DeAnne Smith and The Feelings

Hey, Autostrudels, I want to get real with you. I think you’re pretty awesome.

I know you think I’m pretty awesome, too. And I am. Usually. But sometimes, I am also just a woman in her thirties sitting alone on a pudding-stained couch Googling “commitment phobia.” That doesn’t always feel awesome. Except for the eating-the-pudding part. That’s always awesome, even if sometimes my enthusiasm for it ruins the couch.*

I’ve been going through some shit, Autostraddle. It’s been an intense little while, for all kinds of reasons, both personal and political. Wait. I’m sorry. I said I wanted to get real with you, and I’m not being real right now. It’s really only been an intense little while for personal reasons, but I don’t want to sound shallow and self-focused. I mean, there’s a lot going on in the world at the moment! Why should I be so obsessed with my own tiny piece of it? Big things are afoot. Wall Street is being occupied, Lindsay Lohan is in handcuffs, and Libya…well…something huge is happening there.

Listen, I feel really guilty for not knowing more about what’s going on with Libya. The sad fact of my life is that I would know a heck of a lot more about Libya if I had slept with Libya, or wanted to sleep with Libya. If Libya had a Facebook page and was a cute girl I was interested in, I’d be all over it. I’d know Libya’s astrological sign and former high school, and whether or not Libya had recently posted on the pages of any of the friends we have in common. “Libya commented on Gadhafi’s post on Dictatorship’s wall: “Oh no U di’nt!” (Um, I think I ended up implying in that increasingly confusing metaphor that I would be Facebook friends with Gadhafi and Dictatorship. I so wouldn’t, you guys. You know what I mean.)

Anyway, “things” have been “crazy.” (I’m trying really hard here to make you feel included in my life, yet not give you too many personal details. It’s a fine line, Internet. An extremely fine line. Perhaps even finer than Bruce Willis’s fine line in the Fifth Element: “Look lady, I only speak two languages. English and bad English.”) And although my uncharacteristic urge to re-watch the stylish but ultimately senseless Fifth Element should have been a clue (Mmm Milla Jovovich), I didn’t realize just how emotionally overwhelmed I actually had been until I was at my friend PK’s house.


PK was talking to me about a date she had been on when I felt myself getting teary. Nothing was immediately wrong. In fact, things were really right. We had just eaten Thanksgiving dinner, I’d spent twenty minutes thumb-wrestling a 7-year-old and we were getting ready to watch comedy, which is my favorite thing in the universe. So why was I about to cry? I mean, sure, that 7-year-old kicked my butt (damn those tiny, wily thumbs!) and Thanksgiving is a holiday that pretends to be about pie and friendship but is basically a holiday shamelessly celebrating genocide and American imperialist lies, but that wasn’t it.

“If you keep talking, I’m going to cry,” I announced to PK, as calmly and rationally as I could, in a tone that suggested we needed to defuse a bomb. I didn’t know exactly why I was about to cry, but I knew that silence was the key to me not crying. If PK could just stop talking, maybe I wouldn’t cry. If time could stop for, like, three seconds, maybe I wouldn’t cry. If I could stop thinking and if everything would just be quiet for a minute, maybe…

But PK didn’t stop talking. Instead, she said, “That’s okay. Go ahead. Cry.” (Because PK is great and a really good person to cry in front of, which you’d figure out for yourself if you read her blog.)

And holy shit, Autostraddle, cry I did! I cried and cried and cried. I cried like a tween who’s just been told that Glee’s been cancelled. I cried like that 3-year-old who’s obsessed with Justin Bieber. I cried like I was slicing an onion, listening to a mash-up of Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” and Ani Difranco’s “Grey” while watching a thin, lonely polar bear drifting away on an iceberg, eating my last pudding cup.

“It’s okay,” PK said. “It’s okay to cry.”


I’d like to think “It’s okay to cry” won’t be news to most of you. But it was kinda news to me, so that why I’m sharing. (I’m also sharing because I’m a lesbian and that’s what we do, right? We share, especially when it’s our feelings, quinoa recipes, or yeast infections.) It’s not only okay to cry, apparently it turns out that it’s so okay to cry, there’s an entire vintage ’70s children’s song about it, complete with unflattering camera angles, fake guitar-playing, and a montage of sad adults.


Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go drink some water. Or, as I like to call it, tear juice. It’s okay to cry!

*Worth it

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I care a lot about my hair. Unrelatedly, I say short, funny things at

DeAnne has written 22 articles for us.


  1. Libya is an astrological sign, duh.

    I think you’re awesome even when you’re sitting on a pudding stained couch googling ‘commitment phobia’, Deanne. Admittedly, some people might suggest this is because I’m a woman in her twenties alone on her bed eating tira misu googling ‘abandonment issues and self esteem’. But really it’s because you’re wicked funny and also you like pudding.

    Anyway thank you… I’m going through a low patch myself and this made me feel less alone / gave me a way to smile about it.

  2. “I cried like I was slicing an onion, listening to a mash-up of Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” and Ani Difranco’s “Grey” while watching a thin, lonely polar bear drifting away on an iceberg, eating my last pudding cup.”


  3. I don’t like my feelings right now. I don’t really know how to explain it, but your use of the word “strudel” sort of speaks to me.

