Monday, February 1, 2010

In Which Jennifer Makes Me Cry

She looks innocent, doesn't she?

A bit like Raphael's Madonna, right?

Except that she isn't. Oh, no. Jennifer is not innocent at all.Look at that picture of Jen again, up there. That is the face of the woman who made Laura cry.

I know, evil, right? Totally, totally evil.

See, Jennifer and I went out to dinner on Friday night after my near-death experience. During this dinner she had a mojito and became incredibly distracted by something. What, you ask? The teeth of a fellow diner.

While I listened in on the random conversation (involving shaving, pros and cons) of the rather-drunk ladies behind Jen, she stared in a blatantly obvious way at the man she dubbed "White-Teeth-Guy," an innocent man who kept getting this blank look on his face as he stared at the television screen in our general direction. He also was very fake-tanned, with abnormally-bleached-white teeth. We think radiation was involved.

Jennifer, having been disappointed by the disappearence of her mojito (she drank it), was amusing on the subject of this man's teeth. This beat our other conversation from earlier that night, which was made up of our lackluster existences and the cutting of school funding (including the loss of all Jen's school's do you have a school with no librarian?).

Jennifer was transformed for thirty or so minutes, then the two of us returned to our usual glum selves, discussing our Quarter-Life Crisis(es) with abject despair. For me, the misery is caused by 1. cold and 2. dark with a little bit of 3. chronic, nightly insomnia.

Maybe I should have had that mojito. Maybe then I would have slept that night. Maybe a little. Okay, I still wouldn't have slept a wink. But it would have been worth a try. Getting sleep might actually keep me from potentially falling asleep at the wheel, which almost certainly would lead to car damage. On the other hand, it may just have ended up with me crying.

Oh wait, it did. And I didn't even need alcohol. All I needed was Jennifer's evil.

Yes, for the first time in our friendship, Jennifer so totally made me cry.

Why? Because she's such a big meanie, being all mean to me, with her nastiness, and her deeply-rooted evil. Her Paint-It-Black heart, her abject cruelty, her--

Fine. I know, Jennifer is not evil. I'm just a big girl.

I was complaining about it earlier that night. I'm undergoing a transformation in which I become my mother.

My mother, I must tell you, is Snow White. Seriously. I have to say, this is a woman (I have a clear memory of this) who would hold out her hand with birdseed in her palm and birds would land in her hand and eat the seed! Really! This happened when I was little, before preschool, but it happened. Dad can vouch for me.

Mom, though, also cries at cotton commercials ("It's the fabric of our lives!") and James Herriot stories, and when I read moving passages to her from books I like.

There is an old addage, that we all become our parents, and I think that must be true. Like my father, I often think I'm funnier than I am (although I know better than to think I'm funny at all in person, I'm better on paper) and am often snarky. Like Mom, I baby-talk my dog and believe she has human emotions that lead her to do cute things repeatedly and that her behavior has nothing to do with the treat we plan on giving her if she does the cute thing again.

But above all else, I have always believed myself to be more like my Auntie Jean (it's a thing, the "auntie"), who Must Be Right, who plans everything down to the second, who knows a little bit of everything...except I'm wrong.

No, I am my mother's daughter, evidenced in the last year on several occasions.

1. I read Neil Gaiman's Blueberry Girl and burst into tears at the circulation desk.

2. I read If I Stay by Gayle Forman and burst into tears at the circulation desk.

3. I reread If I Stay and burst into tears at Culvers.

4. I watched the last episode of M.A.S.H. season 3 and cried on my way home from Jen's because Radar loved Henry Blake so much.

5. I watched the Buffy episode where her mom dies, and I cried. I also cry every time I've watched that episode since then. Which is like, five times. Buffy makes me cry. Also this one Angel episode...

6. I listened to "Half an Acre" by Hem with Jen, then cried on my way home.

7. Now I cry every time I listen to "Half an Acre" including that time on New Year's, although I managed to make it almost the whole way home before I did.

8. What happened on Friday night.

Now, I must say, the Friday night thing would never have happened if not for Jennifer. I would never have looked up old Johnny Carson stuff, nor would I have watched anything Jimmy Stewart. I don't watch things like that on YouTube. Mostly because I would never think to go looking for them.

But Jennifer isn't even content making me cry; she wants you to cry too. See? Click her link. Just do it.

Go on.

Watch it.

See? How can a girl take that kind of pain? He loved his dog! He loved him!

Fine. I know. It wasn't Jennifer's fault. But I'd like to know how I got to be this way. Is it working around little children? Because I will find a way to stop it, if that's the cause.

But I think it's a lot simpler than that. I think this was dormant in me all along, and it will only get worse as I get older and girlier, crying at nothing. I think it was in me all along, and that I am now cursed to cling to the fabric of my life and cry because little babies and old people wear it, because it is the fabric of life.

I think I'll blame Jennifer anyway, though. At least for the dog poem. I mean, she gave me no warning at all, and I'd just told her about the random crying. That was premeditated.

(Sorry Jen, I couldn't help it...)


  1. Be glad I didn't make you watch Christian the Lion :)

  2. Except you did, Jen. Over a year ago, right before Jalin was born, remember? You watched it with your sister, then I came over and you showed it to me, and I forcibly made myself not cry, and you told me your sister had cried...

    So see, just because you tried and failed to make me cry before doesn't mean you get a free ride on this one. If, however, you told me I was being a wimpy little girl, crying at everything, and that I should carry Kleenex in a special pocket in my mitten just to help me through these trying emotional ups and downs or maybe that I should pull myself together, well, then, you'd have a good point :)

    I love Christian the Lion. We have a children's book at the library about Christian the Lion.

  3. I am living in total shock. Last night, I tried to post a comment using my amazing dial-up internet, gave up, and went to sleep.

    Apparently, it worked.