Emotions Are Too Sticky

By Laura


I had my Valentine’s Day post written and ready.  It was my favorite memory: my father buying me abox of chocolates every year. It was also a simple gesture, but it proved he cared a little.  It was clean and simple (& a little vanilla).

And then my friend had some troubles with the approaching dia de amore.  And then my co-worker wouldn’t stop talking about how much money he spent for his wife and that should prove how much he loved her.  And then my current favorite morning radio show gave me a list of things I’m supposed to say to my husband so he knows I love him. I began to stew.  And stew and stew.

What is this day about?  Single or paired it can cause heartache, financial stress, physical awkwardness and/ or emotional turmoil. And there it was: it’s a day about expressing emotions. Ew.  I am not good at it and the world now forces me too.

Emotions are too sticky.

We never talked about feelings growing up. I spent my time determined to become anything but my sisters – both of whom I thought were emotional hotheads. I had the “good” friends; I knew that average was unacceptable; I learned to quip instead of cringe when things were too tense with my father.

I cried buckets one day after I accepted my spot in law school. It was pure terror and a realization that I might fail at something huge. My mother was there.  She was surprised because I never showed this much

feeling about anything. D@mn. Now I felt like I had let her down somehow because I was too stoic.  In retrospect, this was not the first or last time I’d be called out for this. But why?!

Emotions are too sticky.

I don’t trust the words. I don’t trust what people say. The mendacity is overwhelming. Spoken feelings remind me of a politician saying whatever will get you on their side. If they come from me, they sound hollow. The odd part of being so jaded is that I am an eternal optimist. I don’t believe people speak the truth, but I honestly believe there is good in (most) people and the world can evolve.

So what to do, what to do? It’s going to take act
ion (not too much, because I’m kinda lazy). I have to convince them and myself I have one or two emotions and then I have to show them.

To my co-worker: ssshhhhhhhh.  Money can’t buy love, but it can buy me headphones to drown out your tomfoolery.

To the radio:  I don’t believe you know any more than me. I have an off button and will use it more.

To my husband:  ******* (Censored, this is none of your business; my marriage is up for discussion between him & me, not the peanut gallery).

To my friend who ends up in these spirals of despair:   You are loved and worthy of love.  I cannot tell you how to pull yourself out. I don’t know how and my advice always sounds so empty. My responses are vague or worse: silent, but I respect you too much to keep just ‘LOL’ing’ with you.  BUT, I believe it will get better.  I have no proof, only an offer:  open table so we can be Ladies Who Lunch whenever somebody gets emotionally too sticky. I am a mother now.  I travel with loads of wet wipes that will clean that sh!t right up.

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