Monday, August 24, 2009

Possible Health (and financial) Benefits of Crying

When I decided to make this morning a productive morning, I should have known I was headed for disaster. With two small children in tow, even one uneventful outing is a miracle. If I can make it to and home from wherever I'm going without a major outburst, it's been a good day. So planning three all-at-once-without-returning-home stops is never a good idea. But this morning, I had places to go.
First stop: The Gym. The gym stop is so deeply engrained in my kids' brains, that I can happily plan on arriving, dropping off at the kids' club, working out, and escaping without causing a big scene. Normally we leave and go straight home so as not to be seen in my sweaty, post-workout state. I shower, the kids have some down time, they nap, and we plan any other outings for later. Today was different. I wanted to get it all done at one time. It's only two more public places, I told myself. They're getting older...they can handle it, right?
I head to my second stop: The Mall to exchange The Boy's new shoes for a smaller size before they give the last pair in his size to another. After the somewhat painful exchange is made (because The Boy can't bear parting with the too-big-shoes...until I let The Girl carry the new box that he just CANNOT let her have), we run out of the mall before one more person glares at the Children (and me) for screaming. With a small hand in each of mine, we run out of the store as their legs flail behind them while trying to keep up with my get-us-the-heck-out-of-here pace.
I throw the kids in their carseats, start the car, and The Boy promptly starts to whine that he missed his "show." I bribe him to behave for just one more stop. Third stop: The library. My kids love the library, because I let them choose all the movies and books they want...they're free! I tell him that maybe, just maybe, the library will have a Word World DVD. But before we go look at the DVD's, I just have to clear something up at the counter.
A few weeks ago, we rented several DVD's. I returned all ten of them on time, not wanting to pay any more dang library fines. Shortly after returning them, I received an email saying that two of the DVD's (both Elmo) weren't returned properly, so I owed the library $30.00! I knew I'd returned them in the same condition I'd received them (or so I thought), so it had to be a mistake. And $30.00?!?!? I could buy them both new for less than that!
I stand at the counter, and calmly explain to the library lady what happened. She looks at me and explains that the paper covers inside the cases are ruined, and that the barcode is torn off one, leaving the DVD's in a state unsuitable for re-circulation. As a line forms behind me, the tears threaten to flow. Maybe it's the money. Maybe it's The Girl now hanging upside down in my arms as she tries to squirm away. Maybe it's the impatient people in line behind me wanting me to pay the dang $30.00 already so they can get on with paying their own library fines! Maybe it's the lady who stopped to tell me that my daughter's shoe is on wrong. Whatever it is, I am on the verge of tears. I, still in my sweaty gym clothes, trying to be productive and responsible on this gloomy Monday morning, fight back tears and ask if anyone can help me so that I won't have to pay this stupid fine (especially if I can't even keep the two movies!)
A manager comes out, re-explains to me that my children are obviously the ones who ruined the paper inserts. (And how can I blame her for thinking that my kids are the ones, when hundreds of children have handled the same DVD's? The hundreds of others aren't present, whining and crying, running in circles, speaking in very un-library-like voices, now, are they?) But somehow, out of the kindness of her heart (because there is no kindness in her voice or eyes), she reduces the $30 fine to $10. I gladly pay, then run out, little legs flailing behind, as the Boy screams that he wants to get his library movies. We are NEVER getting another movie from the library, I threaten. Not if it's going to cost me each time you two get your little paws on one!
We make it home. We eat lunch. We calm down. I let myself cry a bit. I feel better. I knew there were health benefits from crying. Who doesn't feel better after a good cry? But I didn't know there were financial benefits, as well. A few months ago, my tears got me out of a speeding ticket (for going 14 mph in a 10 mph zone at the airport). Today, they saved me $20. So as much as I hate being emotional, I guess I'm gonna keep crying! And I guess I'll limit my public post-workout outings to a minimum!

8 comments:

Lyenna said...

Oh Robyn...that is a day I've lived so many times. And yes crying is absolutely necessary and very beneficial. Can I just say I do not love Librarians. Most live up to the stereotype of Book/Movie nazis! I don't think I've ever met one without a chip on her shoulder. Sorry to anyone who is a librarian, but I would like to see one prove me wrong. So in this case if the tears lowered the price you deserved the break. Blasted kids, it's as if they know the perfect moment to act out:) And they wonder why mommy goes crazy sometimes. They have no idea!

Kimberly said...

I feel exhausted just thinking about your day! Well, at least you made it to the gym and you made it to the mall and you made it to the library. Sometimes, simple tasks such as those seem so insurmountable when you have small children in tow. I laughed when I read about you holding your kids hands and their legs flailing behind you as you desperately tried to get out of those places as fast as you could. I have only felt that way one too many times! I never knew there were health benefits to crying...good to know!

Diane said...

Oh Robyn...I feel your pain! I thought at first that you hadn't returned those blasted movies that I rounded up and put back in their jackets when I was at your house. And...they're kids movies for crying out loud. Maybe they should think of a better way to package them before they check them out to families whose kids obviously want to hold the package and look at it!!! The DVD's themselves are just fine! Haven't they heard of a lamenating machine?? I'm glad your tears worked to your benefit today.

Evelyn and Art said...

Well goodness, it sounds like you've had and "Evelyn Day!" I'm so sorry! Crying is always a good option in my book! Keep up the good work! I got a $50 fine reduced to $20 at the library! I hope your Tuesday is much better than your Monday was!

Tina said...

Sheesh, while the library is a good thing in so many ways, I seriously can't stand the way they are so serious about things. (kids movies) I have not taken my kids back with me to the library because of the grouchy librarians and the mean-ness of the way they do their jobs. Long story.
I'm glad your tears paid off...hahaha, literally. I wish my tears would turn into money. Maybe one day............

Cindy said...

Oy! I, too try to keep my outings with little ones at a minimum. ...And the DVD thing- that would be icing on the cake at our house. Sorry for the hard time. At least you saved a little dough with the tears!

Bonnie and Brian Wayne said...

I think I read once that crying produces endorphins...

Yeah, that really is a good budget strategy - I love it!!

And totally relate - right now I keep getting hit by our 12 pillows on our couch as our kids wildly build forts - we are not going on outings today!

Michael said...

What made the random woman stop to tell you "the girl's" shoe was on wrong?