crying in public

Having grown up in New York City, I have had the great pleasure of crying publicly all over this town…

From the Bronx to Battery Park!

I’ve cried publicly for silly reasons — like the time I bought a Groupon to get my teeth whitened but for whatever reason only my gums got bleached. I looked freakish and felt like a fool. I cried on the corner of Gold street and then again on the C train platform.

Or another time when literally a flock of pigeons shat on my new L.L. Bean backpack as I turned the corner from 100th street to West End Avenue. I was in sixth grade. When I got home, my mom made me stay in the hallway and strip down to my underwear. That backpack was never the same again.

I’ve also cried for more serious reasons. Like a time when my best friend’s five-year-old told me about the soft lockdowns at her school. She casually described hiding in a cubby with the other kids in her classroom. It was heartbreaking. So, I cried at the Crispus Attucks playground on the corner of Fulton and Classon.

I recently compared public crying notes with my friend Julia Rothman, who also grew up in New York City. And guess what? We’ve shed tears on some of the same street corners.

What’s the takeaway? Cry in public! Have your feelings! Don’t go to a Groupon dentist to get your teeth whitened!

Shaina Feinberg is a director and actress and Julia Rothman is an illustrator and author. Right now, they’re working on a modern guide to real sex written by everybody, for everybody. (If you’d like to contribute a story, go here.)

P.S. Making out in public, and a trick to stop yourself from crying.

(Written by Shaina Feinberg. Illustration by Julia Rothman.)