Last week we went to the theater to see Ted (the dirty, talking teddy bear movie from the creator of Family Guy). During previews, a trailer started for an upcoming Disney film starring Jennifer Garner.
The trailer began in the doctor’s office, where Jennifer and her movie-husband sat hopefully across the desk from a doctor who was breaking the news to them that they wouldn’t be able to have children. “We’ve done all we can,” he admitted.
Jennifer and Husband were at home that evening and decided to “create” their perfect child by listing his or her qualities on little slips of paper. They jotted down traits like “honest to a fault” and placed the slips inside a wooden box. The couple tearfully buried the box in the garden. “We’re moving on,” Jennifer said somberly. When the sun came up, a muddy little boy with kind brown eyes was on their front step. After getting over the shock of a child appearing from their garden (he sported leaves around his ankles to boot, which grew directly from his skin), they raised him as their own. And as you might expect, everyone’s lives were permanently altered for the better. Yay, Disney!
After the trailer ended, my husband looked at me for our typical routine of thumbs-up/thumbs-down. He was shocked to discover me bawling my head off. Not just a little misty, or a few tears, but full-blown waterworks — tears running down my face unchecked. His eyes grew wide and he tried hard not to laugh. I started laughing instead.
“What the hell?!” I whispered. “What is wrong with me?”
I’ve heard about this phenomenon before. Pregnant women get absent-minded and kind of stupid, but they also get freaky emotional. I’ve always been quick to cry (ask my boss — I think I cry at work no less than once a month). But I’d say I fall into the crying superfreak category at this point.
That’s not the only example of freakish emotional response I’ve had. (Oddly, they both surround Disney movies. I should just blame those jerks.) This past Saturday temps were in the triple digits, which meant that Kitty and I were stuck inside. We watched Secretariat — a Disney movie about a Triple Crown winner (meaning he won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes all in one year) back in the 70s.
Less than an hour into the movie, the horse runs his second race and wins for the first time. The moment the gates opened, I started bawling. Not just a few tears, but full-on gasp-filled bawling. I was overwhelmed with emotion, worried that the horse would get hurt, scared he would lose, and full of hope that he’d win. I couldn’t stop the tears and I was quite happy that my husband wasn’t home to mock me. The third race, and every race after that, brought the same result. The tears would start when the gates opened and didn’t stop until it was over. At a certain point I just started laughing through my tears, it was so ridiculous.
But there’s nothing to be done except to be prepared: avoiding stories about puppies and kittens, carrying a purse full of Kleenex, and never going too far from a box of tissues.
At this point, I pity the people I spend a lot of time with. My husband, coworkers, close friends… all are at the mercy of my happy little emotional rollercoaster. What will set off the waterworks next? A perfectly grilled burger? Two puppy dogs playing? Nobody knows.
Least of all me.