In my experience, when people undergo spontaneous intervals of tangible sorrow, their bodies will tense, their shoulders usually hunch, their chin sometimes dimples, their lips often quiver, speech becomes intermittent, their tone changes becoming choked and less coherent; for females make-up runs as moisture cuts rivulets down cheeks – but most noticeably – primarily if the despondent character stands before an audience, fingers are generally spread as hands are used in a futile attempt to hide their shame and thus, shield their face from view.
Stuffing of fingers in eyes or the periodic wiping away of tears? This kind of display is reserved mainly for movies and television; also for those people who want others to recognise the fact that they are – at least portraying – crying. You see, the instant that somebody lowers his/her head and drags an uncoordinated hand across a cheek or better yet, bungs those bacteria-ridden fingers into the eye sockets, we as the audience, immediately think, ‘Oh, that poor soul, looks like they’re crying’.
Now, think reality. Cast your mind back to the last time you shed tears… was your first thought to make your eyes all bloodshot and puffy by jamming in your fingers? Was it to quickly remove those signs of sorrow before they could exit your eyelids and dribble down your cheeks? Probably it wasn’t. Your first thought would have been regarding the reason for the tears, not the tears themselves; sure, once you feel them breaking loose and running down your cheeks, you would have probably considered wiping, or even drying the eye sockets themselves, but unless you are auditioning for a spot on TV and need to really amplify the effect, why would any genuine crier wipe the tears while they are still innocently wrestling with their eyelids?
Most likely, they wouldn’t. Not in a genuine case of tears, anyway.
The point, around which I have been tip toeing, is that, whenever big shot celebrities put themselves before a camera to deliver an oration or similar; then for whatever reason – usually regret at causing some great scandal on which hangs their entire career and future – apparently ‘break down in a wash of sorrow’, illustrated by the immediate jamming of fingers in eyes and frantic wiping of cheeks – because obviously, if they are truly repenting for their illicit ways, the last thing they want people to see is genuine tears.
Obviously. (Sarcasm tends not to manifest so well in writing.)