The Most Embarrassing Time You Burst into Tears

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Welcome back to Pissing Contest where, after a brief hiatus after scaring ourselves senseless, we’re back! This week, we’re swapping stories about the most humiliating time that we started crying.


When I was a freshman in high school, I failed algebra. Math was always a hard subject for me, a fact that only hardened as I got to high school. One day in class, I—already frustrated—was called on to answer a question. Knowing I couldn’t solve the problem, I quickly got embarrassed and—in front of the whole class—burst into tears, wailing, “I’m not going to get it! I’m never going to get it!” Yes, I was a theater kid. How could you tell?

The incident was horribly embarrassing, but shout out to my math teacher, Ms. Tiziani, who gave me the kindest hug, offered to tutor me, and wrote me a pass to be late to my next class.

Some other submissions from the Jezebel staff:

  • “While being yelled at by a boss for fucking up a spreadsheet.”
  • “On a ghost walk when I was 7, not because of ghosts, but because I was scared I might pee my pants.”
  • “At dinner last year on my 26th birthday when I had just spent $700 on a phone to replace a phone that I dropped in the toilet.
  • “Also when I saw someone Instagram a picture of the phone I dropped in the toilet.”
  • “When I got a C in PE in 10th grade.”
  • “When I got my haircut years ago and didn’t like it.”
  • “Watching The Fault in Our Stars in public on an airplane and legit weeping.”
  • The last night of college, I got very drunk and cried to my then and current boyfriend in front of my whole class about how I was never going to get to kiss a girl.

Now spill, you sobby Sallys! From your eyes AND from your mouths!

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Image via Keeping Up with the Kardashians/E!





I was desperate for a job, ANY job, after grad school in the depths of the recession. Then-husband was one of those “bootstrap” types, where everything in life had basically fallen into his lap, so he was incredibly unsupportive of my unemployment, and basically all but accused me of laziness and etc. constantly.

I was desperate.

I applied for a part-time teaching-ish gig at a little wildlife center, that specialized in showing rehabilitated wildlife (turtles, etc.) to schoolkids. I had the perfect experience - a wildlife degree, experience teaching and running a camp recreation program, loved kids, etc. This job was the end of my rope - barely above minimum wage, with an hour commute each way, 30 hours a week. I was desperate.

And it turned out, the lady who interviewed me was a BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTCH. She knew she had me (and everyone else desperate for this job) at a disadvantage. Kept pushing my buttons and straight-up yelling at me when I didn’t answer her questions the way she wanted me to. I have never, before or since, encountered such a smug, evil shit of a person in my life.

After about an hour of abuse, the months of desperation and stress and shame bubbled to the surface, and right out of my eyes.

I powered through. Tears were streaming down my face and I insisted I was fine, every once in a while I’d sob, my nose would drip, and I kept talking. She never even offered me a tissue. She never suggested we stop. She kept asking questions and smirking as I cried my way through them, for another 45 minutes. I finally had a full-on panic attack when I got back to my car.

I didn’t get the job. She called me and reveled in telling me that I “couldn’t handle the stress of such a job” (...showing turtles to kids...).

I got a much better job about a month later, and divorced shortly thereafter. And thank god I didn’t end up forced to work for her.