TMI Tuesday–Pass the Tissue
I think it was Keira Soleore who asked in the comment trail the other day what movie Mr. Dare and I went to see for our annual outing – we went to see Juno. Which is wonderful, if you haven’t seen it, and the end made me cry and cry. I’m not even sure why…It was a happy sort of ending, for the most part. But in a way, I guess I felt that the movie captured something essential of my 16-year-old self and my 32-year-old self and then smashed them together with a bunch of pregnancy hormones, and it was just about impossible not to cry. But I didn’t notice anyone else getting weepy. I guess sometimes a book or movie just hits me in exactly the right way (or wrong way) at the right time (or wrong time) and turns on the faucet. And of course, it would usually happen when I’m in public.
The best example I can remember of this was reading Summer of My German Soldier in eighth grade life science class. I often read through science class. I often read through a lot of my classes, but it was particularly easy to read through science. My science textbook was big enough to swallow a paperback whole, I sat in the very last row, and I had a particularly oblivious teacher–this big, round jolly guy named Mr. Ploof. Really.
So on this particular day, I was nearing the end of SOMGS and could not be bothered to put it aside for any discussion of mitosis or meiosis or whathaveyou. And if you haven’t read the book, I won’t spoil it for you, but suffice it to say that the ending is tragic. Tragic in a way my thirteen-year-old self was just not prepared for, when I was only just graduating from children’s literature, AKA the world of the typically optimistic ending. I was so sure that book was going to end happily–that’s why I was racing through the pages behind my ginormous science textbook. Squeeee! I thought, age-inappropriate, completely implausible, against-all-odds HEA ahead, surely with some kissing!
Nope. Didn’t work out that way. And I started to cry. And by cry, I mean sob. Like, noisily. With no tissue anywhere nearby. Tears just streaming down my face. I don’t know if any of my classmates noticed, but it probably wouldn’t have fazed them if they had, because everyone knew I was just weird anyhow. Mr. Ploof remained jolly and round and oblivious. But when I finished that book and put it aside and tried to start looking and acting normal again (always a challenge, under the best of circumstances), I just remember looking up at whatever science lesson we were having and thinking, This is all bullsh*t. Why are these people sitting us in these chairs and feeding us all this stuff about cell division and algebra and prepositional phrases and neglecting to tell us that an awkward, unloved Jewish girl and her fugitive Nazi can’t get a freakin’ happy ending in this world? I think that’s the greatest frustration of adolesence–the fact that you’re feeling and clawing your way through all these complex life issues and the manner in which you’re forced to spend most of your waking hours seems so hopelessly irrelevant.
But I digress.
What book or movie has made you cry uncontrollably? Did anyone notice?