I hate when I cry… I’m not a girl who deliberately sheds tears just to get attention – I’ve known my share of “those girls” and they taught me a valuable lesson: don’t be like them. But sometimes, frustration just gets me so ferclempt that I don’t know what else to do and I just need a quick release, and for some reason, crying gets it out.

It happens when I feel stupid… I remember my high school French teacher drilling me about something in Moliere, and I didn’t know what the heck she was saying, and she just kept repeating the same thing to me over and over again. I had this deadpan stare and I was thinking, “If I didn’t understand it the first time, what makes you think repeating it incessantly is going to help?!” Finally a classmate whispered her question to me and I fumbled out an answer. I left class with hot red cheeks and had to rush into the girl’s bathroom because I needed to just get out of my frustration. Perhaps this is where my mental-French-block comes from. Feeling stupid in French class makes me ferclempt.

I get ferclempt if I’m driving somewhere I’ve never been and get lost. Nothing gets me more steamed than driving around in circles, being closer and closer to arriving late, and not finding the address. I had an internship at the Ottawa Sun my first summer here and every day they would send me to some obscure location – this was pre-GPS era and all I had was a map and a choking feeling in my throat. I quit after a week (not because I was always getting lost but because they wanted me to cover something that was completely against my principles and I refused). But that job made me ferclempt.

Stupid people make me ferclempt. People who love drama or self-loathing. People who are complainers. This all drives me to freclempt-cia.

So the next time you’re feeling frustrated or at your wit’s end, don’t get to the point that you burst into tears, like I childishly do… just think of the word “ferclempt.” It’s a silly enough word that it just might take the edge off!