What Makes You Do The Ugly Cry?

A friend and I were talking about getting weepy over poignant movies or newscasts. I was surprised to discover it’s a shared trait. From outward appearances it is highly unlikely anyone would suspect me of becoming verklempt on occasion.

I can shrug off the nostalgic holiday television commercials that feature a son slipping into the house on Christmas morning and surprising the family when they smell the coffee brewing. I’ve hardened myself to the extent I can watch the last episode of “Mash”. My throat starts to ache when the evening news features all the animals in the shelter that need a home and I leave the room.

I have not discovered a way to control the ugly cry. It is such a horrific experience I try to avoid any situation that will make me vulnerable to an attack.

For the uninformed, the ugly cry is when your face contorts to resemble a cabbage patch doll. Your eyes turn as red as a vampire. Your nose glows in the dark and Kimberley Clark does not make a tissue strong enough to capture the runoff. The sound begins as a quiver in your throat that is painful and crescendos into an out and out bawl resembling the neighbor’s cat in heat.

You are helpless to prevent the ugly cry; it takes on a life of its own. The ugly cry strikes at the most inopportune times, always in public, usually at a movie. The last time I had an ugly cry was during the movie “The Color Purple”. It was brutal and I had to wipe tears many times. But when the sisters Celie and Nettie reunited after years of separation, I lost it. My chin began to quiver and I knew an ugly cry was lurking and waiting to spring forth. It did and we did not make an exit until the theater was completely empty.

No one wants to do the ugly cry except in the privacy of one’s home.

My friend refuses to risk the ugly cry in public. She will not go to the movies unless it is a comedy. She is smart.

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