Crying Shame

It’s a shame the Miami Heat and Tom Brady aren’t allowed to tell the truth. It’s sad really, that grown men are supposed to behave as automatons rather than human beings. I see nothing wrong with the Heat crying after a particularly tough loss or Tom Brady crying when asked to look back to a deep dark draft day. It’s refreshing to see men who have dominated the sports landscape show some humanity.

If they’re not able to divulge the big, bad truth, then who will?

Men cry.

It happens with a lot more frequency than most guys would be comfortable admitting. We cry at the the movies, we cry over Barry Manilow songs (sorry, that’s another post), we cry about how much money we spend at the mall, we cry over the fact we are at the mall in the first place, we cry over spilt milk (have you seen how much a gallon of milk goes for?), we cry over box scores and we cry over breakups.

We just don’t advertise. When it comes to crying, it’s strictly a word of mouth proposition. That way, we have plausible denial on our side- we can blame the tears on cranky contact lenses, allergies . . wasabi.

It’s more likely you will spot the Loch Ness Monster giving Elvis a water ride. Or Bigfoot camping out in the woods with his extra terrestrial pals. Sightings of men crying are that hard to come by.

It’s been this way for a long, long time.

Roman men were probably the last great society of criers.  According to myth, the city was founded by twins. The twins became involved in a duel to the death over naming rights, and Romulus won. Rome became the birthplace of tragi-comedy after this, and as any comic worth his salt understands, comedy is all about tears.

The Byzantine Empire ushered in an orthodoxy which had no time for cyring. It was an epic period in our world history, where the world opened up and men learned to keep their emotions in check.

Fast forward to present day, where an athlete cries and newsrooms push a serial killer story to page fifty six. Journalists and commentators put on their sociological thinking caps and expound on the antecedents- From Cary Grant’s classic speech in Pride of the Yankees to Michael Landon’s teary eyed turns as Charles Ingalls to Mike Schmidt’s retirement press conference.

No matter that we live in an age of freaky sex, ultra gratuitous violence and designer drugs which promise to collapse vital organs . . when it comes to men crying in public, we are Puritans.

It’s enough to make a grown man pretend he has something in his eye.


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