Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Topic of the Day: Crying in Public

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Hi, I’m back from our family trip to Missouri! It was great to relatively unplug for a few days and take a bit of a break from the internet. I ran around in the grass with the kids (well, Jackson ran while Joanie crawled… though she is getting pretty close to her first steps, I think, eeee), swam in my parents’ community pool (which we had all to ourselves all week), ate Andy’s frozen custard, paid like seven bucks for a six-pack at the gas station (which is about five bucks cheaper than it would cost at a bodega in Brooklyn), won two dollars on a scratch-off lottery ticket at said gas station, jogged three times through a wooded trail in my parents’ neighborhood, got in a car and drove from point A to point B every day like how people who don’t live in NYC do all the time, and just generally enjoyed a change of pace. And now I’m catching up on emails and sifting through potential letters for next week’s columns (oh, I’d love an update or two — Hint hint!).

In the meantime, I’ve got a discussion topic for the day: crying in public. I’m sort of a fan of crying in public, but I’m particular about the when and the where. Subway and airport crying is my favorite because, by nature, they’re transient locations and you can easily feel anonymous, knowing you are unlikely to see anyone you know or run into any of these strangers again. Also, there are so many valid reasons to be crying at the airport or even the subway that tears don’t generally raise too many eyebrows. Crying in restaurants is much less comfortable (for me anyway). There are very few good reasons to cry in a restaurant. Unless you’re crying happy tears over some surprise good news or maybe someone just proposed to you and you’re all verklempt, then there’s probably a terribly sad reason for the tears.

The last time I cried in public was in a restaurant, actually. It was last week before we left for Missouri, and I was having dinner with a friend who is going through a pretty awful time and, as a result, has to move in a couple weeks. We chose a brand new neighborhood restaurant that had just opened the day before and we had an incredible meal, but the circumstances being what they are made for some bittersweet dinner conversation and, by the end of the meal, my friend and I were both weeping over our grilled scallops. We quickly paid our check and hightailed it out of there so as not to draw more attention to ourselves, but on the way out I passed an acquaintance waiting for a table and felt silly when he noticed me wiping my tears. “The food is delicious!” I said as he looked at me quizzically.

As far as restaurant crying goes, though, that was a pretty mild case. I’ve had much more pitiful and draining experiences, usually involving a guy and a broken heart. Still, I’ll take restaurant crying any day over crying in a public bathroom, which has to be the worst on the scale of most depressing places to be caught crying. Have you ever seen someone crying in a public bathroom? Do you acknowledge the person? Not acknowledge her (or him)? It’s hard to know what the best course of action is. Rather than ask if the person’s ok (because, obviously, no she’s not), I usually ask if she needs any help. A couple of times when I’ve cried on the subway, for reasons I don’t even remember now, people have asked if I needed help and that simple inquiry restored a little faith in humanity. We’re not alone. We’re seen (even if we’d prefer not to be). Someone cares.

When was the last time you cried in public? What do you do if you see someone else crying in public?

Illustration by Nigel Van Wieck

57 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Kate June 3, 2016, 8:18 am

    I’m going through some things right now and am not 100% ok. Twice recently I’ve been sitting at a bar and starting to cry and my husband stopped me. He’s right, not appropriate. He also stopped me when I was crying in the tennis court at the park where we were playing ball with the dog. He was right again, someone might think he was abusing me and that would not be cool.

    I’ve cried in an airport and it was great. People help you. And by people I mean gate agents, who have all the power.

    At work if you need to cry, do it in your car or your office or run into the office of someone you trust who’s not your boss.

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    • avatar

      bondgirl June 3, 2016, 8:37 am

      I’ve actually ended up crying in front of my supervisor. In my defense though, I got treated like complete sh*t by a customer. My supervisor, current boss, AND my old boss all came to my defense so it made me feel a lot less embarrassed about my reaction. Fortunately, only my supervisor saw the tears. Unfortunately, definitely not the only time I’ve cried at work, but that was the only time someone saw.

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    • avatar

      snoopy128 June 3, 2016, 9:44 am

      Kate, I’m sorry you are going through a rough patch right now. I hope things pick up soon.

      At the very least, this thread might give you ideas of places to cry where it doesn’t look like your husband is abusing you.

