Crying in Public

No one I know enjoys crying. Most people I know would likely cringe at even the thought of crying in public. But it happens.

For me, the most embarassing public cries come from entertainment. No, not watching people in movies cry, but crying as a result of entertainment.

Crying.. (Photo credit: Anders Ljungberg)

Case in point, I saw Beasts of the Southern Wild with a good friend. By the end, we both were in tears. You know what the movie cry is like. You try to surreptitiously wipe away a tear, pretending to scratch at your eye. You take long sips of your soda in a futile attempt to remove that lump in your throat. Meanwhile, you’re looking around to see if you’re the only one having such an emotional reaction.

When Beasts ended, my friend and I wiped the tears away and smiled sad smiles at each other. That’s my public crying story number 1.

I recently read a blog post about cries brought on by reading on public transportation. I read almost every day on my SEPTA journey into work and have yet to be moved to tears. The post did remind me though of public crying story number 2.

I was coming back from a conference in DC on Amtrak. My book for the business trip was Timbuktu by Paul Auster. It’s a book about a dog. It’s a book told from the dog’s point of view. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read.

And it had me on the verge of all-out snotty-nose, puffy-eye sobbing.

I was maybe 5-10 pages from finishing the book and I had to stop. I knew I wouldn’t be able to continue without crossing that border between sniffling train passenger to person fielding off concerned questions.

I did my best to distract myself with anything else, but as my teary eyes gazed out the window (note – always get a window seat so you can turn your back on people if you think you’ll cry during the journal) I kept thinking of the book.

I think I managed to fall asleep and finally gave into my sobs after a drive home from the train station and reading the last pages of the book.

Anyway, that’s my book-cry-in-public story. Do you have one? What book brought you to tears?

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4 thoughts on “Crying in Public

  1. This may be embarrassing to admit but the last Harry Potter book had me balling. Thankfully I was safe in the privacy of my own living room haha, but I think it was one of the first books that actually had me full-on crying. I used to feel so embarrassed crying in public, and while I still hate it, I try to see it as just another display of emotion, like laughing .

    1. I could do a whole other post on books that had me crying in the privacy of my home. I cried during the last Potter book, too.

      I like your approach that public crying isn’t that different than public laughing. I’ll work on adopting that for me.

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