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GAGGING FOR IT

A choked-up person requests:

What do you do when you’re talking to someone about something emotional and they start crying?  What about if it’s you that starts crying?  What do you say?

LISTEN:

I never cry.  If I did, I would have my own handkerchief handy.

If you started in, and the aforementioned handkerchief was clean (as in, I wasn’t already blubbering and gobbing all into it), I’d hand it over for your consumption.

If not, I’d start looking around for some tissues.

What do you say?  Probably something along the lines of “Would you like a tissue?” or “Do you have a tissue?” or “Let me go see if I can find us a tissue” – those sorts of things seem appropriate.  You might also try, if you’re the one doing the talking as opposed to the crying, “There there,” or “tut-tut-tut-tut” or “Pobrecito” – just keep it bland and comforting.  This is not the time for “Well, what did you expect would happen?” or “You really brought this all on yourself, you know” or “I told you he was a douchebag user, but noooooo…you wouldn’t listen and now you’re knocked up!” and various other, doubtlessly correct recriminations.

It is satisfying to needle someone who is in a delicate emotional state, but what’s the point if they’re already crying?  Wait until they ask for your honest opinion before starting down that road.

Also – LISTEN:

Get some handkerchiefs.  If you are prone to tears or spending lots of time with emotional friends, they’re an amazing investment.  There’s something masculine and comforting about a man coming to the rescue with a strong, linen cloth than someone fishing around in their pockets for a shred of flimsy paper that will be instantly sodden, sticky, messy and useless.

And what woman wouldn’t be the pillar of strength who has one at the ready for some poor bloke in emotional free fall after discovering his cheating spouse in the arms of a burly construction worker named Nick?

I don’t want to hear about the inconvenience of being prepared.  You’ll be inconveniently sobbing into my handkerchief, so shut up.  And it’s perfectly, preferably hygenic – you just wash it with the rest of your whites and they last just forever.

Certainly longer than a piece of tissue.

Crybaby.

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