Need A Cry?: 10 Strategies For Getting To A Boo Hoo Hoo

What was a Democrat supposed to do this week if she needed to get a few boo-hoo-hoos out of her system?

Get to this with my tips. (image credit:

Get to this with my tips. (image credit:

It was one of those weeks.   I needed a cry, but I was too busy. So it sat in my throat, patiently waiting for me to have a free moment to let it all out.  I went to bed on Tuesday night thinking I would have a reason to cry my eyes out on Wednesday morning, but that didn’t happen.

So, I had to get creative when democracy failed me.

I am proud to report that each of items in the list below allowed me coax that lump in my throat to come out as a cry, which was good, because it was hard to swallow pudding with a lump in my throat.  And I love pudding.

I’ll start with the most gentle method to get a few weepy tears rolling, and end with the most potent way to have a full-fledged ugly-face cry:

  1. Get into your car alone for what feels like the first time since the Bush administration and listen to James Taylor sing Fire and Rain.  “Suzanne, the plans they made put an end to you.” Just typing that line (hopefully those are actually the words, because that’s how I was cry-singing them) gets me misty.
  2. Walk through Old Navy with good intentions (to get your offspring some boot cut or skinny jeans), but detour through the maternity section.  Grab the paneled clam diggers that are meant for someone with a baby in her womb, bury your face in them, and chant, “I will never be pregnant again.”  (If you are extra lucky, James Taylor may be playing over the Old Navy sound system, but that’s doubtful.  You are more likely to hear Taylor Swift, which might induce different kinds of tears.)
  3. While playing with your son (the one with the head that is in the 90th percentile), have him butt your face with his over-sized skull.  Watch him laugh in amusement as you bawl while applying ice to your now-fat lip.
  4. Replay the following in your head over and over: a fight you had with your daughter (who is 3ish), where she acted like a total asshole three-year old by throwing a full glass of milk across the room because it was 3 degrees too warm, and you, WONDERFUL YOU, retaliated by yelling hysterically, “What do I have to do to please you? What’s it going to take?”  You get bonus tears if you recognize and own that you really wanted to say those words to your parents when you were a kid, so you are doubly devastated (1) that you never did; and (2) that you are now hoarse from screaming them at your beloved child, who was simply having an off night, but ended up having to bear the brunt of your childhood wounds.
  5. Imagine returning to your therapist’s office after his egregiously lengthy THREE WEEK vacation– focus on the abandonment feelings that came up as he was gallivanting around Italy while you were listening to James Taylor on repeat in the dark of your bedroom.  For bonus tears, think about his payment policy, which requires you to pay for sessions even when he isn’t there.  (If you want a crying companion, remind your husband of the payment plan. It’s fun to cry in pairs.)
  6. Stub your toe for the thousandth time on the door to the washer-dryer, which you always tell yourself to either fix or close properly, but you never do.
  7. Read some comments on your blog and realize that not a single member of your family of origin reads your blog, much less comment on it, and then extrapolate from there that they never loved you or supported you.  For bonus tears: Read other bloggers whose mothers, cousins, aunts, and fathers religiously comment on their posts.
  8. Try on those skinny jeans that you know won’t fit.
  9. Tell someone who loves you (even when you are ugly and petty and self-absorbed), the mean stories you are telling yourself in your head.  Let her kind words seep into your hurting heart and then feel the pain of being loved unconditionally even though you are a d-bag who has no intention of asking her about her day.  Let yourself be loved even though you are broken and selfish and irrational.  Think about what it means to have people like that in your life.
  10. Go to the bathroom, take care of your business, and discover there are no rolls of toilet paper, no tampons, no panty liners and no Kleenex anywhere in your house.  (This works best if you are the only adult at home, it’s raining, and it’s after 10:00 PM.)  Then, snuggle up with your paper towels, your chafed ass, and cry yourself to sleep. You earned it.

51 thoughts on “Need A Cry?: 10 Strategies For Getting To A Boo Hoo Hoo

  1. These are awesome (and hilarious) tips! I’ll have to keep them in mind, although I generally never need help to get in a good cry…my problem is more about preventing crying, as I’m a big baby.

  2. The first time I read this I laughed through the crying. The second time started a slow roll of tears. Ian and I are on the way to the airport so I’m not sure if it is the guilt of leaving my babies or my own painful experiences with #4 but I’m crying a whole different type of cry. You know that kind where you remain completely composed, numb to the pain even, but the tears just pour and pour out of your eyes like some terrible comedy skit where they have a tube linked to a bag of liquid to simulate crying barfing or bleeding? Yeah that’s me. Have I revealed too much? Maybe this would have been more suitable as an email. Too late now.

