By: Shannon Ralph
Reason #8: The ugly cry.
There are few people in this world who we allow to see ourselves at our very worst. For the most part, we try to put on a happy front. A dignified mask. We want the world to see us as confident. And capable. We want people to think we have our shit together. That we aren’t afraid. That we aren’t neurotic. That we don’t make stupid decisions. That we don’t question our own abilities on a daily basis. That we are better than all those losers out there who can’t seem to manage their own lives.
It can be pretty damn exhausting to keep up this façade.
When you are married, however, there is always one person who knows the truth. There is always one person who sees you for what you really are. There is always one person who knows that you snore. And that you get bitchy when you are tired. And that you ignore your children at times. That you are often selfish. That you feel guilty about every decision you have ever made in your life. There is one person who sees all of your ugly little neuroses. There is one person who sees you.
Ruanita has seen me at my worst. She has seen me cry. Some people cry these cute little sobs. They whimper silently. With tiny little sniffles. Blotting at their eyes with tissues. When these people cry, you feel an overwhelming desire to protect them. To wrap your arms around them and shield them from anything and everything that will ever cause them sorrow. Anything and everything that will ever cause them to make those pitiful little whimpering noises. My son, Nicholas, cries this way. Unfortunately, I do not.
I cry UGLY.
I repel people when I cry. People recoil is disgust. When I cry, my face contorts into something reminiscent of Heath Ledger’s brilliant turn as the Joker. My face is almost instantly covered with hideous red splotches. And thick green snot pours from my nose. A tissue is useless against the phlegm coming out of every orifice in my head. I need a full sized bath towel to wipe that stuff away.
And what good is whimpering? How is any emotion expelled through a tiny little whimper? I wail. I heave. I blubber. I howl. I snivel. I hyperventilate. I make noises that I am certain are painful to the dogs of my neighborhood. When I cry, it is a macabre feast for the senses. Kind of like a horror movie. You cover your eyes in terror, but can’t help looking through your fingers. I am a train wreck.
Ruanita has seen my ugly cry on more than one occasion. And she is still here. She did not toss me a bath towel and immediately dial up a divorce lawyer. She has stuck with me despite the ugly cry. Despite my neurosis. Despite the fact that I don’t have all my shit together.
Being able to look past the ugly cry is one more reason that my marriage is just like your marriage.