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      • avatar

        Kate June 3, 2016, 9:57 am

        The very best place, in my experience, is in the sink when you’re washing your makeup off anyway. I did that recently when I had had to put someone on a performance improvement plan that day. Over the washing machine in the basement (I used to have that setup) is good too. Or just in your car.

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    • kare

      kare June 3, 2016, 1:13 pm

      I would be more inclined to think a guy was abusive if he was telling his wife not to cry/make a scene/whatever. If a couple was playing with a dog and one person started crying while the other comforted them, I’d just think they must be going through a rough time and hope the best for them. Anyone crying at a bar I just assume is an emotional drinker. Guys telling women not to cry just comes off very insensitive.

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      • veritek33

        veritek33 June 3, 2016, 1:40 pm

        I can’t speak for Kate or her husband, though I think her husband a nice guy and probably didn’t mean anything bad by that – but I’m inclined to agree with you Kare.

        In my experience, the boyfriend that I experienced that (restaurant crying in public) with WAS abusive and just made me feel worse for having feelings in public and it was just a huge mess. He didn’t take into consideration HE was the reason I was crying – just that I was embarrassing him.

        I don’t think poorly or differently of anyone crying in public. I usually just try to send a sympathetic smile if I can. It’s a human emotion and sometimes it happens in public.

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      • avatar

        Kate June 3, 2016, 1:43 pm

        Yeah, however, he comes from a background where there was domestic abuse, and he’s also absolutely right that with a million people around, in our urban neighborhood, someone may call the police and I don’t want to deal with that. And crying at a bar is just not ok.

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      • avatar

        Kate June 3, 2016, 1:47 pm

        Telling a woman not to cry can absolutely be insensitive, but in this context it’s not at all. This is a guy who’s held me while I had a complete meltdown after drinking too much on a Sunday and scary freaking out about work and ugly crying. He’s just hyper vigilant about what happens in public. I’ve personally called the cops on people about once a month since we moved to this neighborhood.

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      • veritek33

        veritek33 June 3, 2016, 1:52 pm

        I’m sorry to hear that. I hope things improve for you.

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      • kare

        kare June 3, 2016, 7:45 pm

        That makes more sense. My city has a “mind your own business” attitude. I’ve been grabbed by a strange man and a whole crowd of people just looked at us then went back to what they were doing. I’ve called the cops on a couple once, but they were outside of my apartment window drinking 40s and hitting each other. Someone crying in public wouldn’t cause people to bat an eye, but my neighborhood has lots of mentally unstable people that go on crazy rants and such.

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      • avatar

        Kate June 4, 2016, 6:04 am

        New England is a little different in terms of not making a spectacle of yourself or a public scene. It’s in our blood.

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      • avatar

        Kate June 3, 2016, 1:55 pm

        And I mean that about the bar like, if you come into a restaurant freaking out about some shit, don’t sit down at the bar and start crying. Different sitch from, you’re at the bar having a good time and your date starts being a jerk and makes you cry.

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  • veritek33

    veritek33 June 3, 2016, 8:35 am

    I’ve only cried in a restaurant once. I was with my ex and he was being a dick and so I started crying. And then he acted more like a dick because he was convinced everyone at the restaurant (all three of them) would think he was being an asshole to me (he was.)

    Personally if I need a good cry I prefer a walking trail. Small town doesn’t have subways or mass transit, but the public walking trail, while wearing sunglasses to make it less awkward for the other people, has seen many of my tears. Something about being outside makes me feel better after a cry.

    And thank God for office doors I can shut. I try my absolute hardest not to cry at work, but if I feel it coming on, door shuts quickly and no one bothers me.

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  • avatar

    snoopy128 June 3, 2016, 8:40 am

    I cried at work for the first time ever this week. Luckily, I managed to get out of my office and go for a walk outside and do it there. Then I sort of cried when I went to tell the office admin I was going home. Only one person saw it and it was because I was in immense pain.

    Crying is generally my body’s default stress reaction, so I’ve done my fair share of crying in public. I find crying while running or taking a walk (outside) therapeutic. I agree with Wendy, that public transit also works well to let a tear or two slip out, but not so great for larger meltdowns.

