Have you seen anyone grinning at an accident site, or while trying to pacify someone crying hopelessly, or even at a funeral, apparently for no reason? Well, if you have, that someone could probably have been me. You see, I am a huge failure when it comes to handling grief. Not knowing what to do, I opt what comes easy to me, grin. They probably have a name for people like us, medical jargon for those who grin when they ought to put on a solemn face.
It was much easier as a child. One just found a quiet corner and sat there crying till done. Growing up, it wasn’t so easy, quiet corners were hard to come by, grinning the automatic alternative. When I became a mother, I was nonplussed. I had a home of my own and any quiet corner I chose to sit to cry. But I couldn’t very well go, “Please understand, it has been a long and tiring day. All I am asking is for you to drink up your milk so we can both relax and have a good time. Please… BOO HOO!” and rush off to the earmarked corner to sit and cry. Oh no, not with a toddler on my hands. Imagine the chaos that would ensue. Hence it was imperative that I put on a no nonsense, cheerful front to get that milk drunk even if it took twenty two hours and forty three minutes to finish.
Don’t let this give you the impression that I was (or am) good at handling joy. I am even more worse at it. I once *famously* burst into tears for the *crime* my college-mates committed of appreciating my singing. Yeah, weird, I know. If you meet me and go ga-ga over something I have done, and in case you go on some more and I start ignoring you after a while, don’t be surprised. Once is more than enough, you see, or I might start sobbing at the generosity of your good little big heart. And that would be rather embarrassing to both you and I.
What could be weirder than grinning when sad and bawling when happy? Hmmm… It kinda proves my theory that I am not from around here. Neptune, when will you recall me?
©Shail Mohan 2015