The best 6 places to publicly cry, as told by an expert public crier

They say that if you put 10,000 hours of experience into a field, you become an expert in that field. 

I don’t think I could teach the class “Crying in Public 101” but I could definitely be a TA. An over-qualified TA, at that.

It’s true. I’m what therapists call “a highly sensitive person” and what school yard bullies call “a pussy”. I cry easily, often and have 0% control over holding back tears, so a lot of these crying sessions unfortunately happen in public areas. 

At my last job, I somehow ended up reading an article at work about a girl who died from a peanut allergy because she couldn’t find her epi pen in time. I sobbed, openly and loudly, at my desk. It was so embarrassing that it in turn, made me feel bad for myself, and the empathy I felt for myself made me continue crying. 

Before I moved to New York City, my sister (a resident for over 5 years) told me that I wouldn’t be a true New Yorker until I cried in public and didn’t give a damn what anyone thought.

It happened 4 times in the first month. And once was in the taxi, on the way into New York, after my plane landed.  

Nevertheless, here are the best places to cry in public, as told by an expert public crier. 

1. The subway

The subway is just a classic place for a good cry. Sometimes I take the A-C-E to solely C-R-Y because it’s just a great spot for it. Even if you aren’t already in the crying mood, the pushy crowds and people shoving you to get into subway cars will fill up your “I’ve had it” meter, until frustration wins and you cry hot, angry tears on a seat in between two apathetic strangers. 

As is typical in New York, no one will comfort you. It will sting at first, but as you continue crying you realize that your anonymity in a vulnerable moment like this is actually fantastic. You’ll be grateful for it, appreciate it, and come away from the cry with one of those clear-headed feelings that people always write about in the review section of Canyon Ranch. 

Bonus: sometimes this gets you a seat to yourself on the subway

2. The workplace bathroom

Who hasn’t cried at work? A job doesn’t feel normal to me until I’ve sat in the big stall of the bathroom at work, waited for footsteps to leave, and then quietly heaved tears over a bad performance review, round of PMS, despair that all the good tea bags are used…you name it. 

After about a minute of crying, the reality sinks in. You’re at work. People will see your puffy eyes after this. Someone could come in at any moment and you’ll have to stop crying. It smells like shit in here. This place is disgusting. 

The hard facts of the situation really make you feel even worse for yourself, and help you push ATP (All Tears Possible) out. You’ll have filled a month’s worth of crying into one afternoon, which bodes great for the rest of your month!

3. A stairwell. Any stairwell.

This might not work for my readers in other countries, but here in America - the land of coca cola and french fries - no one takes the stairs. We are a country that likes to get from destination to destination either on our ass via car, or standing still in the elevator.

Take advantage of the deserted stairwell to have yourself a nice, private cry. You can be almost certain that no one will walk in, and 100% certain that if someone does walk in, they’ll feel so uncomfortable that they’ll probably leave right away and take the elevator out of respect. Or embarrassment.

4. Concerts

The main benefit to crying here is that the combination of high noise and low light will render you practically invisible, so you can cry to the capacity your heart desires without drawing attention to yourself. Adele sings her saddest song? Feel free to cry. Someone spilled a drink on your shoe? Cry about it. The drugs kicked in too hard and you’re nervous you might die? Seek medical attention. Then cry in the ambulance.

5. T.J. Maxx

This is a great place to cry. Nearly everyone inside a T.J. Maxx is there ready to find a motherfucking deal. That is their sole purpose. Their elbows are out, they’re ready to ferociously heave pounds after pounds of clothes to find their size…a group of people in a horrifically primal display of human selfishness and vanity. It’s amazing. I love T.J. Maxx. I’m a Maxxinista.

Feel free to cry at T.J. Maxx knowing that you’ll be virtually invisible, and that if you need pocket tissues to clean up after your sob, you can get them for a nickel a piece.

6. Wherever and whenever the fuck you want

Cry at Karaoke. Cry in the middle of your workplace. Cry while you’re ordering at the deli counter. What you lose in respect, you’ll gain in material for your blog.

MiscShannon McNamaraComment