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The Art of Crying in Public

If you’ve never cried in public then congratu-f**king-lations on STIFLING YOUR EMOTIONS and manifesting them internally until they turn into cancer.

Actually I’ve been crying in public since kindergarten when I was telling everyone about my new Lisa Frank stencils and Jaron told me to “SHUT UP, JESSE ROSE*” …and look how that turned out.

(*Yes, I was called Jesse Rose until 1st grade)

Although that cancer could’ve manifested from many things such as incessant Diet Coke drinking or the fact that in junior high I used to be home alone after school and would mix peanut butter in a bowl with chocolate chips and cool whip and eat it with my fingers while simultaneously performing the entire first 40 minutes of Annie (including the Overture) in my kitchen, complete with hard knock life sweeping and bucket slamming. None of that can be healthy.

Sorry I got lost.

Regroup.

A couple days ago I was pondering on the train. You may recall from the last installment of this rousing blog that I like to ponder things while being transported from one place to another. Cars are for pondering cliches.

Trains are for troubles. Alliteration is very important to me.

So there I was pondering my troubles, really really allowing myself to wallow for a bit. This is called “rumination” which I learned from accidentally listening to the same chapter of ‘The Power of Now’ over and over again on the train before I finally thought “hmm this sounds familiar” and realized it’s because the tracks are on “repeat” and maybe I should dedicate train-time solely to troubles-pondering.

I’m so sorry, lost again.

So anyway. I was pondering my troubles, which are very VERY many being a white girl from a middle-class background with a degree, a stable job, and a loving family. But we all have shitty weeks and last week was just rough for me on many fronts, and I really just wanted to RUMINATE.

And so I’m ruminating and ruminating and ruminating and then “When the Party’s Over” came on shuffle by Billie Eilish, and if you’ve never heard that song before, it’s a really really sad song that makes you feel like there’s no hope and you should just curl up in the fetal position and RUE THE DAY your sister ever taught you that Billie Eilish was not the same thing as Billy Eichner.

And of course…I was doing just the right amount of pondering that the combination of my troubles AND this really really sad song was dangerously close to putting me over the edge…

When it comes to public tears, there’s always a moment RIGHT before the point of no return where you are faced with a choice: you could dial it back and NOT cry in public…or you could just release the beast and let it happen. And in that crucial moment, I contemplated simply changing the song…seems pretty simple! I got plenty of good jams to listen to…but I didn’t.

I decided that this day was as good a day as any for a good ole public cry. Call me dramatic—but every once in a while, I want to remind EVERYONE around me that not only am I a human being with emotions, but I ALSO don’t give a f**k about your comfort. There is a brevity in not caring if you see me cry. It can be very empowering.

It CAN be. But it has to be done very carefully.

First of all, it can never get out of control. It needs to be graceful. It requires a lot of long, carefully planned blinks.

You close your eyes lightly at first. Then you slowly squeeze your eyelids tighter and tighter. It’s almost like you squeeze the tears out with your eyes closed, and then lightly open them and allow the water to trickle down your face. It looks, from the outside…like you are fighting back the tears…when in reality, you are just summoning them to do your bidding.

Then, you stare straight ahead for fifteen Mississippis.

FIFTEEN. FULL. MISSISSIPPIS. Even if what is straight ahead of you is the open fly of a Canadian tourist in cargo shorts. Just keep staring ahead…because if you decide to look down, you might find that he is also wearing MAN FLOPS…and if you look UP???

Well looking up would cause public-crying eye-contact.

And that is a no no.

That I had to learn the hard way. Once when I was having a “got-all-the-way-home-and-realized-I-left-my-housekeys-at-Wendys-while-getting-a-frosty-and-also-I’m-on-my-period-and-now-I’m-on-my-way-back-to-Wendy’s” cry, I accidentally made eye contact with a guy.

And…

He was hot.

And it was embarrassing not just because he was attractive and I’d been wearing a lot of mascara that day…but also because he FELT COMPELLED TO SAY SOMETHING.

“err….it’s gonna be okay,” he muttered, uncomfortably, as he exited the train.

