Many, many, many of my girlfriends have shipped their kids off to college recently and I'm wearing dark colors for the next month or so in a show of support.
They are sad; ergo, I am sad. But it's not just empathy for my peeps - it's good old fashioned worry / depression in my own right, as well.
Listen, I was barely able to drag myself up off the floor from crying after saying goodbye to my niece / goddaughter Kelly as she headed back to school this weekend.
This, coupled with the fact that my beloved other niece Alexis is now several states and one time-zone to the west of me and, of course, added to the underlying, gut-wrenching fact that my baby boy is starting his final year of middle school
Well, it has all been enough to send my tear ducts into double-overtime. They're so tired of my crying that they went on strike just after dawn today.
What? You've never known a woman to cry over the hyper-fast passage of time? Or because she's so loving that her deep, kind, raw emotions spill outward during milestone events? You know, occasions such as weddings or graduations.
Or, because it's a cloudy Tuesday or she's just realized she gained four pounds overnight or a song on the radio reminded her of a sad story she heard about 14 years ago involving a person she never actually met who may or may not be fictional but for whom she felt terribly because of her really, really down-and-out albeit possibly made-up situation?
Fine, I admit. There's a slight, off-the-wall, teensy-weensy, miniscule chance that, occasionally, er, once in a blue moon, eh, better make that every so often, women can be a tad on the um, expressive side. Sorta. A li'l bit. Kind of.
Whatever, we can be a tiny bit sensitive sometimes, OK? So sue us. Just don't be surprised when we counter-sue you for mental anguish and emotional distress and slander and being a big ol' meany-pants.
OK, OK. Sometimes we're a little on the emotional side. But that's just because we're so passionate about our families and our communities and our churches and our friends
And our ever-expanding shoe sizes - and the state of the ozone layer - and because we just saw that heart-wrenching Budweiser commercial in which the horse trainer has to groom his pony to be a part of the famous Clydesdales team and then he sees him a year later at the parade and the horse recognizes him and they reunite dang it! Can't see the computer screen; hold on a moment, please.
Ah, that's better. What was I saying? Oh, right. Some of us with the double X chromosome may have a proclivity toward the random teardrop every now and again.
Or, as my one male buddy put it recently, "I mean this with all the respect and admiration in my heart but sometimes you girls are just plain coo coo." His sister and I hog-tied him and forced him to listen to Maya Angelou quotes for an hour and half. We wept throughout.
Hey, I almost forgot to tell you about this great upcoming event called The Burner. It's a seven-mile obstacle course / mud run being held at the Big Game Raceway in Hubbard on Sept. 28 and it's a fundraiser for Akron's Children's Hospital of Mahoning Valley. You can get all the details at www.theburner.us or by calling 330-534-7653.
No pressure, but if you don't at least consider getting involved with The Burner, I'm going to stand in front of your house crying until it floats down the street.
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist who can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She's a completely rational, well-balanced gal. Don't say otherwise or she'll pout and cry like a three-year-old.