Archive for August 1st, 2010

Cry babies: men and tears

Andy, Gay and I were on the veranda recently, talking, as we do, on the familiar topic of the differences between men and women when the issue of tears came up.

Gay’s sister had phoned from California bawling her eyes out, an immediate cause for concern right up until the time Gay realized she was crying for joy at a bit of good news; an emotional response to which Gay and I well relate, but put Andy at a bit of a loss. Having no recollection of ever shedding tears at happy moments, a revelation that had us pondering the possibility that going all weepy when all goes really right just might be a girl thing, he found the whole reaction familiar as an observer, but still odd.

Remembering moments from my daughter’s wedding, a joyful occasion, I know I was leaking like a garden hose, while her dad … having supplied me with a brand new hanky, correctly predicting precipitation … smiled broadly through the ceremony, managing to walk back down the isle sans the red nose I snuffled on my way out.

I cried more than my babies when first presented with each one, dripped my way through their graduations, dissolved when greeting people at the airport, blubbered when given wonderful gifts and dehydrated myself on many of the happier occasions life has kindly offered up. Even a story of someone else’s happiness can get me going glassy-eyed.

The thing is, I love those tears that spring from joy, and found myself feeling more than a little sorry for guys if, indeed, they miss out on this version of waterworks.

Coincidentally, a couple of things have crossed my radar this morning that give some hope … or not … that guys do go all squishy from time to time without having lost a World Cup match.

Although it seems to be sad stuff that jerks the tears when it comes to movies, at least some guys do drop immunity when sufficiently manipulated:

I’m a 48-year-old man, ex-rugby player and motorcycle racer and I admit that Babe did it for me. Right at the end when the farmer says “That’ll do Pig”, I start welling up at the thought of it.

There's always the butch smart ass, of course:

~David, Glasgow~
The bit in The Italian Job where the Mafia smash Michael Caine’s Aston Martin and the two E-Types had me crying like a baby.

For real proof of joy, however, a video making the rounds lets us listen in while one mountain man … well, a man in mountains, anyway … overflows.

I have some suspicion that there may have been an illegal substance or two involved in his reaction, and, given the duration of his outburst, a bit of slammin’ the salmon going on … but maybe that’s just me being hardhearted.

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