Jun 302013
 

ovid-emo-kid

It is a relief to weep;
grief is satisfied and carried off by tears.

~Ovid

STFU, Ovid. I have no tolerance for poets… certainly not a Roman one who was penning bumper sticker platitudes two-thousand years before bumpers were even invented.

The idea of ‘having a good cry’ is romantic because it’s something we can do without actually doing anything. It requires very little effort. For that reason, it’s unlikely to provide much in the way of returns.

Sound robotic? Yeah. I guess it does.

So does this:

“Crying can best be defined as a complex secretomotor response that has as its most important characteristic the shedding of tears from the lacrimal apparatus, without any irritation of the ocular structures. It is often accompanied by alterations in the muscles involved in facial expression, vocalization and in some cases sobbing — the convulsive inhaling and exhaling of air with spasms of the respiratory and truncal muscle groups.” [1]

But that’s what crying is.

It’s one of those abilities (like blushing) that’s unique to humans — other animals don’t do it. So yeah, sure, crying is part of what makes us human.

You know what else makes us human? The ability to over-romanticize things… (things like crying).

 


[1] A. Vingerhoets, L. Bylsma, J. Rottenberg. “Crying: A Biopsychosocial Phenomenon.” Tears in the Graeco-Roman World. Berlin ; New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2009. 439-475.

 

  20 Responses to “shut up, emo kid”

  1. A “good cry” can also be an emotional release, and a harmless way to vent anger/ rage/ sadness. It’s certainly better than shooting up a downtown bar with an AR15… Well so far…

    • A “good cry” can also be an emotional release, and a harmless way to vent anger/ rage/ sadness.

      I hate to be so logical and unromantic about it, but I’m not sure I believe there’s value in that sort of emotional release (at least not when it’s artificially induced and not in the actual moment).

      And I’m not likely to shoot up anything at a bar… except actual shots… the kind made of liquor… that might help, actually. :)

  2. Don’t forget that prolonged sobbing can result in spasms of the diaphragm that are strong enough to cause vomiting.

    What?

    • Don’t forget that prolonged sobbing can result in spasms of the diaphragm that are strong enough to cause vomiting.

      Exactly! Now we’re on the same page, Neo. :)

  3. We over romanticize it when we can’t have it. The last time I was having this problem, I asked to be spanked until I could cry, so the physical would overwhelm the emotional and I’d get some relief.

    It actually helped. For the moment.

    I remain completely unable to be vulnerable in front of others – any others – and therefore my crying is always inhibited.

    • It actually helped. For the moment.

      That’s what I’m afraid of. I’m not sure that anything that helps in the moment won’t hurt in the long run. But then again, I tend to think about this stuff far too much. :)

      I remain completely unable to be vulnerable in front of others – any others – and therefore my crying is always inhibited.

      It’s good that you can be emotionally vulnerable in front of your partner, though. I’m not sure I’m there yet. While I’ve been close on occasion, I’ve only cried in front of J once, and that was very, very early on — before we were even a couple, really.

      As for crying in front of anyone else, that’s not a kind of emotional vulnerability I want. I can certainly see how it’s more honest and open, but it’s nothing I’d ever encourage for myself.

  4. I’d loan you some “cry” if I could. I am terribly sentimental and cry at dog food commercials. Not useful. I find it annoying. I will also say that while I’m not against good poetry, I’m afraid far too many people these days think they’re the next Shakespeare. And they’re really. Really. Not!

    • I will also say that while I’m not against good poetry, I’m afraid far too many people these days think they’re the next Shakespeare. And they’re really. Really. Not!

      Yes to this! And honestly, I’m not even a huge fan of Shakespeare… I recognize the brilliance, but not anything I’d sit down to read for fun.

      • I’ve never been an avid poetry fan either, but a rigger sadist friend of mine loves to recite it as he ties his sub into some painful predicament with rope. His Master’s thesis was on Milton. Talk about crying!

        • Oh, thanks a lot, Heather…. now my version of that mental image is going to be stuck in my head.

          My version includes reciting “Green Eggs and Ham” while attempting to macramé J’s legs to the bedposts…

          Fuck… now I’m going to have to write a kinky version of Dr. Seuss…

          Dammit, Heather. See what you’ve done?

          :)

  5. “But that’s what crying is.”

    Nope. It ain’t. Your second quote reminds me of what the Melvin Udall character played by Jack Nicholson says in the movie ‘As Good As It Gets’.

    ” I’m drowning here, and you’re describing the water! “

    • Nope. It ain’t.

      But… but… yes it is! The science says so! :)

      Nope. It ain’t. Your second quote reminds me of what the Melvin Udall character played by Jack Nicholson says in the movie ‘As Good As It Gets’.

      I’ll have to take your word for it… I’ve never watched that film. I’ll put it on my massively long list of things to watch… :)

  6. Yay, a chance to trot out one of my all-time favorite quotes (forgive the androcentrism — 1819, and all)

    Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be. – William Hazlitt

    I actually cry fairly often, whether in joy, fear, sadness, or for no apparent reason. I consider this to warrant neither merit nor demerit, just a feature.

    • Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be. — William Hazlitt

      I looked this up the other day, actually. :) (Excuse the nerd in me… she is strong!) I saw some studies that suggest apes laugh (in fact, our ability to laugh and apes’ abilities to laugh came from a common primate ancestor). Some recent studies suggest that rats and dolphins laugh, too.

      As for the quote itself, it reminds me of the more common usage of weltschmerz: “the feeling of sadness when thinking about the evils of the world.” I much prefer the explanation closer to Richter’s original meaning: “feeling experienced by someone who understands that physical reality can never satisfy the demands of the mind.”

      Anyway… I’m going to go find a rat to tickle… you know, for science!

  7. I used to think that “a good cry” had real value… until I realized that I honestly cannot recall the last time that I cried (excluding a few tears from gagging/choking, laughing too hard, or letting my heartstrings get tugged appropriately by some movie). I seem to have other emotional outlets that work fine in lieu of “a good cry.”

    “The ability to over-romanticize things… (things like crying).”
    And we’re so fussy over what we over-romanticize. Crying, sure, but who celebrates the above-mentioned diaphragm heaves that induce vomiting? Can’t vomiting be romantic, too?

    Please don’t think too hard about that; I sure didn’t.

    • Crying, sure, but who celebrates the above-mentioned diaphragm heaves that induce vomiting? Can’t vomiting be romantic, too?

      Ok, I did think about it. Honestly, in my lifetime, I think I’ve heard far more people say “I threw up and I felt so much better” than I’ve heard people say “I had a good cry and I felt so much better.”

      Perhaps that’s because I’ve hung out with more drunks than members of Teen Girl Squad. :)

      (“Ow! Arrowed!” Anyone? Anyone?)

  8. Actually, while crying does not feel great while you are doing it, you tend to feel better after it is over. It actually makes your mind feel more peaceful to get all that junk out. Same with vomiting.

    • That’s what I keep hearing, Naydi. :) Unfortunately, it still hasn’t happened (not the crying, nor the vomiting). I’m still brimming with junk! Ha!

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