    I agree with Kate, crying in airports helps to move things along with gate agents

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  • juliecatharine

    juliecatharine June 3, 2016, 8:56 am

    I work in my local animal shelter’s satellite location one day a week. We took over what used to be a puppy store in a mall and now it’s an adoption center (yay!). People cry all the time; sometimes happy tears because they found a new buddy, sometimes OMG that puppy is too cute to handle tears, but most often people wind up crying because they are grieving a recently (or not recently) passed-on pet. We empathize, sometimes hug, and offer puppy kisses (puppy kisses really make it hard to be sad). It doesn’t bother me when people cry; I’m glad they’re in a place where people ‘get’ what they’re going through.

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    • veritek33

      veritek33 June 3, 2016, 9:56 am

      That reminds me, a few years ago I took my beagle to the vet for some minor procedure and as we were waiting a woman came out to the reception area and she looked at me and burst into tears and she finally spoke – she had just had to put down her beagle and asked if she could hug me and my pup. We cried together in the waiting room about her fur baby. Animals will make me cry at the drop of a hat, hands down. I’ll never forget that lady.

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      • juliecatharine

        juliecatharine June 3, 2016, 10:39 am

        Ditto. Your story has me welling up at my desk. I can handle a lot but anything with animals kills me. I am no longer permitted to watch Pitbulls and Parolees after going into hysterics over a pup with cancer; I just can’t handle it.

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      • veritek33

        veritek33 June 3, 2016, 11:15 am

        I watched Marley & Me ONCE, never again. People can die in movies all day long and it has no effect on me. You kill a dog in a movie and my day is fucked completely.

        *I would say spoiler alert but the movie is like ten years old…

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      • avatar

        bondgirl June 3, 2016, 12:26 pm

        I had the same exact experience with that movie. NEVER AGAIN. :'(

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      • avatar

        snoopy128 June 3, 2016, 2:17 pm

        My mom took the whole family as a ‘family movie night’. It was brutal. We were all bawling.

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      • avatar

        Rylie June 3, 2016, 2:24 pm

        I had that experience with I Am Legend. I spent the second half of the movie bawling over what happened in the middle. Never Again.

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    • avatar

      dinoceros June 3, 2016, 1:19 pm

      I used to work in a vet’s office, and I usually could handle the sad stuff. Except one day our receptionist came in and wanted to feel this cat’s enormous tumor (she couldn’t believe how big it was). The cat meowed because it hurt, and I found that so sad, especially because he didn’t know why he hurt or that he was going to be euthanized soon.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom June 3, 2016, 9:06 am

    I’ve never cried in public. I grew up in a rural area with people who had stoic German ancestors. There was no crying in public and no public displays of affection. In many ways it was an emotional wasteland. We had one grandmother who hugged us otherwise I don’t remember anyone hugging. The one place I cry is in the shower. One of the things I have had to make an effort to do was to be emotionally supportive in an affectionate way. I grew up with everyone helping everyone and looking out for them but not with the emotionally supportive hugging and holding. I have always hugged my husband and kids, luckily I got that from my grandmother.

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    • avatar

      snoopy128 June 3, 2016, 9:08 am

      Oooh, crying in the shower is a good one!

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      • MaterialsGirl

        MaterialsGirl June 3, 2016, 11:22 am

        crying in the shower is the best. especially if you can sit down and just let the water run over you.

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  • avatar

    Vathena June 3, 2016, 9:11 am

    Now that I think about it, I guess I don’t actually cry that much about situations in my own life. I definitely get misty at tv/movies/radio/Wendy’s moving posts about motherhood. “StoryCorps” on NPR always gets me, sometimes with an ugly cry, but at least I’m alone in the car. Plus if someone else sees you, all you have to do is say “StoryCorps” and they’re like, ohhhhh. And I freaking bawled at “Inside Out”, which I was not prepared for. Thankfully my job is very pleasant and low-stress! I haven’t cried at/about work in 10+ years. Oh – weddings! I always cry at weddings.

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  • avatar

    blink14 June 3, 2016, 9:24 am

    I tend to cry in my car, which is sort of public? People definitely notice if you are in traffic or stopped somewhere. I’ve cried once on public transit, I had an completely terrible day, was totally heartbroken, and ended up with several high school punks sitting near me. They threw something at me and I just gave them all the middle finger and moved to a further seat. As they left, one of the group came to apologize to me and I told her she had terrible friends and she would make new ones. Hah!

