Just not in front of anybody.
I've written here before about how I'm a repressed WASPy Midwesterner and don't generally acknowledge that I have feelings at all around very many people, much less what those feelings might be. I come from a stoic people. I've been told that I am "hard to read", "inscrutable", and "dead inside".
Plus, when you're pretty even-tempered most of the time, it's all the more shocking to people when you display strong emotion. As a person who doesn't like to draw attention to herself, I learned early on that emotional outbursts were not in my best interest.
I'm also really neurotic about whether people are doing things for me because they want to or because they feel obligated. One way of making sure that no one is feeling emotionally manipulated into anything is just to keep emotion out of it as much as possible.
But perhaps most significantly, there's my early religious education. Wasn't Away in a Manger one the first Christmas carols that you Christian-type folks learned in Sunday school? Let's consider these lyrics:
The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes, but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
The message here? "Yeah, the cows woke the baby Jesus up, but did he cry about it? He did not. And you, preschool Sunday schooler, are not even a baby. What's all the blubbering about? How about taking a cue from the little Lord Jesus and turning off the waterworks? You're almost four now. Get it together."
It's entirely possible that I wouldn't be emotionally stunted at all if not for the Christmas children's program. Maybe I wouldn't have had to define effusive for my boss last summer after having told her that I'M NOT IT so she'd stop asking me wasn't I excited about whatever it was. I might even have been able to cry in front of one of my closest friends last month without the benefit of an Irish car bomb and an indeterminate number of Lynchburg lemonades.
Yep, it's definitely all due to early Christmas carol exposure. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.