Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Laugh 'til You Cry

Today, a friend on Facebook shared a link to an article titled What to Do When Books Make You Cry on Public Transportation. I'll wait while you go read it.

Doh, dee, doh....

Oh, you're back. Wasn't that funny? Can you relate?

Of course, I've never lived anywhere that had good public transportation, so I can't say I've ever bawled on the bus or teared up on a train, but I cried in a cafe once.

It was sooo embarrassing.

You see, I was reading Bridget Jones's Diary in a coffee shop in Rapid City, South Dakota. I'd gone there to escape from my two very small children, who were at daycare for a few hours. I dropped them off for a half day, once every two weeks, just to have a little alone time.

Usually, I spent my free hours at Borders, but that day, I'd decided to try out a cute little coffee shop in the (vain) hope I could feel like I was still a smart, cool, intelligent English graduate student reading and sipping black coffee instead of what I really was...a spit-up stained, over-tired mom with bags under her eyes and a wicked C-section scar who gave up Shakespeare and Milton and Joyce for Bridget Jones's Diary.

Ah,the early years of motherhood, when just getting a shower every day feels like triumph!

Anyway. If you've read Bridget Jones's Diary or seen the movie, you know that it's funny. Really funny. In my sleep-deprived state, however, it took on epic proportions of funny. I started laughing so hard my face screwed up in a grimace and tears began pouring out my eyes. My shoulders shook as if I were gasping pathetically over some tragedy. As if that weren't bad enough, I had a hard time breathing, so I audibly sobbed a few times, and may or may not have blown a snot bubble out my nose.

I was helpless. Utterly, completely helpless.

And yes, there were other people in the coffee shop, witnesses to my tragically uncool loss of self-control. Oh, pity the people. They couldn't help but notice the sad, strange little woman sobbing, alone, at the table in the middle of the cafe. In an effort to signal that I really was fine, I held up the book in front of my face, a shield so they would know that I was just helpless with laughter.

Instead, I'm sure they thought, "What is wrong with her? Why is she crying at Bridget Jones's Diary? How utterly pathetic!"

But hey, it was the closest thing to an abdominal workout I got that whole year of my life, so really, it was worth it.

What is your crying-in-public story? Please share!


  1. Wasn't on any type of public transportation but rather in the waiting room of a hospital!! Were waiting to get my daughter's arm x-rayed if I remember correctly. I was reading them one of the wonderful Hank Zipster books in a series by Henry Winkler (the Fonz) and the mental image I had in my mind of what was occurring to the main character which had me in stitches.

    Tears were streaming down my face and I could not stop laughing and had to stop reading, but I just kept replaying the situation in my mind and I think I laughed for about 5 minutes.

  2. I can't even start to number the times I've started crying over a book on the train. It's rather inconvenient! LOL! I have used the "wear sunglasses and wipe" strategy, and I have used the "look down and don't look up" strategy, and I have used the "take a deep breath and get yourself under control" strategy, and at other times I've just had to close the book until I have a little more privacy. ;-)

  3. I may have cried on an Amtrak train somewhere between NYC and Pittsburgh and my book page may have had a big tear stain on it. ;) I understand.


Thanks so much for taking time to comment!