    I have cried a couple of times at my old job, my boss was absolutely horrible. I either went to the bathroom or outside. A few months before I left that job, my boss completely humiliated me at an event that was co-hosted by a local group we worked with. That was the one time I cried at work in front of other people. The director of the group and her assistant both came to my defense and told me afterwards they had never seen something so unprofessional. The director of the group wrote a letter to my boss after the event, outlining my work ethic and the successes of past events I had worked on with them. I’m not sure if my boss ever got the point, but I do think the director (who had known my boss for many years) also said something to her privately.

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  • Nookie

    Nookie June 3, 2016, 9:35 am

    I cry in the airport every time I leave my family in Canada, it gets harder every time to leave them again. I’ve cried a few more times in public in my life and I can’t really bear it, I find it so embarrassing and don’t want people to look.

    I’m really sorry you’re having a hard time Kate, I hope things get better soon. For the very least, so your husband doesn’t get dirty looks from strangers!

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    • avatar

      snoopy128 June 3, 2016, 9:42 am

      I cry every time I fly west over the Rockies back to my city of birth (and home for most of my life). It’s a weird trend that started in university when I was usually travelling home super stressed and tired from exams, and now just carries forward with me.

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      • Nookie

        Nookie June 3, 2016, 9:47 am

        Ha that’s kind of funny as my family lives in Vancouver so I probably cry over the Rockies too 🙂

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  • avatar

    va-in-ny June 3, 2016, 10:22 am

    Last time I cried in public, I was at the emergency Vet hearing that my cat had a large, cancerous tumor in her nose. I had to sit in the waiting room for the doctor to come out and brief me and I just lost it. Not even in a pretty-cry kind of way. It was the ugly, body-heaving kind.

    The good thing is there’s a lot of understanding and empathetic people in the emergency Vet’s office! A man across from me noticed how upset I was and instead of asking what was wrong, he just said “I see you’re upset. Would you like to say ‘Hello’ to Jake?” (he had an animal in a carrier). So, I said “sure,” and walked over.

    Jake was a turtle! It was such an odd, unexpected surprise to walk over to say “Hello” to a turtle that it actually cheered me up!

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    • avatar

      jilliebean June 3, 2016, 10:39 am

      That is adorable!!

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    • avatar

      jilliebean June 3, 2016, 10:45 am

      I have cried in the work bathroom…ugh…I absolutely HATE crying at work, it feels so unprofessional.

      Last place I cried in public was after saying goodbye to my older daughter who goes to school in Holland. I got on the train and when the conductor came to take my ticket, and heard my American accent, she asked if I was there on vacation. I said “no, my daughter lives here wahhhhhhhhhhh”. I barely got through the word “daughter” before I started the ugly cry. She was sooooo nice…put her hand on my shoulder and asked me about my daughter. Of course that made me cry more but then I calmed down. Dutch people are so kind, in my experience. Very direct and blunt which can be off-putting at first but then they are so nice.

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    • avatar

      Rylie June 3, 2016, 12:36 pm

      What a kind man, and an unexpected animal indeed. I wouldn’t have expected a turtle. I agree with jillibean that it is adorable. (Sorry for posting so much, I have a few minutes before taking my dog to physical therapy and this topic is a bit close to my heart. Long time reader, finally getting up the nerve to post!)

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      • avatar

        va-in-ny June 3, 2016, 12:55 pm

        Ah, then you’ll appreciate this story! (I spent 8 long weeks going to the vet every day, so I spent a lot of time in the waiting room!)

        During a follow-up appointment, I was in the waiting room when one of the NYPD German Shepherds was brought in. After the consultation with the doctor, Nell (my cat) and I were sitting in the back waiting area and she was crying out in her carrier. I was just talking to her in there, because I’m normal ;), and I said “Hey, it’s not so bad. We’re going home after this! At least no one tried to put anything in your butt today!”

        What I didn’t know is that the police officer that came in with the dog had walked in and sat at the other end of the row from me. He heard me, laughed, I apologized, and then he said “oh, no need to apologize, we weren’t so lucky… This guy (the police dog) had something put in his butt today.”

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      • veritek33

        veritek33 June 3, 2016, 1:35 pm

        Best. Story. Ever.

