For crying out loud

Emma Weisner

I’m a crybaby. I always have been, and I probably always will be.

I cry when I’m hungry, when I’m frustrated, when I’m happy. To top it all off, I am one of the ugliest criers ever. My entire body turns red and blotchy and I make a sound that resembles an angry kitten that recently underwent vocal cord surgery.

My earliest distinct memory of uncontrollable crying happened on the first day of kindergarten. I was innocently coloring when a boy named Victor came up to me and called me a “sucker.” Of course, my immediate reaction was to start bawling. The problem was once I started crying, I couldn’t stop. I sat in the middle of the carpet for what seemed like hours and cried while my teacher, Kelly Etienne, tried to calm me down.

Like my kindergarten teacher, most people are vaguely confused when I burst into tears. They respond by uncomfortably offering me a tissue or slowly shuffling to the other side of the room. Neither of these responses are particularly helpful, so I usually end up calling my mom and forcing her to listen to my problems.

Last year, I started to cry when I found out North Korea announced its plan to bomb the United States. Many of my friends tried to convince me we were safe and North Korea didn’t have the capacity to launch a nuclear attack. What they didn’t understand was that I wasn’t only crying because I was scared a nuclear bomb might kill me, but also because I had lost my pencil earlier that day, I was out of gum and my pants were too tight. I was crying because I had forgotten to wear my retainer the night before, my feet were sweaty and my dog loves my dad more than he loves me. I don’t cry for one concrete reason, I cry for hundreds of tiny, trivial ones.

When I stopped crying about 10 minutes later, I felt a thousand times better. Crying is an emotional release, a stress reliever and a great way to make people around you feel uncomfortable.

Regardless of the benefits of crying, most people still seem embarrassed when they’re caught doing so in public. They quickly wipe away their tears or leave the room. I’ve never understood this behavior. What is there to be embarrassed about?

Everyone has unique ways of expressing their feelings. Some people laugh, some yell and others punch inanimate objects. There are countless ways of displaying emotions, and crying is one of them. Whichever outlet one chooses for releasing negative feelings, it should be celebrated, not criticized. By crying often, I keep the people in my life informed about how I’m feeling while releasing stress and anger.

I have yet to meet someone who shares my affinity for random crying, but when I do, you can bet I’ll cry tears of joy. For now, I’ll just have to be OK with the weird looks I get as I break down in tears in the lunchroom over my smashed peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

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