  4. I know that this won’t make the “shit” you’re going through any better, buttt, you were REALLY funny last night…. We spent the whole show ogling you from the back. hehe

  5. looking at the kitten picture while listening to amber riley sing “Beautiful” made me tear up. #emotional

  6. In the spirit of teary honesty, I’m sitting here pining over a very straight girl who isn’t very nice to me.

  7. at the bank, in the street, on the phone to my cellphone provider, in bed, on the bus, at lunches with friends, and in the gutter outside my heartlove’s home. these are all places i have cried in the past three days. i’m glad it is ok, at least, but gosh i could do with a giggle.

  8. I came out as bi to my best friend. She told the whole school and then said she had NO idea how everyone knew. And she’s been saying other things about me. I’ve felt like crying for days, but I can’t. I know it’s okay to cry. Maybe I’m too busy checking how big the hole in my back is.

    • It hurts so much to be hacked by someone you’ve identified as ‘true friend material.’ The bummer is that it will continue to hurt for some time. This is the only way to learn discernment, though – the hard way. You don’t know what you need to know until you know it. You know? Good luck.

      In other news, no more hiding, sister. So make the most of it, and sleep with a hot cheerleader.

      • Thank you :) If our school had cheerleaders, I’d sleep with the lot of them.

        No one even cared, but still, it wasn’t her’s to tell.

  9. I’m not a big crier for the most part, mainly happens when I’m having a complete mental breakdown or if I’m on my period. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which it is, though the blood or lack thereof is usually a good indicator.

    • I cut and pasted the section about libya and sent it to my best straight friend who is fascinated w my lesbian life (and cited you of course!)

      also, crying releases serotonin and endorphins, so you actually feel much much better after a good long cry

  10. I got so excited about a new DeAnne post (!!!!) that I spilled tea all over myself. And then read the whole post before getting up to change.

    Also, I’m in the middle of finals and moving countries, so yeah, there’s been tears. And Ani DiFranco. Never listen to School Night at one am with all the lights off and a case of pms. Just, don’t do it.

    • Never listen to school night when it’s a perfect description of your life and you’re the one getting left.

      • never listen to school night when you are neither the party, nor the school night, and it looks as though nobody is coming home anytime soon.

        in fact, ani can be a false friend when you’ve been cheated on. hey wait! you’re the jerk in this story! ..naww, i still love ya…


  11. Im one of those people that never cry. Not even at funerals. I’ve had to start taking the contraceptive pill to fix up my insides and it happens to make me cry at awkward times, like when I get left with the crusty slice of bread or the start of ‘circle of life’ on the lion king.

    • Uh…the circle of life thingy…yeah. I don’t usually cry, and I don’t take the pill. But as an artist who wants to be an animator and misses the beauty of hand-drawn animation, that circle of life crying thing, I do that occasionally. But not profusely, just a tear or two…

  12. Gotta love The Fifth Element. I’ve rewatched that film so many times, and it is rubbish, but in that almost-entertaining way. Plus Milla Jovovich is in it, so there’s that. She doesn’t wear a lot of clothes in this film. I’m shallow.

    Everyone needs a good ole cry, it’s cathartic. I think of it as ‘defragging’ my brain – getting all the various things in my head sorted out.

  13. “…I’m a lesbian and that’s what we do, right? We share, especially when it’s our feelings, quinoa recipes, or yeast infections.”


  14. We had the Free To Be You And Me tape when I was a kid, so whenever I cry I get that song in my head.


  15. I hate crying!! I mean the runny nose, red eyes, headache… Oh I hate it! But you know it’s inevitable, so when i do cry (often when i’m pmsing) i really prefer to do it alone, NEVER in front of people… And I can control it, like hold it in and then when i get home, i cry it out.. (weird i know but it’s quite an ability).

    Also, i don’t know what to do when someone cries in front of me… I feel reeeeeeeeeeeeally uncomfortable and ussually say inapropiate things like “it’s not that bad, you’re probable just pmsing and being a drama queen”… But i say it in the most supportive way! I swear! xD

  16. I have been pretty close to tears the past few days, because of (a) frustrations at work and (b) bad things happening in the video game I’m playing. I think I would like a good long cry at some time in the near future, but penciling it into my calendar never seems to work.

    Anyway. Lovely article. And I am glad that I’m not the only one who doesn’t make the emotional outburst = maybe I’m PMSing connection until after the “P” part of PMS has ended…

  17. I haven’t been able to cry in two months and some just really lame things are happening.

    Anyone wanna come to the midwest and punch me in the face?

  18. I’ve been feeling like crying all the time lately, too. I fucking hate it and refuse to let myself, though. It only makes me feel worse once it’s over. The shit that made me want to cry in the first place isn’t any better than when I started, only now I have a headache, my sinuses are stuffed up, and my eyes are puffy and dry. Bleh.

    I’ve been staving off the tears by listening to a bizarre mix of Morning Musume and Red Hot Chili Peppers non-stop. I don’t know why, but it works.

  19. Deanne Smith and the Feelings sounds like a ’60s Motown singing group. I like this idea almost as much as I like this article, which is a lot.

  20. I actually LOVE crying. It feels so damn good. But I actually never really cry (I think I’m dead inside or something). And if I do, it is never in front of people. This is not because I am afraid to cry in front of people. Just because there is no face you could make that is less attractive than your really ‘bawling like a baby’ face. Sexy stuff like that is only for me.

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