanie Wilkes. They get just a little weepy and their eyes become moist so that they look very dainty and wistful. I’m in the second group, my eyes get all red (or black from mascara running). My nose turns red. In fact, I’m pretty sure everything about me turns red and extremely puffy. Basically I try to avoid crying if at all possible. So, it’s good that I watched the youtube link you included in your post in private because it did cause a bit of tearing. That little girl has an amazing voice! And such a strong faith. I hope that her faith is grounded and nurtured in truth. Thanks for introducing us to her talent!

  2. Tricia says:

    I was floored to hear that sensitive individual, HKP, did not even mist up. Shocking, eh? Thanks for reading and writing!

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