The Grammar Belle

Spiffing y'all up, one typo at a time

WSWH: Something to Cry About

Hey, y’all! Hope you’re having a nice, tear-free summer so far. Is it a Southern-mama thing or do all moms use the “you’d better stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about” line? True confession: I am one of those folks who is quick to tears no matter what emotion I am feeling. Sad? Tears. Mad? Tears for sure. Joy? Yep. I can’t bear to see my girls make a speech or win an award or hit a home run without getting totally choked up.

There have been times in my life—likely in yours too—that the tears have flowed and flowed. Why am I telling you this? So you won’t think I’m a horrible, unsympathetic person when you read this post . . .

Yes, this is another installment in the “When Spellcheck Won’t Help” series. I do know that I owe you a lesson or two on commas and quotation marks and subject-verb agreement. I promise I’ll get to those soon. But when two different friends, who don’t even know each other, came to me within an hour of each other asking that I cover the exact same topic . . . what was a grammar blogger to do?

Have you ever cried and cried over a breakup and then texted your mom that you’ve been “balling your eyes out”? Or maybe you’ve been on Facebook and read that a friend “balled her eyes out” reading The Joy Luck Club. (Yes, old reference. I don’t read as much as I used to.)

Folks, I’m here to tell you that I only know one person in the whole world who has ACTUALLY balled her eyes out. Well, just one eye. The left one.

Come with me, if you will, back to 1988. Melody was a young and energetic 22-year-old, hanging out and playing with what seemed like a simple toy:

It's like they're mocking us with those two-eyed smiley faces. (Image courtesy of

It’s like they’re mocking us with those two-eyed smiley faces. (Image courtesy of

Yes, y’all, she was playing paddleball when out of the blue the ball zoomed back and smacked her right in the eye. The left one (if you recall). Now, it didn’t actually knock the eye itself out. But it did permanently knock the vision out of that eye. And if you hang around her much (which I’d recommend because she is honestly one of the most wickedly funny, smartest, and most talented people I know), you’ll on occasion be reminded when you’re on her blind side.

Melody, who actually BALLED her eye out, and her hubby Rodney (No, she doesn't wear sunglasses all the time. Just when she's at the beach. And other sunny places.)

Melody, who actually BALLED her eye out, and her hubby Rodney (No, she doesn’t wear sunglasses all the time. Just when she’s at the beach. And other sunny places.)

Moral of this story: You did not, in fact, BALL your eyes out. Only Melody has done that. You, my dear, BAWLED your eyes out. 

And be careful playing paddleball.


Thanks to my dear friend Melody for allowing me to share her story as a warning to you all.

Having trouble remembering which ball/bawl to use?

If you were to accidentally jab yourself with this AWL, I reckon you would BAWL your eyes out. (Image courtesy of

If you were to accidentally jab yourself with this AWL, I reckon you would BAWL your eyes out. (Image courtesy of

14 comments on “WSWH: Something to Cry About

  1. Wood, Sherry (US - Dallas)
    July 17, 2013

    You are toooooo funny. Thanks for the laugh!

    Sherry Wood

    • The Grammar Belle
      July 17, 2013

      I have to give Deb and Mel a lot of credit for this one. It was just too perfect not to share! 🙂 Thanks for reading, Sherry!

  2. Allison Smith
    July 17, 2013

    Woah! Is this Melody White??

    • The Grammar Belle
      July 17, 2013

      Melody is the paddleball-injured party. She’s a friend of mine!

    • Melody
      July 17, 2013

      The one & only, yes ma’am!

  3. Melody
    July 17, 2013

    I laughed til I “bawled”. And snorted. I feel all famous & junk. 😉

    If my “handicap” (and not sure if it’s the blindness or the lack of coordination with paddleballs) can help save just one eye . . . well, maybe they can loan it to me so I’ll have two.

    Just say “NO” to paddleballs, people! They are evil contraptions!

    Thx, Brandita!! Love you!!

    • Melody
      July 17, 2013

      And I only just noticed the Photoshopped “blind spot” when Holly mentioned it. And I didn’t even MEAN to be ironic. LOL!!

      • The Grammar Belle
        July 17, 2013

        That made me LOL! Thanks for being such a good example for all the little ones out there. 😉

  4. Janet Hendrix
    July 17, 2013

    That was totally fun to read (sorry Melody! But I do want to know… did you really think you could hit that thing???). So clever Brandy!! You are a riot, and I can’t wait to read about your next victim. You should have mentioned that Melody has a very cool glass eye though, and she won’t have to worry about getting glaucoma or cataracts in it or anything like that. You know, kind of end on a bright note.

    • The Grammar Belle
      July 17, 2013

      I sincerely hope that my friends will suffer more of these interesting maladies so I can use them to illustrate the finer points of grammar, spelling, and punctuation. 😉

    • Melody
      July 17, 2013

      Well, you could mention that . . . but it wouldn’t be true. Nor is it true that I can just “pop it out” – as I’ve been requested to do in the past. The remaining eyeball is 100% mine. Well, maybe 82% . . . since that’s about all that’s left.

  5. Genevieve Hamulak
    July 17, 2013

    The humorous manner by which you educate us all, Brandy, is a joy to experience. Although I am sorry to learn of Melody’s injury, I thank each and every one of the smart-alecs and totally-funny ladies who wrote comments about the blog.
    Thank you for the fun. 😀

  6. Jacque
    July 18, 2013

    Wow Melody that must be some great glass eye as I never even knew this and you stood right next to me on risers! (Your lovely eyelashes must camouflage it well!)

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This entry was posted on July 17, 2013 by in When Spellcheck Won't Help and tagged , , , , .

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