Ever Loved Anyone?
Recently, I found myself bored enough, or relaxed enough, or hypnotized by a rerun of Law & Order enough, to do one of those silly questionnaires you get on email. This one was "Get to know your friends" -- 70 queries of the "your favorite clothing item" and "your latest movie experience" sort. I've received several of these back from friends I added to the chain, enough to make me notice something. It has to do with question number 40.
40. Love someone so much it made you cry?
Every single person whose responses I saw answered yes. Pondering this, I realized: anyone would answer yes. Not because everyone has loved that hard and true (or hysterical and teen-age), but because to not answer yes would be to make yourself out as either White Witch-level chilly or a really lonely loser. So I have concluded that somehow, this is a trick question.
I think the trick question has to do with gossip, our need to pry into the lives of those we love or just casually know, and with the fun and the danger of daydreaming. In other words -- the question isn't really there for the answerer. It's there for the one who received the answers. You read that yes, and wonder -- who was it? Who made Friend XY so mad with desire, regret, frustration, tenderness that she gave in emotion's undertow? Or, if you are sure you know who, you reminisce, imagine the specific scenarios, feel perhaps a twinge if on some level, deep or shallow, you were involved. In a chatty little exercise of surface intimacy, Question 40 cuts deeper. It makes you realize what sharing secrets could gain, and really costs.
By the way, my answer, really, is more often than not.
P.S. image of "the joyful tears of a new father" from www.oldmencrying.com