I am a dude.
Being a dude, I really shouldn’t admit to crying.
And quite honestly, I don’t cry too often. I can only remember crying when my grandmother, grandfather, and Best Buddy, Jarrod, died.
But that’s it.
Oh wait. I definitely cried when Joe Carter hit the game winning homerun against the Phillies in the ’93 World Series. But I was eight, so I don’t think that should count.
Okay, and maybe there was one girl who I cried about one time. But she was my first love and we were cruelly torn away from each other and blah blah blah. I’m sure the Indie Chicks aren’t interested in that boring story.
Other than that, though, I haven’t cried at all.
In real life, that is.
You see, I recently read a post where the author talked about football player Peyton Manning being released by the Colts and the impact that it had on him as a loyal fan. For 14 years, Dan had watched Manning blossom into one of the best quarterbacks that the NFL has ever seen. Along with his own tearful reflection on seeing his hero’s farewell, Dan also included a video of the press conference, in which an emotional Manning shed tears for his beloved city of Indianapolis.
As I held back tears while watching the video, I realized what it is that affects me emotionally. The only thing that is actually capable of tugging at my heartstrings and bringing tears to my eyes.
It is witnessing a grown man cry.
I know it sounds weird. But seriously, it gets me every time.
The major moment that demonstrates what I’m getting at is the scene in Armageddon (spoiler to follow, but really it is your own fault if you haven’t seen it by now) is when Ben Affleck draws the short straw and is tasked to stay behind to manually detonate the nuke, thus sacrificing his life to save the world. But Bruce Willis throws him back onto the spaceship’s elevator, telling him to take care of his daughter and that he loves him and that he would be proud to call him his son-in-law. And then Ben Affleck is all like, “NOOOOO HARRY!!! I LOVE YOUUUUUU!!!” and crying hysterically as he is lifted back up into the ship.
And while all of this is going on the screen, I’m sitting there on the couch, cursing my tear ducts. I’m not mad at them for building up extra moisture — I’m used to it at this point. I’m mad at them for building up so much extra moisture that my eyeballs have no choice but to release a tear or two down my cheek.
If there is someone else in the room (and let’s be honest… If I’m watching Armageddon, there’s bound to be someone else in the room since I am probably watching it at their request*), I will just sit there and let the tears fall where they may. For to reach up and wipe away the tear is to acknowledge that I cried.
*Seriously, how have I seen that movie so often?
Instead, I wait 2-3 minutes. When a non-emotional scene is playing, I finally reach my hand towards my face and pretend to scratch the back of my ear or the top of my scalp. And on the way back, my hand takes a moment to clandestinely wipe away whatever part of the trail of tears hasn’t evaporated.