I have one of those faces — if I have cried, anytime in the past 4 hours or so, you’ll be able to tell when you look at me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m so fair, or because I have a lot of pink in my complexion, or just because when I cry I tend to really let it out, but I can’t hide it. I’ve never understood when people say, “Go in the bathroom, splash some water on your face and pull yourself together”. All I get is a wet face.
Being overwhelmed, homesick or just stressed — I’ve cried several times since I’ve been here. And I have definitely gone out in public after crying (without waiting the requisite 4 hours to get the evidence off of my face).
But I doubt anyone would notice. Not because people don’t really make casual eye contact here (although that’s also true) but because it seems to happen all the time here — people cry in public. It’s not something I’m accustomed to from home — there, we’re all very busy pretending to have it together and showing everyone how happy we are all the time. If you see someone crying in public, you’ll avert your eyes and probably be embarrassed for them. Here, it just happens. People (mostly women) will just be walking down the street in tears, or very obviously recently in tears, with no shame about it. No one pays it any particular attention, as I can tell.
It’s awesome. It’s really liberating for me, as someone who has to hide for hours after crying, to have one less thing to worry about. I can cry if I need to, and even if I’ve cried recently, no one is going to care one bit if it’s obvious on my face as I walk down the street. (I’m working on not caring whether or not they care, but I’m not there yet.) I haven’t taken advantage of this liberation yet, but I’m sure opportunity will present itself soon enough.