Like everyone else in the world I have my own share of flaws (yes, you too have flaws). My particular flaw isn’t one that I found out about today. I have known about it for a while, but it isn’t something I have to live with everyday. Recently something happened that reminded me that it lives inside me. Perhaps it’s not even a flaw, but instead it is simply a lack of training and experience. I don’t know what to do when people cry around me.
Recently an older woman pulled me aside and shared with me some unfortunate news about her father. In the middle of it she understandably broke down and cried. Like an insensitive idiot, all I could say was “I’m really sorry to hear that.” I meant it, I truly did feel bad but what else does one say in a situation like that? Like the few other times a woman cried in front of me, I froze. Sure, if a significant other is crying I can easily wrap my arm around her and have a lot more to say. That’s easy. Although I’ve known this woman for quite a few years, she is definitely no significant other. Regardless, the location was completely inappropriate to wrap my around her anyway. I really felt like something was wrong with me. This is just the most recent example. Another time a woman cried in front of me, I just handed her a box of tissues.
I can be cold at times if provoked (I think that last example might fall into this category), but I’m not a generally cold person. Far from that actually. I don’t walk around saying I got this ice box where my heart used to be or anything like that. I sincerely feel bad when people are suffering from physical and/or emotional pain. I could easily create a character who displays these characteristics and excels at it, but that’s not me. I think I’m lacking that effusive gene that would allow me to say or do something warm and comforting. Or like I said, maybe I need practice. Besides at funerals where there is always at least one woman who insists on jumping into the grave, I haven’t been exposed to too many people crying. Unfortunately there isn’t a sign up sheet going around that I could just register to be locked in a room with a bunch of crying people. So what do I do in those situations? I’m thinking that my weak little “I’m really sorry to hear that.” isn’t enough or is it?
All that was just in regards to a woman crying. Not that I’m Vic “Mr. Macho” Louis and never shed a tear in my life, but if a man cried in front of me I think I would completely shut down. And by cry I don’t mean that three lonely tears trickled down his face. I mean cry, sob, and whimper like a 6-year-old girl who dropped her cotton candy. My eyes would widen and all I could say while I give him 3 shaky pats on the back is “Uuuuuuuh, don’t cry… man.”
– Vic Louis
p.s. While we are on the subject (well I briefly mentioned funerals), how can a woman do 3 backflips and a cart-wheel yet her black hat and wig don’t fall off? That sh*t is amazing. Also, have you ever tried to hold a black woman in mourning? They are freakishly strong. I’m talking about Madea type of strong. Word.