Crying At Two Percent

imagesI can never walk past anyone weeping, I don’t care who it is, always having to stop to see if there’s anything I can do.

The answer is usually no, but feel the mere acknowledgement of someone’s pain makes it less so. A hunch hatched from experience.

I remember falling headfirst on Fifth Avenue so shook I sat on the pavement and sobbed. An Asian man with the body of a sumo wrestler, stopped, lifted me up beneath the armsΒ  without saying a word before continuing on his way. I felt instantly better having been noticed. Hey this is New York where people hurry passed crime scenes.

But this isn’t about me…it’s about a young teenage girl sitting on a bench wailing.

If she weren’t so emotional it could have been a J Crew ad. Picture Bambi in slim jeans and a fitted blazer. The sweetest part was how she was crying into her strawberry blonde braid.

I observed a bit before strolling over. “Are you okay?” I said like a big sister.

“Yeah, yeah…I’m just fine…really…I am…WHAHHHH.” To hear any creature cry so hard affects me deeply. It had to be about a boy. What else could make you shred your braid that way?

It made me think of J. G. Tripp Junior, a 39 year-old married man with 6 children I had a crush on at 18. When he told me we couldn’t consummate our attraction I was suicidal lamenting how I’d never love again. A friend of his took me aside and said, “There will come a day when you won’t even remember his name.”

And I didn’t, until this moment.

When I sat next to this sweet thing losing her mind, I asked if she wanted to talk about it. “NOOO,” she said, before putting her head on my lap sobbing into my freshly pressed khakis.

I told her my J. G. Tripp story…how crazy I was for him and thought I’d never get over it.

She picked up her head and said, “That’s so sad…I don’t really have anybody I like right now.”

“But aren’t you crying over a boy?”

“NOOO,” I want to go away with my girlfriends and my parents won’t let me.”

“Where do you want to go?”

“Paris…for the weekend. Is that so unreasonable?”

Okay Susannah…remember where you are…the Upper East Side of Manhattan where girls get breast implants for graduation and frequent flyer miles straight from the crib.

“How old are you if I may ask?”

She sat straight up like a pelican. “16.”

“Wow, you’re that old. Time is sure tooling by.”

“Are you making fun of me?”

“No…16 is…well, it’s half of 32.” Jesus…she was nothing more than a well-dressed embryo as far as I was concerned.

“How old are you?”

“Never mind…but here’s the thing….Paris is a lot older than the two of us put together…it will wait for you, so please blow your pretty nose and how bout I buy you a nice cup of tea.”

“I only drink 2% lattes.”

“Okay, so we’ll get you one of those.” (an aspirin and an iron for me)



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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20 Responses to Crying At Two Percent

  1. micklively says:

    Perception is relativity; emotion is something else. How old are her friends? And what are their parents thinking?


    • I think 16 is too young to go away alone. Haven’t you ever seen the film Taken with Liam Neeson? It’s scary as hell. These kids are very sophisticated, no question, but they’re still kids. I’m with the parents on this one.


  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, that’s so touching that you give the distraught a moment of compassion. It may not change their life, but I’m sure it changes their day.


  3. Elle Knowles says:

    They all want to grow up so fast…if they only knew what we know! πŸ™‚


  4. katecrimmins says:

    Only you would end up treating someone with more money than God to a fou fou drink! You are Mother Theresa in skinny clothes!


    • She was so adorable though. As privileged as she clearly was, she was sweet as can be. I can’t blame anyone for wanting to go to Paris, but she’s so young to be jet-setting with just her peers. Call me old-fashioned.

      And yes, her expense account trumps mine alright πŸ™‚


  5. Lynn says:

    I love that you stopped & took the time to speak to this young girl, regardless of the ridiculousness of her tears! I agree, her parents made the right choice. I am also certain, that at 16, she felt that they were the most unreasonable people on the planet. Hopefully some day she will be grateful for their judgement!


    • The moms weigh in…you know when I was a kid so oversensitive, no one paid any attention to me when I was upset. My mother actually teased me. This is why I stop. As frivolous as teenage tears can be, they still deserve a captive audience.

      I would have been such a neurotic mother…Paris? I may have locked her and her suitcase in her room.


      • Lynn says:

        I too, am oversensitive, so I feel your pain! I think too often, we dismiss teen tears as being over-dramatic or hormonal. Regardless of the reason, they are real tears & raw emotion. A simple gesture of kindness in listening & offering a bit of comfort goes a long way for all us!


      • Agreed. You should have seen her face when she thought I was mocking her. Omigod! The feminine betrayal. I was just shocked it wasn’t about a boy.


  6. Crystal L. says:

    How sweet and thoughtful of you. I have a hard time passing by anyone in trouble, too. I do have to agree that 16 is too young for a trip that far away and without adult supervision.


  7. My heart just migrates to strangers in trouble. I remember being an overly hormonal 16 year old girl and raising one …. ugh the tears that get wasted. My mom would say “Turn off those Bette Davis tears” …. I was left to wonder “who is Bette Davis?”


  8. Only 2% lattes…wow. I’m glad she didn’t let a stranger’s compassion get in the way of her convictions. πŸ™‚ I do think they’ll put up a statue to you at some point, as the angel of Manhatten, brightening up the world one person at a time. At least they would if they all read your blog. πŸ˜‰


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