Big Girls Don't Cry

I love Anona. That isn’t what we call her, but you can call her that. Although she is somewhere in her 7th decade, she is also a newlywed of one year. A blushing bride again after many years widowed.

She reminds me of the Fairy God Mother in Cinderella, from her sweet rosy cheeks, right down to the pixie dust that sparkles over everyone that she encounters.

Anona affects laughter from the people that surround her. Not by purpose, but through humorous misfortune, misspeak, or misstep. For instance, one Saturday she met with some other women at a local coffee shop and proceeded to order a crappuccino.

There are many other “Only Anona’s”, but my favorite story was told by her late sister, Alta.

The sisters traveled together to Bend, Oregon to pay their last respects when a third sister’s husband passed away. They found distraction on the six-hour trip by singing along with The Golden Oldies on the radio. Halfway to their destination, they stopped at a service station.

While Anona was in the restroom doing her business, one particular song found its way back to her lips. She began tapping her foot and singing right out,

“Big girls don’t cry, Big girls don’t cry

Big girls don’t cry-yi-yi (they don’t cry)

Big girls don’t cry (who said they don’t cry?)

A deep masculine snicker in the next stall interrupted her. That’s when she noticed a shoe hooked to a mans leg under the partition next to her.

“What is that man doing in the women’s restroom,” she thought indignantly.

Finishing up as quickly as possible, she unlatched the door only to encounter a second man in the ladies room.

“Oh dear, Oh dear,” she gasped and did a running pass at the sink and escaped. She heard the laughter ripping from the two men as the door slowly closed. She glanced back and grimaced when she saw the “MEN” sign on the door.

After dashing to the car, she was more than anxious to get back on the road. She sat uncharacteristically silent for the first 10 miles. Finally, with some distance between her and the scene of humiliation, she spilled her story.

“I’m so embarrassed, let’s never talk about it ever again,” she begged Alta, who would have doubled over and fallen out the car had she not been buckled in. Nevertheless, the remainder of the trip was interjected with quivering lips and full out guffaws. They were beginning to feel guilty that they could express such amusement while voyaging to a sad farewell gathering.

“We’ve got to get our minds on something else entirely,” Anona expressed with firm resolve.

They arrived at the memorial service to join other bereaved family members at the front of the church. While more attendees continued to find seats, music specially chosen by the deceased mans sons played over the church sound system: Golden Oldies.

Anona’s eyes reflected sorrow laced with apprehension when Frankie Vali and the Four Seasons began to play. You know those early sixties favorites “Sherry” and “Walk Like a Man.”

Then it happened. She turned abruptly and stared into her sister’s shocked face as “Big Girls don’t Cry” began to flow from the speakers and echo across the pews.

Anona and Alta plunged into each other’s arms, their bodies began shuddering, and their muffled laughter masqueraded as sobs from their shoulder crushed faces. The actions were repeated through out the service. They held on – just barely.

I’m sure that as time passed the truth about that afternoon was shared with family.

But, at that very moment in time, Anona didn’t want anyone else to know that:

Big girls don’t cry-yi-yi (they don’t cry)
Big girls don’t cry (that’s just an alibi)


swampwitch said…
Are you putting all these wonderful stories in a book? Wow, can you write. Now that song is stuck in my head.
Peter said…
She was quite a gal Pamela.
Beccy said…
Love it.

Sounds like Anona needs a blog.
mjd said…
Pamela, You have written a wonderful heartwarming story. Bless Anona's heart.
Anonymous said…
what a wonderful, made me giggle story!!

very, very well written and told.

thnx for sharing

kate said…
wonderful story... it made my morning! =]
Chas said…
Anona and Alta, what classic names those are. This story reminded me of my little grandmother who's in her 9th, almost 10th decade. The part about Cinderella and pixie dust made my heart fill with joy! My dear Grandmama's name is Okla. Can you see the similarities?
Beautiful story. Comical and yet --given the song choice, and the occasion -- sad...
Susan in va said…
ROFL!!!! That is just about the funniest story I've ever read!

Poor, poor Anona! (*snort*)
kailani said…
I love those golden oldies. I remember my parents listening to them when they were younger.

What a coincidence that they heard the same song. I think I would have freaked out.
Bibi said…
This is a lovely story Pamela; I could picture here right there.

I confess, I once used the men's toilets at Heathrow ... jet lagged, broke up with a boyfriend, and I was crying so much that I didn't notice the urinals ... until I came out of the stall and saw 3 guys there.
Whippersnapper said…

I went into a men's bathroom once by accident when I was a kid. It was embarrassing and traumatizing. I'm sure if I had just laughed about it I would be a lot healthier now as an adult... (!)
Hayden said…
wonderful story!
Susie said…
You have such a gift for telling a story. This was priceless!
Heather said…
Too funny!

The first time I took Marcel home to meet my parents, we stopped for coffee on the two hour drive home. I disappeared into the washroom, and realized when I stepped inside that it was the wrong one. And I knew that, when I emerged, my new boyfriend would be out there smiling at me. Gulp.
Kila said…
That was no coincidence!

Loved the story :)
Jeanette said…
Hi Pamela Lovely story you made my day
melissa said…
Oh, I LOVE it!!! Hee hee.
wolfbaby said…
beatiful story!!!

thank you for telling it she sounds like an amazing lady
CyberCelt said…
This is so funny. You should write a book.

Sometimes, when I have attended too many funerals in too short a time, I find that I laugh inappropriately. I think its just a reaction to stress; a way to deal with grief and loss.
That's a great story, and beautifully told

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