July 20, 2008

Weepy Wife

The Wife asked me the other day "Do you like that I'm not all weepy, that I don't break down and cry all the time? Because it seems like a lot of women at work and a lot of my friends break down and cry at the least little thing."

"Yes! Oh, yes, yes, yes. I hate it when women cry. There's nothing the man can do but stand there and look stupid while she cries and the whole thing is a huge waste of time, energy, and emotion."

I related to her a story about a girlfriend I had who broke down in tears on me because I'd left the front door to my apartment unlocked while I was doing a load of laundry down the hall. She had come over to visit me that afternoon and found the front door to my place open, and I spent the next forty-five minutes trying to figure out why she was crying tears of rage and fear the entire time.

"Well, the women say they feel better after they cry."

"Yeah; people feel better after they vomit, too. That doesn't mean it's the sort of thing you should be doing routinely." This made The Wife laugh. She wondered how her friends found the energy to cry so much; she finds it exhausting to do, as do I, and the crying doesn't seem to do much of anything.

Then she asked me, "Why haven't you ever mentioned this before?"

"I was afraid you'd start to get all weepy on me when you realized how helpless it made me!" The Wife absolutely exploded in laughter at this. But it was kind of the truth. When a woman cries, there is nothing the man can do that can make it better. If he asks what's wrong, that's bad because he should already know. Trying to fix the problem (assuming he knows what it is, which he often doesn't) won't help because the woman would rather have emotional validation than a solution. Holding her may not work because chances are good that she'd angry at him or upset with him so the last thing she wants is emotional intimacy with him. So it's a complete no-win situation for the man.

One of the things I like best about The Wife is that she doesn't get all weepy all the time. If I want to experience a woman being all weepy, I'll play a Sarah McLachlan CD. Otherwise, there are surely better things I have to do than stand around impotently while The Wife cries about some triviality. Fortunately for me, she has better things to do than cry impotently about some triviality, also.

Ladies, I advise you to keep the crying in check. Gentlemen, I advise you to thank the ladies in your life for keeping the crying in check. It's worth it.

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