Where can a middle aged woman cry? In front of the spouse, her children? They would be either shocked or troubled. Maybe a little guilty. Have we been ignoring her, very obviously not listening to her rambling? Is it the menopausal moodiness? The spouse exhales a quick unconscious sigh, he is the one who will have to bear the headachy aftermath of the tears. He cares, so he wonders when his wife will realise the world isn’t what she thinks it is.
WHY would a middle aged woman want to cry, I am sure some over- cheerful people will wonder. Well, to be sure, no one Wants to cry. But the throat does constrict, tears do threaten to spill. Depending on who the woman is, all this could happen when she is sad. Or happy. Or upset. Or moved. It could be when a person she considers close ditches her, a person she thought would always protect her turns out to be a vampire. Then wouldn’t tears flow? Or joy! when the daughter turns up on the mother’s birthday – surppprise!- oh, how the tears flow! A touching movie, a farewell, a good book – yeah, there start the tears.
Over the past few years, I have realised that it is my group of friends who are the most forgiving of tears. We stop each other from crying, or if that’s not possible, we try to dry the tears before the headache starts. We know how to make the other smile – by sharing the story, halving the hurt, sometimes ignoring the wobbly lips or getting a quick cup of tea, and these days often a phone call or the quiet messaging serves to console and cheer.
No more do we dread shedding a few tears…. before getting back to work and cheer.