The 40-Something Ridiculous Crying Thing

It took me by surprise when I went to have a tire patched at Pep Boys last year and drove home from the experience in full, wailing, sobbing, freak-out mode.  Because as much as I have banned myself from ever crying with eye makeup on, it turns out my desire for mascara-free cheeks is no match for 40-something hormones.

I had a nail in my tire, and it was deflating quickly, so I needed to stop by Pep Boys.  When I got to the service desk, they told me it would be about an hour.  An hour later, they told me another hour.  An hour later, they told me another hour.

Meanwhile, everyone in the waiting room around me was watching videos on their phones of TruTV or something similar, where the shows consisted of people screaming and being chased by the police, and for some reason, all of them had the volume cranked to 10, on phones that were seemingly made entirely of broken speakers.  It sounded like a room full of robot parts being dragged across a floor made of chalkboard.  You know, in a bad way.

(Oh, hey, side note:  When watching a video on your phone in a public place, turn the volume down to a respectable level, you goddamned animals.  Literally NOBODY wants to hear it.  Also, don’t say, “Oh man, you gotta see this!” and then make someone watch a five minute long video on your phone when you’re just out to dinner.  NOBODY wants to have an unscheduled five minute long video thrust upon them when they’re sitting at a restaurant.)

I’m hypoglycemic and my blood sugar was starting to get really low, so I reached for my emergency snack in my purse only to find it wasn’t there, so I had to make do with eating sugar packets from the free coffee station in the waiting room.  As I tossed back the sugar packets like someone throwing handfuls of dead mullet at a sea lion’s gaping maw, I couldn’t help but feel it was a classy move by a classy lady.  /brag

When the service guy emerged from the bay three hours later, he handed me my keys and sent me on my way.  I pulled out onto the road and immediately made a wrong turn, which meant I would then have to make a U-turn.

That was it.

I immediately burst into tears and started sobbing like I was having a nervous breakdown.  This went on for the entire thirty minute drive home. I cried so hard that I had burst capillaries around my eyes the next day.  I cried so hard my neck muscles were sore.  Because making that wrong turn was just IT.  Five minutes after I got home, I was fine.

A few months ago, I got into my car after work and burst into tears for literally no reason.  Then I cried even harder because I couldn’t figure out why I was crying and sobbed and shouted at myself, “I don’t know what’s wrooooonng!!!!!”  Five minutes after I got home, I was fine.

More recently, my boss emailed me a couple follow up questions on a long project I had just turned in.  He asked nicely, as always, because my boss is actually a really fantastic boss.  So anyway, he asked nicely, and then the tears started welling up in my eyes, and I had to leave the office to go collect myself in the ladies room before I completely fell apart.  Because he asked me a couple follow up questions.  Nicely.  Five minutes later?  Fine.

One day I was watching a duck waddle across a street, and I burst into tears.  Totally fine five minutes later.

I have melted down in the past year because the dishwasher had clean dishes in it, because that meant I had to put them away, and I was not emotionally prepared to put the dishes away right at that moment.  Sure, theoretically I could just put them away later, but in the meantime I would sit on the couch and it would just gnaw and gnaw at me that I was lying around doing nothing when there was work to be done.  Basically, I cried over clean dishes because I have a really good work ethic.

To summarize, these are the situations that will make me cry in my 40s, along with a visual aid of Dawson from Dawson’s Creek to demonstrate the crying scale:

(1) Making a wrong turn:


(2) No reason at all:


(3) Being nicely asked a couple follow up questions:


(4) Ducks:


(5) My own work ethic:


The only thing they have in common is that five minutes later, I’ll be fine.

40-something hormones?  You figure that shit out.  I have to go make sure that in the past five minutes I haven’t started growing a mustache and a dumpster ass like Mike Ditka.

41 thoughts on “The 40-Something Ridiculous Crying Thing

  1. that was me in my 40’s until I met my cheap new friend – Paxil. Twenty years later, I’m still happy and a little foggy. No more outbursts. The most important thing: outbursts made my contact lenses foggy for hours, so I would have to remove them and clean them and then put them back in my eyes with less than stable mascara. There are fancier drugs that have commercials, but for a co pay of $3 a month, I simply couldn’t be happier. BTW – the moustache and chin hairs will be with you. Twenty years ago I joined a club. In this club, all women, we promise that when one of us dies, the other one will go to the viewing of the dealing departed, bearing tweezers. The living member will inspect the chin for stray hairs and promptly pull them out. Its a good club and I can put you up for membership. Its an honor, like being nominated for the National Geographic Society.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I recently started taking CBD oil and it’s really helping to chill me out. It makes me feel semi-human even!