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  • avatar

    Nicollanna June 3, 2016, 10:48 am

    Now that you’re making me think about it, I cry in public a lot! I think as I get older I just don’t care. Notable moments: turning up to work in the dire stages of whooping cough (undiagnosed at that stage), and dissolving into a flood of tears on arrival and seeing my coworkers. Being in an extremely busy and noisy restaurant with my sister, she was questioning me about my changed behaviour over the past 4 months after an extremely traumatic event in my life I had not shared with anyone. Once I told her, we were both bawling as we discussed it, and it went on for about an hour. No-one said a word to us! It was like being in a little bubble. Also cried on the train, and ugly cried in the car. Nothing a big pair of sunglasses can’t fix! And the airport: saying goodbye to someone you love immensely and can’t bear to part with. Big ugly bawling. But people expect it there, right?!

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  • avatar

    girltuesday June 3, 2016, 11:09 am

    Reading all these comments make me realize how much I actually cry! I’m a weepy person by nature. Frustrated? Tears. Mad? Tears. Sad? Tears. It totally sucks. I have to always explain, “I’m not sad, just frustrated.” Tears are pretty much an automatic thing for me.

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  • avatar

    Rangerchic June 3, 2016, 11:14 am

    I once started bawling in the halls of high school…I was fine and then bam! Everything I’d been going through just hit me (it was about family stuff – not a boy). That was humiliating but I had some good friends who helped me out.
    .
    Then once, still going through the same kind of family stuff, I got pulled over because I didn’t have tags on my car and they were passed due. I didn’t have the money. The cop asked for my stuff and I just started bawling – not a subtle cry but heaving/bawling. He got really concerned then received a call on his radio about a gas station robbery and had to go so I didn’t get a ticket but it was so very embarrassing.
    .
    Usually I cry in the car or shower or late at night in bed when everyone is soundly sleeping – my husband has no idea. Sometimes I don’t even have a reason, it’s just hormones…Ugh. Always cry when it’s anything to do with animals…I have two dogs and just thinking about when they might not be here anymore brings tears to my eyes. I can’t watch those animal shows or those commercials I have to always change the channel.

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    • avatar

      girltuesday June 3, 2016, 11:52 am

      Dude, crying in the shower is the best. I feel it’s very therapeutic!

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    • avatar

      Rylie June 3, 2016, 12:34 pm

      Crying in the car! Oh my goodness, I do that, too. Very therapeutic. Passers by must think we are quite strange!

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  • avatar

    marynn June 3, 2016, 11:27 am

    I am also kind of a fan of crying in public transport. Usually just silent tears after a rough day. Nobody has ever really bothered me or asked me if i was ok for that matter.
    During the weeks following my one big breakup, I found myself quietly crying at work, at class in college… anywhere really.
    I remember I had to sit for an exam the week after the breakup and I 1) threw my breakfast up because of nerves and generally feeling like crap and 2) cried both before and after the test. Good times.

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  • avatar

    Lilitu June 3, 2016, 12:04 pm

    Last time I cried in public was in my biology class. And I sat up front. I lost my grandma to cancer a couple years ago and I am still very much in mourning. Guess what the day’s lecture was about? Luckily, while I was up front, I say on the very edge of the row by myself next to a window so it was easy to look like I was just looking outside. It was all quiet tears and they went unnoticed.

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  • avatar

    aciris June 3, 2016, 12:17 pm

    Glad to hear about your vacation travels and family time,Wendy. The last time I cried in public was last year right before Mother’s Day. I was doing some shopping at a department store cosmetic counter. As I was paying for my items, the lady and I were chatting and she asked if I was doing anything for Mother’s Day with my mom. I completely froze and the tears just started flowing. I explained that my mom had passed away in December 2013. The lady just came around the counter and gave me a hug and she was so sorry to hear this. She just handled the situation so well because I obviously couldn’t. I saw her a few weeks later and went up to her and thanked her again for being so kind. I think crying in public is something you can control sometimes and other times you can’t, it just depends. We are human and have emotions. I’m not typically a person that likes people I don’t know to see that me crying in public and I don’t judge others that do because you don’t know what they are dealing with at that time.

