Monday, February 04, 2008

"Crying" Doesn't Always = Tears

I've definitely entered a new phase of pregnancy. It's rather strange how you slip in and out of a phase without even realizing it. But, I found myself tearing up over a silly ad on the radio the other day and BOOM--just like that, a new phase.

Later in the day I chose to tell Joel about this whole scenario and his response was "You WHAT? you were crying over a commercial?!?" And then I realized, he doesn't know. He is a man after all. And I'm glad he is.

There should be some handbook about this or something. Doesn't everyone know that there are many stages of crying and it doesn't always involve actual, physical crying? I guess not. It must be my duty to explain this, once and for all.

Welling. Welling simply means that tears are formed in the eye and the well of the eye, but they are never actually released. The cheeks stay dry and no Kleenex is needed. This can occur over a cup of coffee and no one is the wiser. Happens more than you know.

Tearing (as in, involving tears, not ripping something apart). Tearing is actually the second phase of welling and usually involves one Kleenex. This is when the few tears that have collected in the well of the eye actually flow down the cheeks. It can involve anywhere between 1-10 tears.

Weeping. Weeping is often confused with tearing. The ultimate test: did your mascara run? Yes? Weeping. No? Tearing. Weeping is when the tears flow uncontrollably, but no sound occurs. Some noses begin to run in this phase and a few Kleenex are involved. Usually weeping can be controlled and kept quiet in awkward situations.

Crying. Actually full-on crying involves all three of the aforementioned stages, multiple Kleenex due to a very runny nose, and usually a secluded place for you to gather yourself. Mascara running is a definite sign you are in this stage and an inability to contain yourself (from producing some noises and stopping yourself) are also clear tests of whether or not you've actually entered this stage. Absolute all-out embarrassment moves you into the next stage. Read on.

Sobbing. Sobbing involves all of the previous stages, plus gasping for breath, moving in and out of each phase quickly and suddenly and an inability for anyone and I mean anyone to be able to help you stop. It can last anywhere from 10 minutes to a couple of hours. In some instances, it can also involve irrational thought processes and crazy things being spoken you regret afterwards. Caution: drinking liquids in this stage is critical. Dehydration is a real danger, not to mention a bit of embarrassment and exhaustion when finished. In all reality, this stage should be used sparingly either alone or with a trusted (and I mean trusted) best friend.

Allergies and tears when you have something lodged in your eye are not part of any of these stages and should not be confused with actual crying.

Just for the record, I was actually "welling" at the commercial. No actual crying was involved.


Ski said...

A book that Joel might enjoy is the "Expectant Father", by Armin A. Brott. Clint found it helpful durning my first pregnancy.

Beverly said...

Heh! Love the distinctions. You're right, welling happens much more often than any men in our families would probably realize.

Beware...the older you get, the more you grow as a parent, the more frequently welling happens! Sentimentality only grows stronger as the children grow older...