I’m not much of a crier. I never really have been, which I attribute both to my position as a middle child and the fact that with just one single tear I look like the Loch Ness monster from your childhood nightmares. It is very alarming, and my vanity just simply will not allow it.
Over the last several years, however, a pattern has emerged. On the rare occasion of a breakdown, the tears happen in public, and they are caused by objectively very stupid experiences. Below is a list, in chronological order, of absurd instances that lead to publicly losing my shit.
Year, Age: 2008, 16
Location: The rough-and-tumble streets of Plano, Texas
Situation: My sophomore year of high school, my best friends tricked me into joining the cross country team. I was (and am) chubby, slow, and deeply unmotivated. My coach was named Richard and entirely lived up to the nickname Dick. We left for our 6-mile run and I was instantly alone, which I remained for an entire hour and a half. I was so convinced that my coach would think I cheated that I began an awkward combination of jogging in circles and weeping. At one point, I ran inside of the junior high school and tearfully asked for directions, despite knowing exactly where I was. Later, a boy I had a crush on told me he saw me in his neighborhood on his way to school and then never spoke to me again.
Year, Age: 2010, 18
Location: The University of Texas, approximately 18 paces away from my orientation dorm
Situation: Like millions of soon-to-be freshmen, I attended my university’s orientation the summer before starting college. One of the first activities was a giant barbecue, which I had to leave early in order to take a French placement test. I was too proud to take a map with me, so it took no more than two minutes of walking to be completely lost. Then it started pouring down rain, rendering my white tee shirt completely see through. I ran from building to building crying and asking for directions to the testing location, which everyone kept assuring me was right around the corner, before giving up and sitting next to a statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. until I regained my fragile composure.
Year, Age: 2011, 19
Location: Atop a lifeguard stand
Situation: I started working at UT’s recreational center my second year at school, and mostly worked the early morning shifts because I am a glutton for punishment. One night, my boyfriend of one month broke up with me because he was homosexual, which I have since come to realize is the best possible reason to be dumped. It was nonetheless traumatizing and I spent the entire next 5 A.M. shift sobbing on the lifeguard stand and ignoring the concerned looks from both co-workers and patrons of the pool. No one drowned except my self esteem, which was eventually resuscitated with the help of TCBY's Waffle Cone Wednesdays.
Year, Age: 2013, 21
Location: 45,000 feet above New Jersey, in an aisle seat
Situation: I was flying from Austin to New Jersey to attend my cousin’s Bat Mitzvah. My roommate lent me a copy of John Green’s "The Fault In Our Stars," and neglected to warn me that it would make me feel things I didn't even know I could feel. I’m a really fast reader, so I finished the book quickly and spent the rest of the flight with my arms crossed on the tray table and my head tucked away, trying to discreetly wipe my snotty nose with the tear-soaked tiny napkin that came with my Sprite. The elderly couple next to me was justifiably horrified. I still have not forgiven my roommate.
Year, Age: 2014, 22
Location: Anytime Fitness, the last elliptical on the right
Situation: "The Help" was playing on the little TV attached to the machine. I knew I shouldn't watch it because I always cry when I watch "The Help," but I was so bored and miserable and just wanted to be entertained. When Skeeter finds out her mother fired Constantine, I cried just as much as she did. Emma Stone is a beautiful, composed crier. I looked like a sweaty boogeyman. It is important to note that my employer pays for this gym membership, so I was surrounded by coworkers. They were very polite and ignored me, which is really all I've ever wanted from a gym membership.