“I LOVE YOU…” I called back. (Jk)

NEEDLESS TO SAY, YOU NEVER WANT TO COMPEL ANYONE TO SAY ANYTHING. THIS IS MEANT TO BE A VERY VERY PRIVATE PUBLIC ACT.

So anyway, you repeat a couple of the long, graceful blinks and tear trickling, stare ahead a little bit…and then when you’ve decided you’ve drawn enough attention but not too much…you take a deep breath and think about how you are going to make yourself feel better.

During the Eilish incident, I thought about how as soon as I got off the train I’d be at Maison Harlem and I could order roasted chicken and mashed potatoes and watch ‘Dance Moms’ on my iPhone LIKE EVERYONE DOES at a bar!

The thought made me so happy that even the creepy cat-caller outside the train station who said “aww nooo smile?” couldn’t bring me down.

Guess what? I DID smile at him. But not because he told me to…because I was thinking “ROASTED HALF-CHICKEN MOTHERF**KER.”

And as I devoured that chicken and mashed potatoes, I made a plan to make myself feel even BETTER with a BACKSTREET BOYS JOG later in the evening!

(A Backstreet Boys jog is when you jog to “Shape of My Heart” on repeat and sometimes a bunch of guys playing basketball nearby hear you singing along louder than you realized because of your earbuds, and they try to join in by singing the chorus of “I Want it That Way”…and you think “okay guys, not the right song, but I’m proud of your inner Backstreet Boy!”)

>>BTW saw the Backstreet Boys at Barclays Center last month, and they are still amazing, and AJ can still show me the shape of his heart any way any DAY!<<

Anyway.

You know my actor friend once told me she hates crying in public because it’s so basic? And let me tell you—NYC actors cry in public A LOT. Because we JUST SO HAPPENED to find out AT STARBUCKS that we woke up at 4am and waited six hours for nothing because they’ve decided not to see anyone under 5’3 and we’re 5’2 and now it’s too late to go home. ORRR ORRR we don’t know how to answer the “are you a dancer?” question because at a dancer call we look like a non-dancer, but at a non-dancer call we look like a dancer so OMG WHAT THE F**K DO YOU PEOPLE WANT FROM ME? SWEET JESUS!

LOST. REGROUPING. WE CAN DO THIS WE ARE ALMOST DONE!

So anyway, my actor friend told me that she hates crying in public because it’s “so basic.”

….

….

….

And my question is…basically what?

What is basic? What is a “basic bitch”? I’m basic because I was happy that Starbucks did pumpkin spice lattes early? I’m basic because I listen to trashy pop music and like scented candles? I’m basic because I like watching ‘Bachelor in Paradise’, and still support Blake Horstmann and his search for love even though he got a bad rep for trying to live his best life as a single man at a country music festival?

I’m basic because I WOULD actually go on ‘The Bachelor’ if I knew beforehand who the Bachelor was? I’m basic because I’m afraid I’d get sent home on the first night because “that Jesse girl was cute but I feel like she was more interested in eating the snacks?”

I’m basic because in this theoretical world where I went on “The Bachelor”, ABC put “Girl Who Ate All the Snacks” under my name at the reunion show?

I’m basic because I’m drinking happy hour champagne while I write this?

I’m basic because I have the STRENGTH to cry in public?

Guess what? I’m gonna tell you a secret. Society loooooooooves to rag on the “basic bitches.”

But “basic”….is just a cover for “REAL AF.”

The BASIC girls are the realest.

The BASIC girls are the hustlers.

The BASIC girls are the ones who will look back on the most FULL lives.

The BASIC girls just keep writing and writing and writing, hoping at the end of it you come away with a very, very REAL message:

I “BASIC”ALLY DON’T CARE WHAT YOU THINK OF ME ALL THAT MUCH.

I will continue to cry in public as I see fit. I will continue to write really weird shit that you NEVER SHARE ON FACEBOOK TO HELP A GIRL OUT…but that YOU will continue to read!

So to all my basic girls…just remember the wise words of the bestest most basic-est Louisiana woman we all know and love:

Love me

Hate me

Say what you want about me

But all of the boys

AND all of the girls…

Are begging to If U Seek Amy.”


FIN

By Jesse Pardee

Stream of consciousness blather about my blackheads and mindfulness quest.