When you are a widow and you’ve had cancer, people inquire about your well-being often. Those journeying through life with grief in our handbags appreciate the ask. So do the cancer girls–really–I’ve asked them. Throw in a job, clients, back to back events, crisis communications, two cats, three kids and two upcoming weddings and the world perched on one’s back can feel heavy. Oh, and allergies–don’t forget allergies. Mastering the all is well smile is a specialty of women who juggle, non?
I’m taken aback when I hear one of my chickens tell one of my friends, “She seems a little melancholy.” Evidently, the smile is not fooling her. Middle Chicken tells me the same in private. “You don’t seem like yourself.” Then she hops a plane for home. I have a glass of wine and dismiss the conversation.
Fast forward to the grocery store. My beloved Pinot Grigio is sold out. I feel a rush of frustration as I peruse the shelves again and again. And then the fridge section–no Ecco Domani. I stomp my foot. Just a little. Never have I had a meltdown in Fry’s. It’s a small stomp, but a stomp nonetheless. Make my way to the car, wineless, and a single tear escapes and then another. WTF?
I got a smaller than average girl cry gene. Rarely am I bereft enough to cry, almost never in front of other humans and unexpected tears are most unwelcome. I feel little pity when girls cry at work and the first thought traveling my mind is, “Girls don’t cry at work. Put that nonsense away.” Every once in a while, I see girls use tears as power and marvel at their skill.
Next day, twist my ankle traversing rocks in nude pumps and flick off a heel tip. Take the shoes to Boris, the guy who knows and loves all my heels.
“How fast you want ’em?” says he.
“Can’t do tomorrow. Next day.” He’s like the soup guy on Seinfeld.
A tear slides out from under my Jackie O’s. And then another. A flood falls on Boris’ glass countertop. My humiliation is at a level not previously encountered.
“Okay. Okay. Tomorrow.”
“Thank you,” sniff I.
Get in the car. Niagara Falls gushes from my orbs. I check my mascara. As bad as I imagine. Perhaps mascara is the reason I do not cry. Smudges make me crazy. Pull into my garage. Still crying. Pray for an empty elevator. Still crying. Unlock the door to a little tabby cat. Pick him up, hold him close. Still crying.
Get a text from The Goddess. “Is everything all right? You don’t seem like yourself.”
“Don’t be nice to me,” I text shout back. “You’ll make me cry more.” She gets it. And says, “Please sit down and cry.”
I do. For the first time in a long, long time. I cry. And cry. And cry. And tear up while writing this. My eyes swell. And then a magical thing happens. I get mad. Mad sends me in a direction to make some major changes.
And the journey begins. Maybe this is why chicks cry all the time. Who knew?