Tears of…joy?

I’ve never cried happy tears.

In fact, I don’t understand them.

I cry when I’m sad. When I’m broken and depressed, tired and drained, worn and forlorn.  Why would I have the same reaction when I’m happy? It doesn’t make sense to me.

When I’m happy? I smile, I laugh. I gasp and I clasp my hands together. I don’t cry.

Doesn’t. Make. Sense.

My mother always called me heartless because when the mother and long lost daughter were reunited or a couple who had been through hard times finally got married at the end of a lifetime movie, she would be weeping and I was just raising a confused eyebrow at her.

When my cousin asked me to be the Godmother of her first child, I was overjoyed. I was honored and excited and SO happy.  After I hugged her in gratitude and took a step back, I saw my aunt and my mother huddled nearby in the distance whispering like schoolchildren.  With tears in their eyes they came up and attacked us both with hugs.  My mother took me by the shoulders and looked me in the eye and said, “Really? Not even one? I thought for sure that would have gotten you.”


It’s not that I’ve never been happy before or haven’t felt moments of overwhelming joy.  I have!  My body’s physical reaction to them is just never tears!

Honestly, this isn’t something I wish I could do. I accept this difference because it MAKES MORE SENSE. Laughter is for happiness, crying is for sadness. No confusion.  So many times on TV you see a character start to cry and someone near them go, “What’s wrong?!” and they’re like “I’m just so happy!” Great, you just confused everyone and gave that person momentary panic.  Good job.

For a while I thought it was something that over-dramatic people did.  Then I started to realize that I was actually the one in the minority, having never cried happy tears. Especially this season of Glee. So many of the episodes lately have just warmed my heart. So happy, so joyful, so beautiful.  People always say, “You’re going to cry when you see this!” or “Omg I cried like a baby” so I keep thinking someone is going to die.  Then I realize what they mean.

I just don’t understand!!

I hope this doesn’t become an issue in the future. I hope someone besides my mother won’t think I’m coldhearted because I don’t cry happy tears. I hope my happiness is clear in other ways.

I like to think it is.



~ by Valerie Anne on 12/07/2010.

4 Responses to “Tears of…joy?”

  1. I understand your feeling of confusion on this one. I very very rarely cry happy tears, and up until recently, pretty much NEVER did. My family is a VERY big bunch of happy criers, so I always wondered why I couldn’t join them. Only recently have I started. Things may change yet, Listo…

    Also, you are hilarious with the link under “beautiful.” 🙂

  2. What? It was a very beautiful moment in television history.

  3. Haha I don’t cry happy tears either…well I believe I did ONCE. I think we actually talked about this once? Hmmm I do get a little teary at weddings now that I think about it. But that’s it 🙂 And it’s definitely not CRYING, just misty eyes. I did cry at the last one I was at but it was a very bittersweet moment so I think the tears were for the sad part and not the sweet part.

  4. I’m so glad I’ve found people who also don’t cry happy tears! I definitely understand people crying at weddings when they’re bittersweet. It’s like graduation – I was overwhelmed with emotions and I cried, but the tears were for the sadness not for the excitement. I get that, at least.

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