Despite how romantic (and to a degree, socially acceptable) the act of public crying has become in recent years, it's still preferred to have a good sob in some sort of complete solitude. As an adult who has cried a handful of times (or rather a big child over the age of 18 that hasn't cried over dumb stuff), I would say I have this preference.
The pity stares and tepid concern from strangers when you bawl in public are just not helpful, but sometimes you cannot control where and when your next session of tear-shedding will come from. If you absolutely insist on weeping in public, then one Munchies reporter has concluded McDonald's may be the ideal spot.
Moe Thet War recalls crying in a McDonald's for the first time after having an argument with her boyfriend.
"I brought my Double Cheeseburger meal to the second floor (which was empty, save for a dad and his two young children), and proceeded to bawl my eyes out at a table beside a window. The man tried his best to pretend not to see me, but his sweet-seeming children looked at me with both concern and curiosity, unable to comprehend why someone would be crying inside a McDonald's."
How could anyone be sad at the seemingly happiest place on earth (you heard me, Disneyland)? The same place you get a free toy with chicken nuggets.
"One of the few facts of life that both adults and children can agree on is that fast food is comforting, and no other establishment in the world epitomizes fast food better than those famed golden arches."
For countless people around the world, you grow up with a McDonald's within a few miles' radius from your house, now, it's a simple click away. The chain carries a collective element of nostalgia, and built-in emotional responses that we carry and maintain well into later life.
Added to the fact that Big Macs and mini apple pies are known to be effective stress reducers, Moe asks us: "Why not kill two birds with one greasy, sodium-rich stone?" She adds: "The toys in the Happy Meals may change, and the ingredients list may have been tidied up over the decades, but by and large, the McDonald's of today is the McDonald's of our childhood."
You see, despite all of the professed unhealthiness and supposed destruction to society, the chain actually provides a safe, familiar solace that can't be replicated by any other fast food chain on such a large scale.
Looking at the children's confused faces, Moe remembers: "the embarrassment of being six-years-old myself and feeling scorned for my tears and tantrums, one of the most valuable lessons of adulthood is that there's no shame in crying."
Everyone's cried at some point or another, so there's nothing to be worried about, and with some semblance for peace, quiet, and perhaps more importantly, the ability to find a meal that fits any budget, McDonald's makes a fine temple for sadness.
The beauty of McDonald's is that it's welcome to all. Productivity and tact are of no importance here (for customers at least). It's like being in the eye of a hurricane; while everything around you is blurry and shifting, McDonald's provides a moment of calm, and has done so consistently for years in spite of the chaos.
Moe reckons that "even if someone else in the storm notices you, they're gone by the time you've finished your Quarter Pounder". Unless you do something that happens to be obscenely obscene or illegal, no one (staff or customer) cares what you get up to at McDonald's, because they've more than likely been there before.
Add that notion to the fact you are almost definitely never going to see them again, and who cares if you're red in the face from ketchup and blushing? As Moe says:"Crying is an act of self-care, and a very effective one. Throw in the collective state of the world right now, and it's a struggle to not wake up every day with a new reason to weep."
The next time you find yourself wandering down the street in a state of abject pain and misery, longing, or frustration, I, like Moe, suggest heading into the nearest McDonald's. You may not be Lovin' it in the moment, but I'm sure you'll feel much better after.