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July 21, 2012 / diannegray


A lot of people have contacted me after my last blog and asked to be part of CHOPSTICKs (Cryers Helping Others Prepare Strategies To Instil Crying Karma).  It seems there are more CHOPSTICKs out there than I ever imagined. I also found that people’s least favourite character is The Topper.

I was contacted by a therapist (wonder why?) who told me that relaxing and breathing steadily in and out through the nose for about five minutes can ease the tears when you’re watching a sad movie. She admitted she was a CHOPSTICK – and her husband was a closet CHOPSTICK (this is when I thought – maybe guys should be called CHAPSTICKS). She said he disguises his tears by insisting there is something in his eye (that doesn’t fool us!)

I gave the new technique a try. I didn’t start with a real tear-jerker like Sophie’s Choice or Schindler’s List. I thought a relatively cheery movie that may have a kind of sad ending would be a good start. So I watched Red Dog.


*spoiler and breathe deep alerts follow*

Breathe deep alert – when the master dies tragically in the MIDDLE of the movie after meeting and falling in love with the beautiful girl (and you KNOW they would have lived happily ever after, damnit!)

Breathe deep alert – when the dog travels half way around the world searching for the master when the viewer knows the master is already dead and he’s never going to find him (please little puppy, give up and look for a new master).

Breathe deep alert – when the dog crawls onto the master’s grave and dies of a broken heart (this may need a double breathe deep alert).

Breathe deep alert – when they bring out the NEW CUTE AND CUDDLY PUPPY and everyone cuddles it because it’s a miniature version of the one that just died (oxygen mask may be required here to aid breathing).

Breathe deep alert – when hubby turns around and says he’s got something in his eye (Yeah – AS IF!)

Apart from that – it was a great movie.

The steady breathing in and out through the nose worked to a certain extent but caused a bit of a mess, so I’ll make sure I’ve got tissues handy next time.

So if you’re at the movies and someone stands up at the end and calls out ‘I’m a CHOPSTICK and proud!’ – give them the thumbs up.



Leave a Comment
  1. Candy L. Hill / Jul 21 2012 1:31 pm

    I’m pretty sure my friends and family would agree that chopsticks applies to me, only they would write it as CHOPSTICKS!! I use deep breathing often and it helps to a certain extent.
    Great post!


    • diannegray / Jul 21 2012 1:55 pm

      I don’t know what makes us this way – must be a really sensitive heart! Welcome to chopsticks 🙂


  2. Daphne Shadows / Jul 21 2012 5:29 pm

    Jeeze I almost got teary eyed reading that. Animal sadness has twice the effect on me.


    • diannegray / Jul 21 2012 6:04 pm

      Good grief, Daphne – I was SOBBING!!!


      • Daphne Shadows / Jul 21 2012 6:56 pm

        Yeah… I don’t think I’m going to be watching that movie any time soon then. 😉


  3. EllaDee / Jul 21 2012 6:09 pm

    Great post. I was sobbing, the entire row in the movie theatre was sobbing, and possibly the entire theatre, & my partner, the G.O. next to motioned for a tissue but insisted the perfume of the lady sitting on his other side was the culprit. He has suggested we buy it on DVD. No way.


    • diannegray / Jul 21 2012 6:31 pm

      Perfume! what a great excuse 🙂 I’m glad it wasn’t just me who thought it was heartbreaking and SO glad I watched it on DVD and not in a public place


  4. Invisible Mikey / Jul 22 2012 2:38 am

    I cry at movies because it’s safer (to my scaredy parts). I’m a childhood trauma survivor, and it’s very hard for me to cry under ordinary and appropriate circumstances. I loved reading this.


    • diannegray / Jul 22 2012 9:55 am

      Oh, Mikey! Movies can really bring out feelings that otherwise wouldn’t normally have made their way to the surface and memories can hit you when you least expect!

      I’m so glad you liked the post 🙂


  5. ocdreader / Jul 22 2012 5:47 am

    Wow, I don’t think I can watch that movie. I was nearly crying while reading your post, I just blinked back the tear that was threatening to fall… Guess that confirms that I am also a chopstick!


    • diannegray / Jul 22 2012 10:11 am

      Welcome to the club, Elisa! Seriously – it was SO sad!


  6. SusanM / Jul 22 2012 12:33 pm

    I am definitely a CHOPSTICK! I do not ‘do’ movies that I know are sad in parts because of this. So I haven’t seen Red Dog yet and probably won’t, ever. I even cry in Star Wars and I’ve lost count as to how many times I’ve seen them.


    • diannegray / Jul 22 2012 3:22 pm

      I know exactly how you feel. The news is probably the worst, seconded by soppy advertisements. I really do avoid sad movies, but then you get the ones (like Star Wars) when you really feel for a character and something bad happens to them – and then it’s ‘reach for the tissue box time’!
      Welcome to CHOPSTICKs!


  7. beckony / Aug 5 2012 1:41 pm

    I’m not an easy crier during movies (although I do during weirdly not-that-sad ones, like J. Edgar. So make of that what you will) but I must have overactive tear ducts because anytime I laugh they start up. Too bad there’s no exercise for that 😉


    • diannegray / Aug 5 2012 2:28 pm

      I think it’s great you tear up when you laugh – we don’t want to stop that!

      Maybe things ‘move you’ and don’t necessarily ‘sadden you’. I get very teary when I hear children sing and that’s not a sad thing – there’s just something about it that gets my tear ducts going!


  8. moderndayruth / Oct 12 2012 6:54 pm

    Dianne, you have THE BEST TITLES EVER and It’s a gift unto itself! I am so intrigued every time you post something new – or i discover something that i missed – i just want to read it all! 😀


    • diannegray / Oct 13 2012 8:09 am

      Thank you so much, Lena. I try to keep it as fresh as I can! 😀


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