i have too many emotions: a case study.
Exhibit A: Instant attachment. When I was about 10, we had an exchange student come and stay with our family. Well, they called her an ‘exchange student’ but I heard ‘second sister!’. We formed a super-tight friendship watching Teletubbies ironically and when she left after seven blissful days, I was a mess. I had a sense that it was not okay to cry about a random stranger on loan to us from the country for a week, but I couldn’t help it. I naturally assumed (still do) that a single shared interest = a bond that’s unbreakable.
Exhibit B: There’s no crying in public speaking. I’m good at public speaking, I swear. A younger, nerdier version of me even went to state competing in it. I’m just not that good if the public speaking is combined with any form of emotion. I went to state with a speech about the reproductive activity of bees, which was well in the safety zone. But my year 12 graduation address, three ‘thank you, colleagues’ leaving-my-job speeches, two impossibly romantic wedding readings and a very, very teary tribute at my grandfather’s funeral were not.
Exhibit C: Every episode of Greys Anatomy. And Parenthood. And This Is Us. And occasionally even Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
Exhibit D: From mad to sad in a nanosecond. Have you ever had to call a service provider? If the first five minutes of automated menu options haven’t made your rage-metre spike, the first ‘can I just put you on hold?’ most certainly will. The problem? When I’m frustrated and the frustration has nowhere to go, it always always comes out my eyeballs. Have you ever tried being taken seriously by a service provider when you’re sobbing down the line about your data plan? Sorry, Gail from Virgin Mobile.
Exhibit E: No Tinder chill. “Just approach dating casually,” they said. “You don’t need to get attached to every guy,” they said. “It’ll be fun,” they said.
Exhibit F: Can you control your facial expressions? I’ve heard that regular adults can do this and I could use a few pointers. Because my uncontrollable eye rolling is a real disorder that requires treatment. If only so I never have to have another company director ask, “Did you just roll your eyes at me?” (See also: “I’m not hating everything you’re saying, that’s just my confused face.”)
Exhibit G: The last five times I cried (this week). 1. When I bumped the bonnet of my car into the boot of someone else’s. 2. When I had a disagreement with my mum about movie times. 3. When I was watching a celebrity get interviewed on TV. 4. When I was feeling sorry for myself on the yoga mat. 5. When I hit my shin with the vacuum cleaner.
Exhibit H: We weren’t even a couple. Officially. But I still ran the full gamut of Taylor Swift emotions (you know, from Love Story to I Knew You Were Trouble to We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together…). I feel like I could tell Tay Tay about all the times my love has made me borderline psychotic and she would just nod in that awesome, understanding way that says, “Me, too. Me, too.”