So in case any neighbors heard sobbing and wailing coming from my house, or anyone has to see me before the cucumbers and tea bags on my eyes help restore my pre-sob fest state:
Blame it on Les Miserables.
(And also Entertainment Weekly, it contains WAY too many photos of sad, tragic, bereft, suffering French people, and with cherry on sundae of me in hysterics, doomed Anne Hathaway without her lovely hair.)
Victor Hugo and his sad, sad, tragic book kills me to start with (Note: is sad book, you know bad things are coming, and it is also long. But remember, I am glass house throwing no stones on writing many many words, and he is famous writer, he gets to spin tragic tales that are crusted in grim and despair all he wants).
I am toast over tragic books. I mean, I still read and love them, but you don't want to be around me when the sad goes down, is all. (Note: fried via tears Kindle et al.)
So tragic, French, starving, cold protagonists (Listen, I could not even deal with Little House On The Prairie because the pioneering stressed me out and I was sure a blizzard would come and they would starve or die or go blind some more) with added torture of beautiful, emphatic, mood stirring musical score? (Note: that mood would be SAD)
Throw in 14 year old Allison seeing the musical when it was first on Broadway?
Not a pretty scene.
Clad in my beloved blue velvet dropped waist Jessica McClintock dress with satin bib and tie at neck (Note: THAT was a tragedy, no need for starving French prostitutes dying of consumption, the dress alone is bona fide tragedy) my family and I saw the musical on a trip to New York, and in retrospect, there were some warning signs that maybe this was not a good idea.
Taking teenage Allison, known Extreme Crier over sad things, to a musical that anyone who read the book or even the title (Miserables? Do not need AP level French 5 to figure that one out) or poster (starving waif!!) could gather that it was not going to have a happy ending with a kickline of jaunty sailors or ladies in petticoats.
But lots and lots of tragic, desperate things happening to singing people, plus LOTS of crying.
Mostly by me.
And given my history of histrionics (Note: brief history. Remember, I am very, very young and was way younger then), detailed succinctly (Spoiler! not really) below, it should have been clear that I needed to go watch the roller skating whatever it was called Andrew Lloyd Webber musical instead.
Why You Should NOT Go See Anything Sad, Or Kind of Sad, Or Melancholy with Allison:
Because I am the me that behaved as such:
1. Lost it completely when Frosty the Snowman melted on that Christmas TV special. He is somehow in a greenhouse or something? (Note: I have fuzzy memory on this as I was TRAUMATIZED and am never watching that thing again)
He starts to melt.
Children are sad.
He is sad, and also melting and doomed.
I am off the rails sobbing and hiding in my room, refusing to come out or be cajoled with "he is FINE, he's not dead, come see!"
2. While Frosty did me in, some total MONSTER made a Christmas special about the donkey (mule? I don't know, and I am absolutely not googling that, because if I see an image of this Christmas special I will need to be sedated) that carried Mary to the barn for her delivery of her baby in the manger.
Somehow, this donkey/mule, who I think is named Nester (Please, nobody tell me if I am right or wrong, I can't deal with this story) was protected from the cold by his mother lying on top of him, saving him but dying herself in the process. This happens like 20 minutes into the "special," if memory serves, but it may not, because my brain tried very VERY hard to reject the entirety of this whole traumatic, horror filled, NON holiday spirit children's programming.
I think I had to put frozen peas or other frozen vegetable item on my face for several hours while leaking tears. (Which? By the way, do not be actively crying while freezing your puffy face, it will make weird ice/tear/unknown precipitation occur.)
So let me say, retroactively: YOU SUCK, DEAD DONKEY MOM CHRISTMAS SPECIAL.
I am sure I would take issue with donkeys and/or mules for other reasons such as kicking and being ornery, but this Christmas special has made me so afraid a donkey mother is going to die protecting her chosen important donkey child (Note: I realize young donkeys are not called donkey children. I don't know if they are colts or foals or something else and I am not googling because that Nester thing might pop up and I cannot deal).
3. And if Christmas specials of my youth did me in, imagine sitting near me during E.T.?
I was not able to cope with that. Not one little bit. I think I started crying before it started, thinking about what sad things may or may not occur.
And Note: Recently we had a family movie night, and I was lobbying for Ferris Bueller (The Smiths! The pointillism! Snark! Awesomeness!)
But my girls vetoed that because they heard a car gets messed up.
So they choose E.T.
Over the car going out of the window, they opt for insanely sad and heartwrenching E.T.
