I cry. Often.
I cry when I’m happy or when I’m sad. I cry when I feel a fart coming on. I cry when the way a book smells reminds me of the nuns at my high school. I cry when I drop food on the floor...and then I eat that food.
Name an emotion and feeling it has probably made me cry at some point. Once in highschool I broke down because I was hungry. It felt worse than heartbreak. “Why god?!” I am quoted as wailing. That said, having been depressed more than once in my jolly lifetime (wheeee I have no bones and also why ever turn lights on) I’ll take sobbing over sitting like a numb-tastic zombie with poor hygiene any day.
I believe, at the ripe old age of 31, in fully feeling my feelings (haaaaa.... I just wrote that and meant it deeply and earnestly). Cry if you wanna cry, that’s what I say! But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t occasions where I have been embarrassed about my copious tears. Here are a few instances that stick out in my mind:
1. The Ivy Changing Colors
It’s only the first week of September, but the ivy on the building adjacent to mine has started to change colors. For one second as I stood on my balcony watering my (mostly dying) plants my stomach fell into my heels and my throat got all stuck and sad as I thought about the immutability of the passage of time. Then I noticed that squirrels had been eating my tomatoes again and I quickly shifted emotional gears into pure, unadulterated squirrel-induced rage.
2. Any Commercial Where a Dog Speaks
Caveat: The dog’s lips cannot be moving. I have no time for CGI where the animal kingdom is concerned. That said, give me a dog whimsically reflecting on how their owner seemed unhappy until they began to play catch and I am a goddamn mess who is suddenly hugging her roommate’s dog way too hard. Don’t worry -- he’s into it.
3. When My Cat Stares at The Wall
My cat Rumi is as old as the hills. He is timeless. He is powered, at this point, primarily by Greenies, light, and the occasional behind-the-ear rub. He’s a delicate soul, and every so often I will catch him quietly, sadly (it seems, I’m no cat psychic) at the wall right in front of his flat face. There’s a whole world out there and all Rumi cares about is that wall. It’s charming and utterly soul-crushing all at once. To be fair, he knows the world is bigger. He once rode the F train and there was a mariachi band upon it. He has never been the same.
4. When I Trip In Public
I fall down a lot. Not in a cute, rom-com way. In a “damn, that girl hit the ground HARD” kind of way. If I do this at home (as I frequently do) it’s no big deal, I get up, bellow something along the lines of “THAT’S GONNA LEAVE A MARK” and go about my business.
But last week, I bolted up the steps of this bar (SOBER, thank you very much) and momentarily forgot how stairs work. I landed directly on one knee, and then fell flat upon my face. It was about noon on a weekday, and as soon as I rallied, there was a conglomeration of people asking me if I was okay. Apparently all it takes to make me cry is for strangers to express their concern as to my physical well-being. I was a snotty mess with a skinned knee who only just barely managed not to ask someone to hold me and make it all better.
5. When I Have a Cold
Just looking at myself in the mirror when I have a cold can reduce me to tears. I am not proud of this, but the last time I was sick, I hunched over my sink in my old X-Files tee-shirt and some hole-filled undies and rained snot while wailing “Poor, poor The Becca!” Strangely, it made me feel better. Thus have I decided to pen a tome entitled “SOB YOUR WAY TO HEALTH THE STOKES WAY.”
6. This Reba Music Video
7. An Episode of "Antiques Roadshow"
Ha ha ha, I can’t believe I’m revealing this BUT, I love "Antiques Roadshow," right? That’s not the shocking part -- anyone who knows me is well aware that a hot Friday night for me involves a six-hour documentary on the Windsors, some pizza, and maybe some wine and/or makeouts.
The revealing part is this: One episode involved an appraiser coming across a guest who had in their possession this jade dragon statue that was basically the crux of this dude’s career. It was virtually priceless, ancient, and something the appraiser spent his professional life dreaming of one day seeing. He got choked up, I got choked up and then immediately began googling stuff like “how to become an awesome art appraiser” as well as “old stuff and the people who love it” and “crying men in bow ties.”
8. "Jack Frost"
The only way I can make you understand why this movie about an absentee father reincarnated as a snow man so he can bond with his son left me in a puddle of my own juices on the floor is by telling you that Michael Keaton played said snow man, and that I love Michael Keaton so much that this is a thing that exists on my Facebook:
Also -- hilarious -- the above was one sentence. GRAMMAR, I CALL YOU OUT FOR LAMENESS.
9. Roller Skating
I hated first grade. I hated it so much that if first grade became a person and that person walked into my apartment right now, I would stab them to death and be all “how you like me now, FIRST GRADE? HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW?” First grade was, however, when I learned how to roller skate (I also learned how to ribbon dance, though sadly there is far less occasion for me to share this skill with the world). I am very good at roller skating. To that end, when I walk into a roller skating rink as an adult and smell that unique combination of foot spray and rubber of foot-brakes and stale popcorn and tweenage perfume I definitely always need a moment to stop and collect myself. Then I try to skate backwards (like a BADASS) and am inevitably scolded by a teenager.
My mom really loved Kashi when I was growing up. The first time I tried to move to New York I had some pretty awful stuff going on socially (#okayfineitwasaboy). Every day at lunch I would wander the Whole Foods at Union Square and gnaw on tepid over-spiced samosas. My last day in the city, I was wandering around the grocery store and saw a box of Kashi. It made me think of my mom and I lost my shit. Now my mom tends to eat Ezekiel 4:9 thus destroying any and all sentimental associations I have with cereals.
What random stuff makes you cry?