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  • avatar

    Rylie June 3, 2016, 12:33 pm

    I am a crier – I can’t help it. Any strong emotion comes out my eyes. I’ve done my best to mitigate it, and when I can’t, just power through. I do remember once telling someone who we’d had a minor fender-bender that we were both at fault (we backed into each other in a very narrow parking lot where the spaces faced away from each other – it was clear when we both looked and had the terrible timing of pulling out at the exact same time) who was bullying me to say it was *my* fault so he wouldn’t have to pay his deductible that “just because I’m crying doesn’t mean you can push me around and get your way.” That was luckily the year before I got married and I was able to get my lead tech to take care of it at work.

    I’ve cried at work, school (I’ve gone back to school as an “old lady” according to fellow students and students I TA’d for), parking lots, definitely grocery stores and Target and places like that, restaurants – but I definitely agree that the vet and animals can be so hard not to cry at, especially when prone to crying! I have to change the channel when that Sarah McLaughlin commercial comes on in my house (and other puppy commercials, and not even always sad ones!).

    I can’t watch movies where the dog dies. That kills me. Sad movies in general are terrible for me, which makes my husband despair as he adores tragedies. Reading them in play form, I can do, but sad movies and TV shows have me bawling on the couch and my dog running up to lick up my tears and try and make everything better. Which can be a handful with a Newfoundland!

    I empathise with all of the criers out there – we don’t always want to be crying in public, and I am always grateful to those people who have been kind to me when I have been.

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  • avatar

    chopsticks June 3, 2016, 12:38 pm

    I work in a male-dominated field, and I cried at work one time because of a really sexist thing that someone on my team had said about me – tears of frustration and anger, not sadness. I went to the bathroom to cry and some senior women in the same field were there and they comforted me. One of the women gave me the best advice – when you feel the tears coming on, pick a three digit number and start subtracting 9 from it. It’s totally worked for me when I can’t get out of the situation where I’m upset and don’t want to cry in front of all the men.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros June 3, 2016, 12:53 pm

    I cried at work as a teenager once. This customer started screaming at me that I was discriminating against her because of her disability (walking with a cane), when in reality, I was waiting at register while she was standing at a register with a “closed” sign on it, out of my eye sight. I guess that upset me then, though now I’d probably just have some choice words for her. I cried at an airport and then subsequently on the train home. I cried at my grad school job, but no one saw me before I was able to duck into a bathroom. And I cry at ALL the movies, basically.

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  • kare

    kare June 3, 2016, 1:10 pm

    I don’t usually cry in public unless I’m in a movie theater watching something sad. I did cry in the middle of class my senior year of high school though. I was borrowing CDs from a friend to burn and send to my brother in Iraq. I asked my friend if he had brought them that day so I could send the package soon. His response was “does it matter? He’s probably dead anyways”. At this point we hadn’t heard from my brother in months, so we were legitimately concerned he might be dead. So all the tears. Pretty much the entire time my brother was deployed I was an emotional wreck. I still can’t watch anything about the war. My brother was injured in combat and now has severe PTSD, so it just hits too close to home.

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    • avatar

      Vathena June 3, 2016, 1:23 pm

      Well, your “friend” wins the asshole of the day award, retroactive to whenever that happened. What an absolute douche!

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      K June 3, 2016, 2:13 pm

      This is horrific! What a tremendous asshole.

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  • muchachaenlaventana

    muchachaenlaventana June 3, 2016, 1:38 pm

    I cry in the car a lot, that is probably my favorite. I also cry on this one walking trail with my pup, sometimes just walking her anywhere. I have cried at work – I cried at work the days after I found out my best friends’ father who I was really close to passed away, I cry reading shit on the internet, I cry when I remember my grandmother who I miss. I cry a lot and honestly don’t give a shit. Some people react to things by shutting down or laughing or whatever, I cry, doesn’t embarrass me. My dad is also a big crier and seeing him unembarrassed by it has probably been what influences the fact I am just not worried if people see it.

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  • othy

    othy June 3, 2016, 2:12 pm

    I cried my way onto an airplane once. I was on spring break, and I was traveling to Florida to see my parents. The flight crew for the first leg of my journey didn’t show up (no explanation was given to me), and the replacement crew arrived quite a bit later. So I missed my connecting flight in Atlanta. Sadly, it was the last flight out of Atlanta (never take the last flight out of Atlanta, btw!), and I was stuck overnight. I was given a standby ticket to the first flight to Orlando the next day. Meaning, I had to be back to the airport at 4:30 AM (it was about midnight). I went to the hotel, got a nice shower and a quick nap, and I was back at the airport in time to hopefully get on that plane. Sadly, that plane was full, so no stand by for me. So I was placed on standby on the next one. And the next one. And the next one.

