SCOUT PICK: It’s All Right to Cry at Thursday’s Pity Party

pity partyPoster by Kari Percival.

It’s not a surprise that the impetus for things like Thursday’s Pity Party in Union Square came about because organizer Greg Cook “was having a bad time.” A number of personal issues combined with the Great Recession blues got Cook thinking about the way we deal with sadness as a society.

“I think a lot of people have been having a hard time, with the recession, with the wars, with the state of civil rights in our country,” he says. “Our society doesn’t doesn’t like to talk about sadness, in fact it actively works against talking about sadness.”

That’s what gave Cook the idea to get sadness out in the open with a bunch of large events that embraced the mopey. The events would be cathartic and humorous in something Cook calls “funny sad,” which we at Scout can only imagine is the way you feel when you laugh to keep from crying.

Cook says he got the inspiration for the Pity Party after he searched the Internet (“where I get all my answers”) for ways that people deal with their sadness. The phrase “pity party,” in the broad sense, is a way to mock people who are sad, but Cook says he found people, especially in the self-help community, who were reclaiming the phrase as a form of self-care.

Cook says that through his research, he found that the basic recipe for a pity party involves pajamas, sad music and ice cream, and from that he built the plan for a whole gloomy block party. Sad Sallies will descend onto Union Square from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday (Friday rain date). Musicians will spin sad tunes and poets will recite sad poems. A love letter-writing station will deliver your notes of hope and desire straight into a trash can, and local vendors will sell ice cream so that you can eat your feelings.

All that, and “unfortunately much more,” awaits you this Thursday in Union Square.

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