Hello, friends! I was recently talking to my friend Sarah, who confessed that there is a recurring fictional scenario that never fails to make her cry: it happens (frequently in detective novels) when a character survives an ordeal, only to realize that at last, she feels safe. Another friend, whom I’m not at all sure would like to be named, is consistently moved to tears when characters behave better than they thought themselves capable.
Me, I’m a shameless blubber. For example, the scene in George Eliot’s Middlemarch, when Mrs. Bulstrode learns of her husband’s disgraceful past and responds with such humility and devotion? Gets me every time. But I’m not afraid of the obvious, either! The “Doomsday” episode of Dr. Who, when Rose Tyler parts forever from the Doctor? I was soggy with tears. (My husband, who saw it first, warned me. He knows me and he warned me. And yet, the end completely dismantled me).
This is the only way in which I (very slightly) resemble Charles Dickens, who also loved vicarious sentiment. He once said, of going to the theatre, “I invariably begin to cry whenever anybody on the stage forgives an enemy or gives away a pocket book.” If Dickens can weep at trivial incidents and contrived situations in public, that’s good enough for me.
So, this week, please tell me: are you a soft-hearted weeper, or one of the dry-eyed types who look so bemused at my type?