Real Talk: The Best Times We’ve Cried In Public

The ladies at The Hairpin have a handle on this whole not crying in public thing. Not like the ladies at The Gloss. We are geysers. Drunken geysers exploding tears everyplace. Taxicabs, mostly.

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    • Eileen

      I’ve never cried in public, but one time last summer it was really hot and my sweat and mascara started getting in my eyes (yes, gross) while I was waiting for the subway. My eyes, naturally, started tearing up in a “get this stuff out of us!” kind of way. As I was trying to deal with the problem, a middle-aged woman stopped, looked at me sympathetically, and said, “I’ve been there. It gets better.” Which was really embarrassing but really sweet. (And then a couple of months later the “It gets better” campaign really took off – she was clearly setting a trend ;)

    • Dove

      I cried yesterday at work. My boss was out and I was listening to This American Life at my desk while doing some mindless filing, and it was such a sad story that I just started crying.

      I have cried at my desk listening to TAL 3 times now. You’d think I’d learn.

      • Laura

        Happened to me yesterday. Damn you, Ira Glass.

    • KM

      When I was taking my driver’s test to get my full license, I was terrible. I couldn’t parallel park, I ran a yellow light, and was a little too ‘cavalier’ with my three-point turn. When we got back to the DMV, the examiner started to explain everything that I had done wrong. Tears started streaming down my face – I wasn’t really crying, as I wasn’t making a sound – but the tears would stop. And I didn’t even try to wipe them away. Eventually the guy just stopped mid-sentence, sighed, and let himself out of the car. When I had regained my composure I went in to make another appointment, and the lady handed me my new driver’s license! The man had taken pity on me i guess. Crying = getting your way sometimes!

    • M

      I’ve cried in Denny’s at four in the morning multiple times because my boyfriend and I always eat at Denny’s before he drives back to school [14 hours away] or I drive back home from visiting him at school. I feel pathetic about it every time, but dammit I love him and it sucks and let’s face it, the 4am Denny’s clientele isn’t super classy anyway so it’s not a huge deal. And I’ve cried at school once since kindergarten: just the eye-leaking, not the full-on bawling [that was later when I got home]. Our 70-odd person program is very close [we're around each other 20-30 hours a week] and one of my friends there, in fact the guy I shared a desk with this year until then, didn’t come back to school after winter break and no one had heard from him. After a few days I did some digging through mutual friends and the like and found out what happened and had to be the one to tell the faculty that it was because he’d had emergency surgery for an aneurysm and been diagnosed with a MASSIVE [as in grapefruit-sized] brain tumor. I held on for that part, but when my teacher started telling the rest of the class it was hard to keep it together. He didn’t give a lot of details, just that he was sick and in bad shape, so most everyone else was still vague on the details and kind of in shock but since I knew his diagnosis that was when it really hit me.

      I never quite know what to do with friends when they cry in public either. I mean I’ll be there and not judge, but what do you say? The last time it came up was with a small group; my friend’s mom had just died completely unexpectedly and her memorial service had been earlier that day. We were at a restaurant and talking about whatever and he started crying into his bruschetta. His boyfriend put his arm around him and I rubbed his back and told him to eat his feelings. At least it made him laugh.

    • Christina

      The last time I cried in public was at my old job when i was 15. I worked behind the counter at a bakers, and I absolutely hated it, mainly because my boss was the biggest bitch of all times. I was behind the counter, starting my shift when she came up to me and told me that from now one I had to wear uniform pants. Mind you that i worked behind a counter, with an apron that stopped at my knees and a pair of knee boots. For some reason I just couldn’t contain myself and i started to cry. I didn’t make any noise, tears just ran down my face until an old woman came up to me, and told me that everything was going to be allright. I quit the job not long after.

    • mel

      last time i cried in public i was in a birthday party of one my old relative. my grandma asked me whether i have flue or not, because i sounded funny. i cried because i just had a really huge fight with my brother. all i kept thinking was, how i regreted that i had a conversation that leads us to a huge fight. it took us couple of month to get along again at our last fight. But i think it would take longer for this new fight….

