Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A few acceptable reasons to cry in public: (with a post edit)

  1. You forgot your bus pass, and the bus driver humiliated you in front of 15 other adults.
  2. You had to walk home because you forgot your bus pass.
  3. You had to walk home + it was extremely hot outside.

I'm writing a (sad) (sad) (but very awesome) essay about this topic, then I'm going to make a broadside. If I use your reason, then you get a broadside.

So...what are acceptable reasons for crying in public? do you have a story?

POST EDIT: The following were submitted by "anonymous". Because "anonymous" sent 20 reasons, I thought I'd put them in the post. I couldn't help myself.

1. got reprimanded by a boss (cried behind a tree)
2. got reprimanded by a boss (cried near a dumpster)
3. thought i'd never see my true love again (cried at LAX)
4. felt too hungry to go on (waiting outside a tea shop with one of those buzzers that just wouldn't buzz)
5. heard i owed the car repairman $500 more than i thought i would owe (at a coffee shop)
6. had to say goodbye to someone i loved for good, seriously (at a dive restaurant on Center Street)
7. a girl made a cruel comment to me in front of my friends (near special collections after a reading)
8. during movies in theaters (numerous occasions, usually no one notices)
9. at church (numerous occasions, usually no one notices)
10. confessing to friends that i thought my life was a mess (one world cafe)
11. confessing to friends that i thought my life was a mess (at my birthday lunch-- the waitress tried to smooth things over by bringing us extra scoops of fancy honey lavender gelato)
12. in the classroom, just because it was overwhelming (numerous)
13. on a hike when i refused to participate in free form climbing over a river (not technically public, but there were a dozen witnesses)
14. with my head down in a fancy restaurant (during a meal meant to celebrate my college graduation. i'm sure that this list is making it very clear that eating or not eating can overwhelm me).
15. walking home from school in the snow
16. after my last moments with a man i shouldn't have rejected (i sat on a nearby hill and actually believed, for a moment, that he might come after me)
17. after falling on black ice in the stupid cold stupid winter
18. after being knocked over by a rude bicyclist near a bus stop
19. during musical performances of great beauty (numerous)
20. while reading something stunning (numerous)

That's just a start.

I'm very proud of myself for the occasions when I remember to pack toilet paper and/or a handkerchief because I just know a cry could be coming on. Also, one might think I would invest in some waterproof mascara. Nope. Proud to say I have not yet cried today. 

AND A POST SCRIPT FROM ANOTHER ANONYMOUS: which include here only because it is lovely.

p.s. to answer your survey question: if it doesn't place you in physical danger, or if you're not in front of someone you'll later really regret crying in front of, anytime you need to cry in public is ok in my book. though finding a semi-secluded place to cry makes it less awkward for the people around you who don't know why you're crying. acceptable reason to cry, anywhere: because you need to cry. 


  1. an eighth grade boy cuts in front of you in the lunch line and takes the last egg salad sandwich.

    i don't remember the details, but for some reason i was having a terrible day in eighth grade. at lunch, a boy pushed his way in front of me in line and when he took the last egg salad sandwich, i started sobbing. it was the straw that broke the camel's back. he looked at me, completely bewildered by my reaction, and walked off, eating the sandwich.

  2. 1. You're walking your pet in the city and it shakes its collar off and runs away into the busy street
    2. Someone on the street offers to help look for your dog, but when you split up to cover more ground, you realize your wallet's gone
    3. You go to the bank to freeze your account since it's only a few blocks away but they won't let you do that without ID and you don't remember your login or password because your browser at home has saved all of that and you haven't had to actually type it in for years
    4. You walk slowly back to your apartment and when you get there, all of your nice stuff is gone because there was an extra key in your wallet
    5. You go into your bedroom to faceplant into the bed and you see your dog who's come back home

    1. That is so sad. You have so many details, I think it must be true!

  3. How rude of the bus driver to humiliate you! It could happen to anyone.

    I know there are acceptable reasons for crying in public - some of which you mentioned - I'll have to think more.

  4. Having a customer hurl racial slurs at your manager...and you not realizing that's what they were until after the customer has left and it's been explained to you. (I cried both for him and because I was too ignorant to realize what was going on.)

  5. Your two-year-old has just learned to make sentences, and she made this one today: "Mommy, go away."

  6. What a thought-provoking post. Here are just a few from my past:
    * You lost your toddler in K-Mart.
    * Your husband witnesses you driving in haste to an OB apt, where you swing into a parking stall, ride up on the curb and pop the tire.
    * Trying to borrow a sewing machine pedal from the local Bernina store, because yours is lost and you need to sew a burial dress for your sister's baby whom you've never met. (This was ugly, ugly crying. The clerk was terrified. I could have walked out with anything.)


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