1) The song “O” by Coldplay on their newest album, “Ghost Stories.” It doesn’t matter the time, place, who I’m with or what I’m doing—if this song comes on, the waterworks start flowing. Chris Martin sings about heartbreak, obviously alluding to his then-crumbling marriage with Gwyneth Paltrow, but the message is really about letting go of someone you love in order to work on yourself. And yes, I can sense some eye rolls coming from the cynical crowd, but I challenge anyone to listen to this song and if not shed a tear, at least feel something emotionally stirring. (Indigestion doesn’t count).
2) When Gandalf the Grey falls to his death while battling the Balrog in “The Fellowship of the Ring.” I’ve seen this movie more times than it would be wise to divulge, but I’ll paint a brief picture for you on my LOTR familiarity. Can I quote 95.2 percent of the lines? Maybe. Do I have the entire trilogy’s score in my iTunes library and listen to it on repeat? It’s possible. Do I watch the major battle scenes on my phone when I’m at the gym to motivate myself into an elliptical-fueled rampage? Unimportant at this time. What I’m getting at is I know these movies like the back of my hand, but every time this scene goes down and Frodo’s piercing “NOOOO”s echo throughout the speakers, game over folks. And when that angelic opera-like score by Enya comes on as the hobbits silently sob….I think I need to wrap this one up because I’d rather not cause tear-induced water damage to my keyboard right now.
3) Strong winds. I’m not sure if my tear ducts are abnormally weak, or if my anticipation of the tears just causes my brain to immediately send crying signals, but catch me on a windy day and I will most likely resemble Claire Danes in an episode of “Homeland.”
4) Last week, when I cried over spilled milk. But scratch the milk and replace it with tea—scalding hot tea all over my arms while I simultaneously dropped my phone, knocked my glasses off my face and stepped in an obscenely deep and visually deceiving mud puddle. It had been a really long week, all right? And yes, I waited until I got back to my room to bury my face in my fluffy pillow. I’m fine.
5) Whenever my mom cries. It could be over the smallest thing, but if she cries, I cry. Kind of like a “you jump, I jump” scenario, but less “Titanic”-y.
6) The score of “Cast Away.” “Oh, Wilson, I’m sorry. I’M SORRY WILSON.” Chills.
7) The rare occasion when I read a quote (usually via Pinterest, aka my stomping ground) that perfectly encapsulates how I’m feeling at the moment or what I’m thinking. Kind of like how you all read this column each week and sob into your sleeves because I’ve touched your souls on a profound and indescribable level.