    • Anna

      Last time I cried in public, it was for good reason (but made much worse by the fact that I was drunk off my *ss). I had been hooking up with a friend of a friend, who then met one of my best friends and roommates, and proceeded to decide that he liked her better. While we didn’t have anything between us really, I was understandably not supportive of my friend getting together with him, and if she did, I at least wanted her to give it a couple more weeks. My friend was outraged when I asked her not to hook up with him, shocked that I would even think she could do something like that.

      Fast forward to later that night, the day before Halloween. My friend and the guy start flirting really heavily right in front of me, and another of my friends tries to talk some sense into her. She pouts and goes right back to it, telling the guy that she’s not allowed to flirt with him anymore. Drunk and not having fun anymore, I leave and catch a ride back home with my roommate and her bf, and in the car start to bawl, and go up to my room. I head back downstairs to hang with my roommates for a bit, where we get a call that the friend is staying to hook up with him. I proceed to start bawling again, and I’m usually not a crier. I generally grin and bear it, but the alcohol kept the waterworks going for a while. The worst part ended up being that I had to spend my entire Halloween weekend with the two of them… not fun at all.

    • Chelsea

      I teared up during the Teen Mom 2 finale as well… but that was in private.

    • Lee

      Count me in for also crying at a dive bar. I was out with a group of friends, and my best friend’s girlfriend said something really nasty to me. We were all on our way to being very drunk, but that one pushed me over the edge, and I also started doing shots until I dropped. Still not 100% sure how I managed to figure out public transit enough to get home.

    • Ellen W.

      I once sobbed for a three hour flight from Atlanta to Chicago (or somewhere, I know I flew out of Atlanta.) I was flying back home from living with my boyfriend for a month that summer and I realzied it was probably over. And that it really should be over because we were very, very bad for eachother.

      I had the window seat and the man sitting next to me was so uncomfortable. That poor man.

      • Jennifer Wright

        I can totally top that. When I was a teenager I sobbed through the entire half of Phantom of the Opera. Loudly. Like, snot bubbling out my nose loudly, air-gulping. I’d just come home from staying in Paris (where I was learning how to be dark, lonely, totally unable to communicate anything beyond my belief that people had a fish in their library because that’s the kind of stupid phrase you remember) and I’d been awake for 36 hours. I was also 16. That said, that Andrew Lloyd Weber, he really knows how to stir up a lot of feelings.

    • Magda

      two years ago, I was dragged to west hollywood on halloween, against my better judgement. My friend wanted a tag along because he was going with his boyfriends and his boyfriends friends. He persuaded me by saying that we would only be there for an hour before continuing on to the party where all of our other friends where at.

      The night was horrible, I was a third wheel. I sprained my ankle. I had spent a ton of money putting my costume together that no one was going to be able to see. I was dead sober. The breaking point came when my corset came untied and I had to figure out how to tie it by myself. I just started streaming tears. I was so mad. At my friend, at myself. All I kept thinking was that if i was at the party, one of my friends would have lovingly pulled me into the bathroom and helped tie me up.

      TO make matters worse, while we were waiting outside a club for the boyfriends friends, I had my heels in my hand, arms folded accross my chest. My make up was a mess, when some guy came up to me and was like, “Im a photographer doing a collection on life in hollywood. Can I take your picture? I can give you my card to prove I’m legit. You dont have to worry about these poping up on a website somewhere.”

      I just glared at him. With silent tears running down my face in streaked with mascara. He started taking my picture.

    • Antonia

      I openly cried on the curb of the parking outside a thrift shop I had just biked to on my friend’s bike when they sold the bike while I was shopping in another part of the store with the 10 dollars alloted for the trip, even though I had asked where to put the bike for safety and they gave me a note to place on it.

      I was distraught: I had been pet-sitting that week for the friend and felt that I had failed her and at the time was in the midst of an abusive relationship and I knew I wouldn’t be able to pay her back since all the money I earned was strictly controlled and monitored. I felt completely devastated. In that moment and in that stage of my life, I was about to give up as I sat there and wept.

      Then, this woman walks up to me, an older woman, and gives me a hug and told me that while she didn’t know what was going on with me, that everything would be okay eventually and to trust in God and just reassured me with the words that I was lovable. She said whenever I was in a bad place, to just think of her, Joan, and know that someone was wishing for good things for me. It’s something I still think of and was actually part of the reason I was able to get out of that horrible relationship.

      So, that’s my best memory of crying in public. People can be really amazing.