Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Crying to Order

So there I was sitting outside my husband’s workplace.  I was early.  I had stopped off at the recycling bins at one of the supermarkets to dispose of three bags of bottles and jars in assorted colours.  I am not a druth.  The bottles had been collected over a few weeks.  There was something almost satisfying about hearing the smash of glass deep in the container and knowing it was a good smash – not of a window or a dropped wine glass on the kitchen floor. 

I was listening to the radio.  They were talking about audition interviews.  Apparently the boy who played Elliot in ET did a superb final stage audition interview.  He was required to cry when the government threatened to take his alien off him.  They played the relevant clip over the radio and agreed that he cried well.

This led to inviting drama teachers to phone into the show and explain how to cry to order.  I thought this was perhaps a little irresponsible.  It might be suitable for auditions for films when there things were necessary but I could see where crying to order could be exploited. 

One method involved doing something to one’s diaphragm.  Something to do with tightening something up. 

The other method involved thinking about a past memory of something really sad.  Of course, you are warned not to go overboard.  Pick a memory that is sad, but not too sad.  You have always got to be in control.  There are a number of actors that cry well – Julia Roberts, Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman.

I thought I might have a go at crying to order.  I still had a good ten to fifteen minutes before my husband tumbled out of the office door and into the car.  I didn’t really understand the diaphragm approach but I thought I could come up with a few sad memories. 

My eyes were beginning to water and the first tear was about to fall. 

What did I say about being irresponsible?  I very promptly put my sensible head back on.  Yes, I could probably cry to order and do it really well.  Truth be told, the sad memories are very recent ones that really should not be tampered with.

Just because I don’t work at my husband’s office doesn’t mean that I am a stranger to people working there.   I have bowled with these people. I have quiz-nighted with them. They know me well.  I think they might even fear me!  Behind every great man there is a great woman.  My husband is a great man and that makes me a great woman.

I pictured myself sitting there in the car acting my heart out – weeping buckets.  Then I pictured a knock on the car window and a very concerned person looking in.

“Are you OK, Mel? Shall I go and fetch Joe for you?”

Within minutes there would be a trail of folk to the car with cups of sweetened tea and sympathetic cluckings.  There would be a posse roused to track down the man, woman or child (in my line of business it would most likely be a child somewhere between the ages of 11 and 18 years old) and wreak vengeance.

I kid you not!  It is all entirely probable.

Best dry my tears quickly before anyone spots me weeping. I can’t imagine how embarrassing it will be to explain that I am just crying to order just to prove that I can. 

Sitting there in the car, pulling myself together, I was glad to know that people care about me.  Where I am too distressed to know how to accept the comfort of friends and family there is always God.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction…” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Verse 4 goes on to say “…so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God”.

Too many people in really distressing situations cry alone because we don’t always give them the comfort God gives us.  Let it not be so.

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