On Being a Cry Baby

“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.”

-Tina Fey

I came across this quote the other day and it spoke to me on about a million different levels.

The thing is, I can always cry. Not on command or whatever, I ain’t no actress, but I just happen to cry a lot. About everything. Happy? Sad? Angry? Hungry? I cry about all of them.

Normally, it’s no big deal. I tend to feel everything about a million times more than is really necessary, so I believe it’s just my body’s way of coping with being overwhelmed. It’s actually very helpful. Once I cry for a bit, I end up feeling what I’m supposed to feel – level one instead of level one million.

The problem is when it happens in public.

I can remember several specific times when I have cried in public. I could go into the details, but I don’t want to put you to sleep, so I’ll just summarize.

Movies are always a problem, whether I’m at a friend’s house, on my own, or in a theater. They don’t have to be sad for me to cry about them, but if they are, hoo boy it’s like freakin’ Niagra Falls up in here. I can remember several different movies off the top of my head that I’ve seen in theaters where I cried a lot.

Music often moves me to tears, too. Once again it doesn’t matter where I am or what the song’s about. Sometimes just a pretty melody will set me off. Though, like movies, if the song is sad, I’m far more likely to act like a broken water pipe. So I have cried at a few concerts. Next to complete strangers who were probably close enough to get my tears on them.

Books and plays will cause trouble, too. I listen to audiobooks while I work and I remember crying for an entire chapter. There I was, sitting at my computer, typing away, with tears streaming down my face. Fortunately, nobody walked by and saw me. And plays? Once I went to see Les Miserables at Hale Centre Theatre and I cried through the entire second act. (To be fair, Les Mis has both a sad story and incredible music, which is basically a double whammy.)

I think you get the point.

In nearly every instance, someone had something snarky to say about it. Perhaps this is why I have always been embarrassed about how much I cry in public.

And that’s why this quote is spot on. It does terrify people. I think that’s why they tend to scoff at it. It makes them uncomfortable when a stranger cries over something they view as unimportant, like a movie or a song. It also makes them uncomfortable when a stranger cries because they’re in pain.

People who know the crier are also terrified, but usually because they don’t know how to help.

So listen. It’s okay, you know? If you’re the one who’s shaking in their boots about a public display of emotion, just chillax. Everything is going to be okay.

If a stranger is crying, it isn’t your business. Unless they look like they need help, leave them alone. In my case, I just need to let it out. I’m just overwhelmed. I’ll be fine once I’ve stopped. I don’t need a stranger making snide comments or giving me weird looks. The only thing I want is to cry judgment free so I can feel better.

If it’s someone you care about, just be nearby. You don’t always have to fix it. Sometimes there’s nothing to fix. Once, I started crying for no reason and I just couldn’t stop. I was living with my parents at the time. I went upstairs for dinner, told them I couldn’t stop crying, and attempted to eat my soup without sobbing into my bowl. When the tears finally slowed down enough for me to think, I realized I was just overly stressed because I had been working overtime every day for the past several weeks. It became too much, I was overwhelmed, and my body responded. In a situation like this, the crying person doesn’t need you to fix anything. They just need to get out their stress.

There can be times when something really is wrong, but let the person cry before you try to work it out. When I’m crying, I don’t need someone trying to talk to me logically about an actual problem. I’d be fine with a hug or maybe a rum & coke, but save the problem solving for after I’m done dehydrating myself. I’ll be far more likely to actually hear what you’re saying.

In fact, unless I ask you to stay with me, leaving me alone, letting me cry, and not judging me are the best things you can do for me in that moment.

Most of my family and friends already know this because they’ve experienced these instances over the years. I’m mostly writing this with the hope that some non-criers will read it and perhaps understand us criers a little better, whether it’s someone they’re close to or a complete stranger.

Strangers are the only ones who have made me feel bad about crying, though, so I guess it’s mostly for them.

I normally wouldn’t care except that I’m already a puddle of emotional goo when this happens so when people get judgy it makes me feel like I will never amount to more than a weak puddle of goo.

So listen up you emotionally intolerant mother truckers! Quit doing that. My crying ain’t none of your business. And I’m not sorry for causing you discomfort with my emotions. If feelings make you uncomfortable, you need to re-think who the weak one in this situation is. Just do it somewhere else so I can cry in peace, got it?

Typewriters & Things

So you may notice that I am using a new blogging platform. This is because the old one wouldn’t let me post blogs for about a century. I thought I fixed it today, so I wrote a big ole long post. And then it broke again. So I’ve given up on it and I’m starting over here, where hopefully everything will run smoothly. I GUESS WE’LL FIND OUT.

Fortunately, I thought to save that big ole post in a Google Doc before it was destroyed. Good job, past me! However, it was kind of long, so I’m going to start you all off with the first half of that blog today and then I’ll post the rest either later this evening or tomorrow or maybe next year if we’re going by my previous track record.

The first thing is that I finally bit the bullet and bought a typewriter off eBay. You see, for years I had my eye on several brightly colored hipsteresque typewriters that were being sold on Etsy, but because they were from Amsterdam, the shipping was horrendous. Plus the fact that they were charging nearly a hundred bucks for the typewriters themselves. Also, they were German style or something so they didn’t even have the right keys. Then I did the smart thing and actually Googled where to buy typewriters. While eBay runs the risk of getting you something that might not work so great, the options are far less expensive and usually closer to home (i.e. in the same country).

I looked at options for about two seconds before buying a 1965 Brother Webster.



I call her Webby.


Of course, if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve already seen this picture. I bought a replacement ribbon for her, installed it pretty easily, and then went to town as I’m sure you can tell from that paper full of words.

I think her light blue color is perfect – it’s just hipster enough. (You know… because I’m totally a hipster. Right? Aren’t I?)

As it turns out, Webby is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I can’t explain what it is about writing on this thing that I love so very much, but it fills me with endless joy. It’s so noisy and clunky and adorable and I basically get impatient waiting for the day to end so I can go home and write on it.

I also went to Office Max and bought a box of 1500 sheets of paper, so you know. Now I have no choice.

The second thing I talked about in the Blog Post That Never Was: Camp NaNoWriMo.

I hear you groaning. “Not that NaNo-what’s it again!”

Well unlike the November version of NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo lets you choose your own goal. Instead of the set 50,000 words, for instance, I’ve signed myself up for 30 hours. This is good because it means I can work on the outline or the character backstory or the magic system of my story and it all counts toward the goal, even if there isn’t exactly a word count to go with it.

I would say I’m doing pretty good so far. I originally started with a goal of fifteen hours, but I got halfway there in the first week, so I doubled it. That’s a good sign, right?

Of course, I have a habit of losing momentum about halfway through the month and of the nine or ten years I’ve done NaNo, I think I’ve reached the goal maybe twice.

There aren’t any horrible consequences for failure, though, so I keep signing up. Nobody claimed I was sane.

In conclusion, you ended up getting a lot more information about these things since they were a much smaller part of the Post That Died. It’s just that the second part is kind of wordy, so I figured it would be better this way. Not to say that any of my blog posts aren’t wordy, but I’m a writer, so you know. Deal with it.