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Stop Making Me Cry


Poignant stories make me cry, especially if they are true.

If you're a fan of public radio, like me, then you might've heard of the show Snap Judgment. It's true stories narrated by the real people behind them. The stories tend to be short, many merely a few minutes long. Recently I heard one that made me sad. The next story made me all teary-eyed. The first one had softened me up, so I had no defenses left. In preparation for this post, I listened to both stories again. I ended up with the same reaction. Damn those storytellers.

Story #1 

Thom had a wonderful boss who held an annual karaoke night for the company they both worked for. The boss had a favorite song that left an emotional, lasting impact on Thom in a way he never anticipated.

The song, by the way, is Radiohead's Creep. A great, melancholic song. No surprise why I love it.

Story #2

Derrick had a bad heart (four heart attacks by age 27), but Emma fell in love with him anyway. The result was ... well, you'll have to listen to the podcast because I don't want to ruin the story.

Story #3

In case the stories made you cry too, it's only fair that I leave you with something funny.

This story is about a newly-engaged couple named Brian and Vanessa (the narrator). A beautiful, new love-rival showed up: Malou. She was instantly smitten with Brian and latched onto him. Brian returned her affection. Naturally, Vanessa became Malou's enemy number one. The result is humorous, and a bit painful, but not in the way we would expect.

(These stories originally aired years ago, I think, but I didn't hear them until a few weeks ago.)

* * *

If you like personal stories, try The Moth. You can listen to The Moth Radio Hour on your local public radio station or The Moth Podcast online. Their stories are similar to Snap Judgment (first person narratives), but usually longer and told live before an audience.

For those who like story #2 and prefer visuals, try the movie The Big Sick. The rom-com is funny, cute, and touching. All done with a light touch. And most of all, it's true.