I am not a very demonstrative person, much as I have always hoped to be.  Maybe I was once upon a time, and got slapped down too often.  I can barely remember.  But I do remember one time when Daddy was briefly home from The War and I nearly hugged him to death.  I think I was about four years old at the time.  So the ability was there once upon a time.

Anyway, such reactions long ago deserted me.  I want to, but I simply can’t.  Probably for fear of making a fool of myself.  Much later I once kissed a female friend who I hadn’t see for a long time, and was so pleased to see, but she was embarrassed and made a silly remark about women kissing.  That just about put the tin hat on that sort of behaviour.

This inability has coloured all of my relationships with men and women.  I even find it difficult to tell someone that I like and admire them, which I so often do, but can’t say.

I never cry.  That would be a ridiculous waste of time.  And all of my children can spot the possible even happy onset of such an emotion, and tell me not to be silly.  Have I somehow deprived them of being able to be spontaneous?

My paternal grandmother was half Italian, and oh my God, she couldn’t half cry.  I can only remember her crying.  I didn’t know if she was happy or sad.  She just cried a lot.

The rest of my family were Celts to the core.  No bloody crying going on there.  What! Certainly not.  Just get on with it all.

But the sorrow of my inability always lives with me.


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