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An imperfect life guide for women
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The Grown-Ass Woman’s Guide to: Crying

You are grown-ass woman and you are about to cry, like a baby, in public. It is because you have left your Metro Pass at home and someone made a rude comment to you on the subway after you had clogged up the line sifting through your purse, or because when you got in to work you spilled on your blouse,or because your ex boyfriend uploaded a bunch of pictures of himself CARRYING a very thin blonde girl down a BEACH in THAILAND and now it is his display picture which just goes against everything you thought you knew about him as a person and since when does he like blondes?!? Or whatever. You are going to cry, and the reason is probably not even very good but you can’t help it. The tears are coming, like the Germans. Your cheeks are Paris, 1940 and the Nazi tears are about to stage a triumphant, evil march all over your face, taking your mascara with them. In front of people!

Sooo. I don’t know about you guys, but I just cry all the time, and every year of my life past 20 has involved more crying than the year before but also more happiness. The thing is that I cry a lot out of happiness nowadays, which is just so excruciatingly “Mom” that sometimes while crying at a Tim Horton’s commercial or the NATIONAL ANTHEM (cool), or the idea of growing old with my friends and loved ones around me I am like “get thee to a pregnancy clinic” but then it turns out that’s just my life now. I also cry from sadness, fear, love, once during sex and I don’t want to talk about it, hunger, fatigue, and duh, PMS. From my limited research on the topic—hanging outside bars late at night and watching female-led television dramas—this is a widespread phenomenon and people need to chill out about crying, but they are not doing it yet, so here we go:

Know your triggers

Theoretically if you know what makes you weep you can avoid it when you’re in polite company. This would not work for me because the short answer is EVERYTHING, THIS LIFE IS INTENSE AND SHORT, LIKE TYRION LANNISTER. But as an idea to get you started, some of my worst cry triggers are the following: old people in love; the idea of anyone I know dying, ever; people passionately defending what they believe in; trying on a dress that should look great on my body but then totally betrays me in the fitting room and I have to go a size up and that SHOULD NOT BE, WHY GOD WHY, I thought you had given me shift dresses at least; thinking about the amount of work my mom and dad put into raising me; any amount of pain at all almost; sad music; most movies; some commercials; a bridge, once. 

No shame

Just like, get your cry out and move on. I don’t think you should have to hide in the bathroom or feel embarrassed to have a little cry now and then. If you’re gonna full-sob or whatever maybe take that to a stairwell (Voted #1 secret-weep destination by Crying Women’s Daily 2013), but whatever, man, you had a feeling. There are more important things to be embarrassed about, like getting your period in front of your crush. (Teens: if you are reading this, stop wearing white pants until your cycle is very regular/maybe just stop wearing them forever, we don’t need them as a species.)

The first five minutes of UP

“Why wait til people are leaving the theatre to have them openly sobbing into their sleeves? Why not just stab them in the hearts with a razor-sharp Truth Knife within the first five minutes and let them bleed out slowly throughout the course of the film until the whole cinema is just sadness puddles on empty seats and no people are left? Anyway, let’s market it to kids age 5 and up! Hahaha, UP, get it?” – Pixar. If you ever need to cry for some reason, watch this. But then write off the rest of your day.

If you need to, UNLEASH

As the High Priestess Tina Fey, fount of all wisdom and pith, puts it: “Some people say, “Never let them see you cry.” I say, if you’re so mad you could just cry, then cry. It terrifies everyone.” Confirmed, Tina. Confirmed. Sometimes, as we have discussed, you are gonna cry for no reason. Those are not the times to use your tears because everyone will be like “Okay, sorry Subway was out of cheese but please get back to work?” However if someone is being a complete asshole or you are legimitately very hurt by something someone has done, letting that eye-pee flow freely is a quick and effective way to get that message across. 

Ladies: be cool.

If another lady is crying, at her desk, or in a bar or the corner of a party or while watching a movie, do not give her a hard time about it. In fact, unless you are her closest friend in the room, do not mention it. She does not want you to, and she certainly does not want one of those girl-circles to form around her where everyone demands to know immediately what is wrong and who did it and if there is any other way they could be drawing more attention to you at this moment of personal vulnerability. Quit it, guys! The closest friend in the room will check in with her, either with Best Friend Psychic Eyes or a Well-Timed Squeeze or a Sneaky Text, or whatever. Sometimes a lady just needs to leak from her eyes for a bit, and it doesn’t mean anything major is happening internally, or sometimes something major is happening in her life but she doesn’t want to talk about it with everyone who happens to be there at this moment. Also, do not gawk: everyone cries. Literally everyone. 

Never ever ever hold it against a man that he is crying

The first time a man I was dating cried in front of me I briefly wondered if this made him seem less masculine and then almost immediately was like “Shut up you full nightmare, of course not. If anything it makes him more masculine and you need to unlearn all your garbage about manliness right this instant or this kind soul will never naked-hug you again and you would deserve that.” Men are taught their whole lives that crying is weak, or for girls (ew, shut up) (although I do cry all the time so…???) (no, still), or just not the kind of thing that a man does. If a dude cries in front of you it is because he feels comfortable throwing aside everything he has been taught about masculinity to be vulnerable with you. Lucky you! Get him a tissue and carry on as if any female friend or loved one was crying to you.

Well, if you need me, I will be just full weeping while watching this clip of a bunch of VERY BRAVE students led by a VERY BRAVE woman BANDING TOGETHER to protect what is important to them. … it’s from the last Harry Potter and I am crying already just thinking about it. But that’s the thing, I am crying in the middle of the afternoon in advance of a 3 minute clip from a children’s film I have already seen, but I am also a fully-functioning human woman with a job and a life and friends, and crying at least once a day does not impact my life in a negative way, and nor should it yours. Warning: Voldemort is scarier than you remember in that clip. Cry on, friends!

Follow Monica on twitter: @monicaheisey

2 comments
WhiteKnight
WhiteKnight

I went to see Pixar's Up with my widowed grandmother when it came out in the cinema, not knowing I'd be silently weeping in a darkened room full of children.

Sully
Sully

The other day I was singing a karaoke song. Edwin McCain's "I'll Be" and was almost crying. I had read, probably wrongly, that he wrote it for his newborn kid. And when I got to the line, "I'll be better when I'm older" I just related so much. I was such a loser when I was younger! And I made so many mistakes, and hurt people, and I hope they understand. Anyway, then he goes on to sing, "I'll be the greatest fan of your life." I just thought that was the nicest thing anyone could say, whether it's this new dad saying it or a lover or just anyone. Anyway - TEARS.