The other day I was watching TV when a commercial came on. I honestly can’t remember what it was for (maybe Coca Cola or Google?), but it was something that wasn’t even close to sad. As I watched this 30 second commercial, I could feel tears welling up in my eyes. A few seconds later, I was crying. Crying. During a commercial. Seriously.
I wasn’t sad before the ad came on, there was nothing bad going on in my life at the moment, I didn’t have my period, there wasn’t even a sad song playing. I was just crying for no apparent reason whatsoever.
I shouldn’t have really been surprised. See, the thing is, I’m the biggest cry baby in the world. I wish I was kidding, but unfortunately I’m not. I cry over everything and I’ll cry pretty much anywhere. I’m 99.9 percent positive that everyone who has ever known me has seen me cry. I’ve cried at every job I’ve ever had, I’ve cried in front of every guy I’ve ever liked and I’ve cried to almost all of my relatives. I’ve cried during movies, TV shows, graduations, the last day of vacations, the last day of summer, at multiple doctors’ offices, on the train… well, you get the picture.
Sometimes I honestly wish I didn’t cry so much, because it’s seriously embarrassing. When the series finale of Gilmore Girls (only my favorite show ever in the entire world) aired, I cried for a half hour after the episode was over. During one particularly intense episode of Grey’s Anatomy, I was sobbing so loudly that my mom ran downstairs in a panic with her phone in her hand, ready to call 911. When I was bored one night and decided to watch The Notebook for the millionth time, I was so hysterical that my brother and his friend frantically burst into my room, convinced that someone had just died.
And in case you didn’t realize, I don’t limit my crying to private places like most normal people. No, I’ll cry basically anywhere. I was crying during a train ride home one day (I was going through a breakup, okay?!), and when the stranger sitting next to me noticed my tears, he immediately got up and decided to stand instead of sitting next to a crazy person. When I started hysterically sobbing in a doctor’s office one day (I was stressed!), she pulled me aside before I left to slip me the names and numbers of a few therapists. And then there was that one time I couldn’t hold in my tears even while walking the streets of New York City in broad daylight. A homeless man offered to give me a hug.
One thing that I’ve noticed from all of this public crying is that the majority of people out there have no idea how to react to a person who’s sobbing. The first time I cry in front of people, they always get super awkward and confused. They look at me with terrified eyes, like, “please stop because I don’t know what to do”. They weirdly pat my back and hand me a tissue and frantically search for someone who knows how to handle this kind of situation. I mean, I get it, it’s uncomfortable. It’s awkward. But you really don’t need to do anything for me, because I’ll cry either way. And once people get to know me, they realize that. When any of my friends see me starting to cry, they sigh, give me a tissue and then proceed to ignore me.
Some people take my crying really personally, and by some people, I mean guys. The first time I cry in front of a crush or a boyfriend, they’re horrified. If it’s just a dude I’m casually seeing, he usually thinks I’m crazy. I know that crying is a really personal thing to some people, but for me it’s just not. Once I feel that pinch in my nose and that strained feeling in the back of my throat, I can’t stop the tears from coming. So listen up, dudes: if I cry in front of you, it’s not really a big deal. It doesn’t mean I like you sooooo much or that I’m obsessed with you and you’re breaking my heart. Trust me.
When I was younger, I tried to hide my crying fits. I would run to the nearest bathroom to get it out of my system, and then scrub my face until all evidence of crying was gone. Or I would hold it all in until I got home, and then I would spend hours in bed sobbing. Or, when I was a lot younger, I would watch myself cry in front of a mirror. Mostly I did this when I was feeling sorry for myself. But you can pretend you didn’t read that part.
I didn’t want anyone to see my blotchy face, my red eyes or my snot covered nose. But now, sadly, I’ve learned to embrace the crying. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but I guess it’s always good to just accept something about yourself that you can’t really change, even if it’s totally pathetic. I’ve resigned myself to the idea that I can’t change this because last week my mom cried during the majority of Bridesmaids. See? It’s in my genes.
So here’s what I’m saying: if you’re a huge cry baby like me, just embrace it. Who cares if people think you’re a total weirdo for crying in public? Everyone cries! And everyone should cry, because it can really make you feel better. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. My true friends don’t think I’m insane (although they do still make fun of me for the time I randomly burst into tears during a speech by President Obama), and even my boyfriend is learning to adjust. I can’t say that I’m proud of my cry baby status, but I can say that I’ve gotten pretty comfortable with it.
Do you ever cry in public? Can you relate to my story? What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever cried over? Do you ever let other people see you cry? Tell me in the comments!