Consider the following set of rather illuminating statistics on the subject of crying, compiled by the Independent (see here). Apparently, the practice has theraputic effects second only to modern medicine. And here, evidently, is how 'we' go about it:
20% of bouts of crying last longer than 30 minutes
8% go on for longer than one hour
70% of criers make no attempt to hide their crying
77% of crying takes place at home
15% at work or in the car
40% of people weep alone
39% of crying occurs in the evening, the most popular time compared with morning, afternoon, and night (16, 29 and 17 per cent respectively)
6-8pm is the most common time for crying
88.8% feel better after a cry
47: average number of times a woman cries each year
7: annual number of crying episodes for a man.
The last time I cried was this evening. I was amongst strangers (why is this SO conducive to honest displays of spectacular and soggy emotion?) and we were watching a documentary film. There will be no review here, because it is too recent, too raw and more than anything else, completely redundant. Those who will appreciate the experience, will find their way to it. Those who will not, will either never encounter it or come away as unscathed by the film as any possible review. Oh - and the documentary I'm on about is Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion. Watch it with friends around you.
Anyway - so - I was watching it this evening. And at more than one point, I found tears streaming down my cheeks. And I realize now that I made no attempt to mop up, as it were. Now that I see the statistic (which of course, is subject to all the 1000 caveats that each definitive number is subject to), I am surprised at myself. For some reason, it seems shocking. I did cry in public - volubly sniffing and choking back further tears - and made no attempt to cover up.
On the other hand, as if by design, expressly for this post, M. came home after being a chance witness at a quite horrific sounding road accident. I hugged him and waves of (rather perverse?) relief washed over me. And not a small amount of misplaced but retroactive panic - are you really ok? What happened? Wait - you're sure YOU'RE okay? I felt the tears welling up. I choked them back immediately, gritted my teeth and just squeezed his hand and said 'I'm so glad you're safe.'