Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Big Girls Don't Cry

When is the last time you cried because you got hurt? I don't mean hurt emotionally, I mean due to physical pain.

I think the last time I wanted to burst into tears from pain was when a window accidentally fell on my hand. And I had the flu a few years before that, and while I can't recall specifically if I wanted to cry, I do remember responding in the affirmative when the Hoos asked me if I felt like I wanted to die. I guess that is close.

I think I realized for the first time that crying from a physical injury doesn't really accomplish much, except to draw attention, when I was 23 or 24. I was roller-blading with my roommate in Arlington, VA when I slid half way down our street on my arse. I had some serious road burn. As she carefully walked down so as to avoid a similar fate (even though she was and continues to be a much better rollerblader) a woman leaned her head out of her garden apartment and asked me if I wanted her to call my mom. Considering my mom lived in New York, it didn't seem like a very prudent course of action.

Yesterday a friend showed me a head injury she incurred while doing some work in her garage. I sympathized about how much it sucked, and we both commented on how silly it now feels to cry when you hurt yourself. The cause is more likely to be due to humiliation or embarrassment than pain anyway.

As I watch LP grow and use tears at opportune times to get her way, I am struck by how effective crying is as an attention-getting mechanism. Unfortunately there isn't really any tool in my arsenal that has an opposite effect. Perhaps some sort of invisibility shield to cloak myself from a particularly awkward moment? I can see myself making use of that baby much more frequently than tears, that is for sure.


Lori said...

A few months after I moved to LA, I cut my finger on a broken wine glass while I was washing the dishes. It was a really deep cut and wouldn't stop bleeding. I only had about 4 friends in the city at that point, and none of them were in spitting distance. I also had no idea where the closest hospital was, even if I was in any shape to drive myself to the emergency room, which I wasn't. My neighbor ended up coming home and drove me to the ER, but since I didn't know her very well, I too embarrassed to ask her to stay with me. So, as soon as she left, I started crying. I had never had stitches before, and I had never been alone in a hospital, let alone an emergency room. I started crying because I was afraid, and I was alone, and after having to put up a brave front while I tried to figure out what to do from home, it was the only emotion left I could muster.

KiKi said...

As I left my parent's apartment complex one winter morning, it was snowing - we'd accumulated lots of inches, and it was quite slippery. As I headed for my car, what happened next was a blur. Just one moment I was treading carefully down the driveway (inclined) and the next I was on my back looking at the sky. After groaning for several minutes, i was finally able to struggle to my feet and limp to my car (my back really hurt). But my pride hurt more when I got to work and I had a voice message from mom: "Mrs. VeryElderly NoseyNeighbor called and said you fell on your butt and rolled down the hill onto your back. She was laughing really hard, but I don't think it's funny. Call me and let me know you're okay."

Wenderina said...

As the friend who hit her head, I feel compelled to say that there was no crying. There was, however, a great deal of "OW FU&*, OW FU&*, OW FU&*" screamed at top volume. I think that is my adult crying. A lot of loud swearing.