    By the time I was on the standby for the noon flight, I had seen about 6 planes come and go and I was exhausted. I went to politely ask the gate agent how likely it was I would be on the next flight, or if I had time to get food (and to ask for some food vouchers, since I was broke and it was the airline’s screw-up, so legally they were required to feed me). All of my emotions came pouring out, along with the tears. I also totally played it up by saying I hadn’t seen by folks since Christmas and I was a college freshman (I was actually a senior at that time), and I missed them terribly and I just wanted to get to Orlando to see them. I was crying the whole time. The agent was super apologetic to me, and actually bumped a passenger with a confirmed ticket off of the plane to give me a spot on the plane.

    Even better, I found out that she had flagged me eligible for a free upgrade for my return flight, and I got to fly first class on one leg of my return trip.

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      Rangerchic June 3, 2016, 3:11 pm

      Your story reminded me of a time I couldn’t get a taxi…my husband, little sister (about 15 at the time), my two kids (about 1 and 4) and I were all traveling just outside of new orleans to try and go on a swamp tour, promptly got lost and missed the tour. Turned around to go home, missed an exit and slowed to turn left onto a driveway (cause I didn’t want to go way out of the way) complete with blinker. I started to turn and a jeep wrangler tried to pass on the left and BAM! She hit me so hard it turned my entire wheel/tire on its side and she ran over 4 mail boxes that were cemented in the ground…but no more they all ended upside down.
      .
      Anyway – the police officer tried to say it was my fault (Um…they were passing in a no pass zone on a two lane highway on the left!). And asked if I wanted to drive the car back to our hotel (an hour away)…um did you see the tire. So he takes all of us to a gas station and drops us off and just leaves us there! I’m getting livid by this time. This is a small town, no car rental places. I start calling taxi companies (on a payphone, no less as this is before cell phones were commonplace). Every single one of them says we are to far away to come pick up. I get to the last taxi company in the phone book and they answer and I just burst into tears bawling all the while trying to explain my situation.
      .
      They came, brought a van so we could all fit and only tried to charge us $50 for a 2.5hr round trip service, but we paid more because we were just so thankful to make it back to the hotel. That was the vacation from hell as that wasn’t the only thing that went wrong but it is the one thing that brought me to tears.

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      Ange June 3, 2016, 6:03 pm

      Gee I wonder if the person with the confirmed ticket got to have a cry after that :-/

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    tarheelblue87 June 3, 2016, 3:31 pm

    I tried to avoid crying in school growing up but sometimes it came out. In 6th grade, I cried when a classmate hit a substitute teacher. It was a year after Columbine and I was spooked.
    Recently at work I cried when my co-workers gave me a housewarming gift card. I was so touched they thought that much of me.
    It can go either way but with all of the technology available to paralyze emotionally, seeing someone cry in public is refreshing.

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    Ange June 3, 2016, 6:11 pm

    Last time would have been after I had to put my cat down. She’d been coughing but the vet had been reasonably blase about it. I took her back again as she was getting visibly thinner and he said he’d keep her overnight for a chest xray. The next day was a public holiday and we had plans to go visit my in laws but we went to the vet fully expecting to pick up my girl and get her medication or whatever. As soon as the vet flicked the light on the xray and I saw all the black I knew, it was so sudden and devastating. That cat hated being picked up so I never had a photo with me in frame with her. My husband took a photo of us together and then we stayed with her while the vet did his thing and we bawled. Afterwards my husband told me to go to the car while he paid which was so sweet as he was obviously crying too.
    .
    A few days later I was booked in for a knee reconstruction and came out of the anaesthetic bawling like a baby about it all over again. I still remember the orderly saying very sweetly ‘oh noooooooo hon, rain is for outside not inside!’

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    hazel June 5, 2016, 7:47 am

    always been a snivelchops, really easily stung by hard words- (even more so if I know they are deserved) so I have not cut my hair for 30 years, I pretend to be looking for something in my handbag and hide behind the big furry curtain until I’ve got it together again. Really wild rain is also good. We get a lot of that where I live, also howling gales, if you are in the great outdoors pretty much everyone has watery eyes, so that helps.

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