Family movie night turned into me hiding upstairs reading while Matt and the girls watch (given, a fantastic, lovely, timeless, touchstone for my generation movie, but sorry, I did not feel like crying and curling into a ball) E.T.
And when the going gets SAD, M the seven year old stylist comes upstairs to find me, she's tear-stained, and I told her it would be OK, E.T. would stop being gray and dead looking, Elliot would be happy again, it all works out, and she was like, "Was the movie with the music and art and parade this sad?" and I am like "NO! That's why I wanted to watch that instead. Mommy is always right."
4. And you do NOT want to be the family I am babysitting for when I am watching the sad part of "Terms of Endearment" (kills me every single time).
When you get home?
Sobbing incoherent babysitter?
And where are the kids?
Don't blame me.
Is not my fault I cannot stop crying to tell you that the kids are fine and asleep, I am just really sad for Debra Winger's little boys, sorry to freak you out with the sobbing and all.
5. And you can ask my friend LH, if you call me right at the end of Love Story, even though I think Ryan O'Neal is a tool and I am not a fan of the sartorial choices of Ali Macgraw, I will be crying so hard you can't get an actual word out of me on the phone.
And you may be compelled to race to my house in case tragedy is happening, and then get really annoyed with me when I start talking about how I am not injured, is sad movie! She was so young!
6. Titanic? I was sure I would not fall for that. I knew the deal. I was ready for it. Except, it was totally sad! So I cried and cried and embarrassed those around me.
7. And I have one friend, an awesome friend, but she and I seem to pick the saddest, most tragic, most tear-inducing movies ever to have a "girls' lunch and movie date" fun day.
Is not fun when people stare at you when during the Benjamin Button Brad Pitt movie after a brief moment of very excellent Brad Pitting on a sailboat he/you realize it is not going to end well, and there is another hour of movie, and that hour involved me sobbing the whole time knowing what was coming. (Spoiler! It made me cry. Interpret as you wish.)
My friend and I next choose The Descendants.
Good call, if you are a stockholder in Kleenex.
8. So teenage Allison, wearing unfortunate velvet nonsense, cries so hard at Les Miserables on Broadway that a total stranger, never seen her before in my life, turns around, and not to shoosh me, but to give me tissues and pat me on the shoulder. I prompted kindness from strangers in pre-Guiliani New York.
That is quite the crying jag.
And after the first act (Spoiler! Sad stuff happens) I cry even when it is not sad, thinking about the recent sad stuff and knowing some more sad stuff is on its way.
Big crying jag.
9. Crying jag on rinse, repeat when I purchase the Les Miserables soundtrack and listen to it on Ye Olden Days Walkman on the train home, crying the whole time, uphill in the snow.
No one in my family or the rest of the known world wanted to deal with me at that point.
10. But am sure I will go see the movie Les Miserables, am fan of many of the actors in it (RIP Anne Hathaway's hair!) and love the music and the misery.
Matt is all, "Don't tell me anything about it, I want to see it for myself," which I get, except for the fact that he has got to have some idea of the SAD, as it is a popular family tale, The Time Allison Had A Meltdown At Les Miz And A Strange Lady Had To Comfort Her, and he knows enough of the history of the era to realize it is not Singin' In The Rain.
And UGGGGGGGGGG. Now I am all worked up teary over the "rain will make the flowers grow" Les Miz song.
Steel Magnolias is probably on TV, right? Atonement? (That one did me in, the book more than the movie, but either way, I was mess)
And now I am asking Matt for help in listing sad movies to wrap this up because I have to stop writing or I will start to decay and completely not accomplish anything I am supposed to be doing, and he is NO HELP. I submit as evidence:
Me: "Matt, name me some sad movies, I am writing a thing."
Matt: "Terms of Endearment?"
Me: "UG. One that is not on the Makes Allison Cry Forevermore list."
Matt: "E.T.? But that's really not sad, so much . . ."
Me: "UGGGGGGGGGGG. It is totally sad, you know it is, plus I already wrote about it."
Matt: "Um,The Descendants?"
Me: "UGGGGGGGGGGGGG. You are not helping at ALL."
So in conclusion, apparently the person I am married to is aware of when I throw giant sobbing fits in public spaces or in our home scaring all creatures near and far.
And it seems he notes the names of said sad things that make me go off the rails, probably strategic move to remove them from my presence so he does not have to deal the dry cleaning bills from all the mascara stains.
Not enough Tide To Go in the universe to combat the Extreme Crying.