      This facial hair pact should be printed out and passed along to all women when they walk into a funeral, right next to a cup of tweezers.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I went through the whole thing without really realizing it – I just thought I was stressed out from work. I like the facial hair pact, that’s a good one, but hey, Da Coach’s mustache is OUT OF BOUNDS. Just sayin’.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Fun fact – I was on an improv team with Chris Farley for a while, long ago. First time I ever saw him I knew he’d be a star. He was the most talented re-active actor I’ve ever seen. I didn’t know him well, but we both took class from Del Close on Monday nights, taught in the back room of dive bars in Chicago when the theaters were dark, and performed along with the rest of the team in other dive bars, when he showed up. And then he was off to 2nd City and then SNL and then movies. Still pissed off he’s gone.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow! That’s really cool! Do you still do improv at all? That’s some fine company you were keeping! 😀

        I’m pissed he’s gone, too. Truly, truly one of the greats who’s gone too soon.


  3. Just checked out your ‘About’ page. It doesn’t mention ‘Stand-up comedian’. Perhaps it should – just as long as you don’t burst into tears when the audience applauds.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah, I have to agree with herbertleslie on this, it just transitions into a different type of hormonal crying. I’m not even 50 yet but I can see or feel my outbursts changing. Rage crying is not pretty, and even moreso when you do it at work…..*sigh* I’m sure my coworkers will forget about it soon, I hope, lol.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Problem: I can apparently only cry in front of someone. Give me privacy, and tears dry up. Come back out into the open, tear faucet opens right back up. I’m lucky that way. Made for a great middle school experience, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow. I don’t remember my forties being like that, but then again I had my kids in my early forties so maybe that’s why. I was too exhausted to be emotional. LOL! Don’t worry your fifties are much better! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, me too. I went through quite a depression a few years ago, situational but also quite related to hormones. As soon as I was pretty much done with menopause (like most women in my family, it started late and ended early), the crying jags stopped, so here’s hoping!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I certainly hope so! Sometimes I can’t even listen to my Pandora Thumbprint station without nearly bursting into tears at every song. Usually happy tears with music, but it still wrecks my eye makeup just the same! 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You gotta medicate that shit Maggie – I also found my face constantly leaking at most inappropriate moments, which is strange because I had my sympathy gland removed at birth. Get on that HRT wagon and normalise the ride!!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Is it wrong this makes me feel just a tiny bit better? I assumed I was the only one who cried over clean dishes or ducks. Empty dog water dishes can break the whole afternoon because OH MY GOD AM I THE ONLY ONE WITH EYEBALLS IN THIS HOUSE???

    Only 2 years til the rage crying starts. Can’t wait.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I figure in another few years, I’ll just start wearing tissues under my eyes like miniature bibs to catch all the tears. Yesterday I melted down on my drive home from work while listening to Nancy Sinatra “These Boots Are Made For Walking”. I was fine by the next song.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I am known amongst my friends and family as ‘The Cryer’. What makes it worse is not just how embarrassed I am, it’s how much I embarrass others. I now think that as disproportionate as my emotions are, at least I’m FEELING. Numbness is sometimes harder and scarier. Thankyou for making me feel less alone. Waterproof mascara is your friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll take crying over numb any day for sure! It’s funny, I was never a cryer when I was younger. I just bottled it up and maybe cried once a year. Now I’m finding myself spending a good amount of time searching for the best waterproof eyeliner!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – It helps to know I’m not alone! I’m also considering changing my name to Cryface Cathy so that people aren’t surprised when I start crying to a Def Leppard song.


  10. Omg. I’m dead. While you can find me emotional AF over the random things too, this 40 year olds mustache will always be shaved tight. Like my ass. Cause I’m not messing with the dumpster look either. P.S. I have that same black and white cat fabric that you have in your profile pic… I think that makes us best friends now? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This post inspired me to write my own story about missing the long ago decade of my 40’s and the daily crying sessions over the tiniest of things (coffee commercials).
    Now in my 50’s without my uterus and ovaries to conjure any hormones and after 7 years of being medicated with fake hormones ~
    My doctor said “no mo’!”
    Wait for the bearded woman raging from lack of physical activity (sex) my “female muscles” – like a dudes neck!
    Better yet?
    Needing and wanting to fuck but unfortunately men still feel the need to talk to me as well 🙄
    In addition ~
    I flat out hate people.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ladies!
    Hold UP already!!

    “Private criers?”
    “Problem: I can apparently on cry in front of someone…?”
    “My new cheap friend Paxil?”
    “Medicate that shit…”

    OWN THAT SHIT, Ladies!
    Do NOT Go Quietly into the night or the privacy of a closed door…
    Rage! RAGE with your hormones at their peak towards those who DARE cross your path while purging!


    Liked by 1 person

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