I’ve been watching a bunch of TV lately in which characters are constantly waging small to epic battles against their own tears. After a few episodes of this, the tears lose their impact, and the characters become wet messes who are moved to tears basically just by saying or hearing words, or sometimes just because they thought of a word, or maybe just because they walked into a room and saw someone they loved folding their underwear, or maybe just because they realized they had hands and / or that the sun had come up, once again. But I don’t fault the writers or the actors. It’s a common mistake. I am 100% guilty of over-using the parenthetical, ‘fighting tears.’ I think it’s because I don’t always trust my own writing. I don’t trust that I’ve done enough of the emotional work that’s necessary to ensure that at that point in the story, clearly the character would be fighting tears while revealing their truth / acknowledging how amazing it is, that we have Hands. It’s a cop-out. It’s a cheat. It’s a cloth over a table covered in dirt and wax. And so, going forward, I hereby vow (fighting tears) to forgo the parenthetical, and to trust my own work, or rather, to let it stand on its own, tears or none.