Yep. So get out your tissues, top up your mascara, and sob your heart out, because we are now a nation of emotional wrecks, but proud?
I grew up in a high oestrogen family home where we had tears on tap. Afternoon weepies, sibling strops, money worries.. we didn't have a family car and spent most weekends either cycling into the wind in our matching family coats on matching matching bikes (you've seen a family of ducks swimming in a line right?), or boxed indoors, finding solace on the doorstep, the top of the stairs or between four TV channels. Why so many tears? Too many theories; mercury fillings, lack of stimulation, processed food, our house being built on chemical disposal grounds... but our tears were confined between four walls. Occassionally in the outside world a kid would fall over and bawl their eyes out, or a girl would get dumped and weep through Silk Cut smoke rings in a school toilet cubical, but the general population would rather be seen bursting into the dance sequence from Flashdance in public, than that of tears.
More recently, every time I turn on the TV, (real) people are breaking down. Dreams of pop stardom are being painfully ripped away from grown men and women as we watch them break down in the public eye, if thats not enough we have to watch their families do the same back stage. All of them emotionally exposed, live, close up, slow motion.. the more they suffer the slower and closer we're allowed in. Beautiful girls swapping their innocent lives for the vicious reality world of modelling, rejected in front of the camera. Dancers, magicians, artists.. even ordinary people doing ordinary stuff - Big Brother being a personality contest, and we did away with Miss World because..? - having their hearts yanked out in front of the whole world, losing all they ever wanted, dreamt and momentarily had. We are even watching people on television in tatters because they themselves are watching people on television in tatters! The next series of Gogglebox should be people watching the people watching the people.
One of my biggest fears is bursting into tears in public - it does happen - because I am one of these people that once I starting I simply cannot stop. Of course I can allow myself Surprise Surprise, people that can't cry to this have no soul, but I'm still running hours later through new and amazing Dyson vacuum cleaner commercials and trailers for documentaries on new waste disposal plans. So, very much like the awkward school disco social system 'I'll start dancing once someone else does first', I'll wait till others bang their forehead against a 'closed for lunch' sign on the laundrette door sobbing 'but why?' or fall onto all fours outside the tube station hearing the news of another part suspension, until I go with them. For now.
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