  3. Thoughts that come to mind: Your therapist takes a lot of vacations. You once made me a mix with Fire & Rain on it and it was titled “semi-suicidal mix.” Costco sells toilet paper and such in bulk so you don’t ever run out, ever. As for your family not reading your blog, it is just pure jealousy as they didn’t get the witty gene. Just wait until your daughter calls you an idiot because you can’t answer her question about polygons. Miss you.

  4. So the awesome! I have to say that I will probably bookmark this post, as I need these reasons from time to time! 🙂

  5. Wowza! Birilliant and timely post. Thank you for the tips. I seriously feel a cry stuck in my throat this morning. Think I’ll start with a James Taylor song and see if it helps loosen the floodgates. Thank you. Ugh! Love you.

  6. The head butt by little tyrants gets me every time. I weep, “I’ve held dozens of jobs over the years and nobody hit me more consistently than the people who think I’m a servant.” Boohoo. I like to go straight from a child-caused injury to my resume on LinkedIn. Makes me cry for days.

    James Taylor? Yup. And Counting Crows. Long December is my go-to Boston weather dislocation from home cry song.

  7. I will keep this list handy for the next time I’m constipated with tears. According to my calculations, I should be due for my next good cry in about 5.25 hours, give or take. Take it from me, having your family members read your blog is not all it’s cracked up to be, but boy do I understand the message! Here’s to unconditional love and a few weeks of steady therapy. For all of us. xoxoxo

  8. You really got me with number four. I can so relate to the feeling of yelling at your kids, but really yelling at someone else at some other time. I think you’re so self-aware that you can tell your therapist to stay in Italy for awhile longer. xo

  9. Weird how all that childhood baggage can get directed at a beloved family member rather than at the parents who deserve it. I hate it when that cry gets stuck in my throat too. It hurts. Thanks for sharing so many ways to let it out. (Nobody in my fam ever reads my blog either. That really hurts my feelings like nothing else.)

    • You know what, it’s their loss. They are missing out on your talent, joy and wisdom. I am the richer for reading your blog, but it still hurts that family doesn’t.

  10. Not trying to be competitive or anything, but my son’s head was OFF THE CHART. Yes, above the 100th percentile. His pediatrician told me if it got any bigger they would have to “do some tests” (read: finance next trip to Italy). I wasn’t worried; my dad and I both have huge heads. Just watch out for those “one size fits all” hats. Nope. Also, the one and only time my father wrote a comment on the blog I’ve been writing for two freakin’ years, it was to tell me I would be “wasting” my vote by giving it to Obama. Guess I showed him, right?

  11. So sad and funny and true! #10 cracked me up. Oh, the awfulness of having to use paper towels. Especially for the snotty nose.
    My tearjerker is The Boxer by Simon & Garfunkel. Gets me every time.

  12. Oh my gosh, where have I been? I miss your blog for a week and return to find a tearjerker that made me laugh. I loved the opening sentence. They actually thought they were going to win. Clueless. You can’t be crying if you want to get pregnant. It’s a proven scientific fact. Start laughing that chafed ass off, grab your husband and don’t stop laughing until the seed is planted. Works like a charm. I might have made that up, but it’s worth a try. Great post – I also love the abandonment hysterical yelling. I’ll be back sooner than a week. 🙂

  13. Oh my word you need a hug!
    Oh what a list! This had me laughing and awwwwing. So funny…. except for trying on skinny jeans. That’s just cruel!

  14. Yeah, I hate when I realize I won’t get pregnant- no way to hide that I have been eating like a horse. 😉 Not that it matters, but somehow I wrote eating like a whore. Not sure what that is about or why I shared, but…

    Here is to the weekend.

  15. Flying in a little late, but damn it, I’ve got 15K words under my belt and I’m still clinically sane (for the moment). My fave was #8 – the skinny jeans. F*ck skinny jeans, even though I own like 6 pairs, more than half of which I can’t get into. Outlaw Mama for President, 2016. Booyah!

  16. I employed #3 this week, although it was unplanned. My lip is almost healed from when I tried to kiss Sass’ 95th percentile head and she jumped up at the same time. Worked like a charm at getting those tears out.

    #7 – Ouch. I always wanted to have an anonymous blog, but part of the reason I gave my old url to friends and family was because I hoped it would open new conversations and bring us closer. Then one day my mother said, “I don’t read your blog and I’m never going to. That’s not how I communicate and you’ll have to call me if you want to tell me something.” I will not go into a therapy session here about how this sums up her entire attitude toward me (you’re welcome). Let’s just say #7 also works like a charm at bringing up the tears.

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