Word of the Week: Lachrymose

lachrymose : /adj./  given to shedding tears easily.  weeping or inclined to weep.  overemotional.  teary.  soppy.

lachrymose  /adj./  1.  I thought I would be lachrymose about everyone leaving the house this week after a long Christmas break, but I was so concerned (freaking out) about the wedding cake I needed to make that I was immensely grateful for an empty house by Thursday morning.

lachrymose  /adj./  2.  My brother's wedding cake and all the subsequent drama took up the bulk of my thoughts and time this week.  On Thursday I spent about four hours baking, frosting and assembling the cake and then about eight hours rolling out fondant, over and over again.  By the end of the day I had only covered one layer and I was completely lachrymose, the tears making streaks through the powdered sugar covering my face.  I told my husband, "I just need to sit down and cry and then I'll feel better."  My son overheard this and questioned my husband about this line of "reasoning."  David just shook his head and said, "It's lethargic for her."  This turned my sobs into choking laughter as I said, "No, it's cathartic."   But even this fit of laughter soon turned lachrymose and the tears rolled again.


lachrymose  /adj./  3.  As I was sobbing into the fondant (talk about "soppy") I kept thinking of that part in Laura Esquivel's book Like Water for Chocolate, when Tita makes the wedding cake and sobs into the batter and then the whole wedding party dissolves into tears of longing after they eat it.  The whole place is wailing and eventually they all cry so hard, everyone becomes sick and the wedding is ruined.  Thankfully no one but the bride and groom ate my lachrymose cake, and they were all smiles.

lachrymose  /adj./  4.  Ethan was asked to be the ring bearer for the wedding.  I am always a bit stressed about having my children be a part of a wedding because they are unpredictable and, well, children.  When it was time for Ethan to make his entrance he became lachrymose and just stood there with tears streaming down his cheeks.  Eventually the groom had to come help the reluctant ring bearer.


lachrymose  /adj./  5.  The most touching part of the whole wedding, for me, came at the wedding luncheon.  My brother, Christian, is deaf and his new bride (Sara) is not.  We had an interpreter there for Christian and his deaf friends, but in an effort to make Christian feel part of their family, Sara's mom had learned all the sign language to a little speech that her dad gave.  She had practiced for hours.  It was one of the sweetest gestures I have ever seen, especially from two people who just gave their precious daughter away.  Both of them had tears in their eyes as he spoke and she earnestly signed their message.  Admittedly I was already lachrymose from the cake, but I couldn't help shedding a few more tears at their generosity. 


lachrymose  /adj./  6.  Last night, instead of scrubbing my kitchen down, I ignored the mess and watched the final installment of Masterpiece Theatre's version of Jane Eyre.  This has long been my favorite book and I found myself lachrymose and sobbing as Jane spoke her feelings aloud to Mr. Rochester.  (Even I have a hard time calling him "Edward.")

"It is a long way off, sir."

"No matter--a girl of your sense will not object to the voyage or
the distance."

"Not the voyage, but the distance:  and then the sea is a barrier--"

"From what, Jane?"

"From England and from Thornfield:  and--"


"From YOU, sir."

I said this almost involuntarily, and, with as little sanction of
free will, my tears gushed out.  I did not cry so as to be heard,
however; I avoided sobbing. 

Jane is a stronger person than I, as I could not help sobbing.  But eventually, even Jane becomes lachrymose.

In listening, I sobbed convulsively; for I could repress what I
endured no longer; I was obliged to yield, and I was shaken from
head to foot with acute distress.  When I did speak, it was only to
express an impetuous wish that I had never been born, or never come
to Thornfield.

I remember the night I read these lines for the first time.  14-years-old, 3-in-the-morning, sobbing uncontrollably in my bed.  I thought my heart would break.  And I stayed up the rest of the night reading, as Jane's fate was as precious and interesting to me as my own. 

All in all, it was a very lachrymose week and, as Jane says, "I was obliged to yield."  Oh, yes.