Big Boys Don’t Cry

Man CryingWhen was the last time you cried?  I do not mean when puddles of water fill up in the corner of your eyelids but when you actually let it out and balled your way into a pillow or a handful of tissues.  If you are a woman then your answer probably lies in the recent past.  But if you are a guy you will say weeks, months, and even years since you last cried.  Well, a series of German ophthalmologists might disagree with you on that.  According to a recent study of both men and women big boys actually do cry, and a lot more than you might believe.  According to this study guys cry on average seventeen times a year.  If you think about it that is a pretty low number, but that is more than once a month that you are breaking down and letting it all out.  But what is making these guys cry?

On the list of things that guys cry about were the obvious.  Death is a major part of growing up.  You took it for granted when you were younger but as your grandparents, parents, and even your friends get older their clocks run out all the time.  Just this year alone I have had three people close to me visit their maker.  Not including friends who have lost loved ones.  It is a part of life but one that we have a hard time accepting.  So guys, even at a funeral that is inevitable, are crying.

Fluffy has died and Buster has run away from home.  Guys are tearing up when animals run away or pass away, just as humans do.  My girlfriend, for example, might go into a mental breakdown if her dog were to pass away.  Animals, especially for single people who live alone, become family members.  They are there when you get home; you are forced to take care of them, walk them, and can even have conversations with.  They are cute, cuddly, and always there.  But the day that they are no longer there even men are crying.  A dog is a man’s best friend after all.

Whether you want to admit guys you are releasing some emotion during movies.  I will admit that I have cried in a movie or twenty.  I have cried on television shows.  I cry nearly every damn episode of Grey’s Anatomy for that matter.  There have even been come commercials that get me ready to lose some tears.  In Grey’s, for example, I become so vested in these characters, their lives, and the struggles and pain he or she goes through that when something happens I get upset.  I balled my eyes out when George kicked the bucket.  If you watch the show you know what I mean.  Even movies like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Seven Pounds, and a slew of others I have been known to shed.

To top this list of things that make us guys cry was weddings.  The older I get the more of these I go to as well.  Just this year I have been to three and I know that next year, and the year after that will bring more than this year.  The older my friends get the more they feel that they need to get married.  Then comes the kids, which happens usually after the marriage, and their lives take a turn for what most think the better.  But when a guy is sitting there watching a man and a woman state their vows to each other there is a much higher rate of tears than anything listed above.

But are all tears the same?  Absolutely not.  You can have tears of sorrow, tears of disappointment, tears of stress filled days, and even tears of joy.  Think about Tiger Woods when he won his first Masters tournament back in 1997.  He was only a kid back then but he had worked so hard to win this tournament and managed to pull it off with his parents sitting on the 18th green waiting to congratulate him on his week’s worth of well struck golf shots.  When he grabbed his father, his guiding light in golf and life until that point, they both, grown men, lost it and cried in front of everyone.  These are tears of joy.

That same man that Tiger hugged and shed tears of joy with would pass away a few years later.  When Tiger heard news of his father’s death, although none of this is public, I can almost guarantee that he cried.  He cried tears of sorrow.  His dad was sick and it was expected that he might not have long left, and there I am sure was a period of acceptance, but when a parent dies you cannot help but lose a piece of you inside when you hear that news.

I am not sure if Tiger cries while watching TV or movies, but this just goes to show that it is OK for grown men to cry.  Does it embarrass most men, sure, but does it at the same time show that you have a soft side, a side that shows care and compassion, absolutely.  There is nothing wrong with crying guys.  It is OK to let it out every once and a while.  According to this study you are going to ry seventeen times this year, so you might as well make it known.  Some girls might even like that.  So the next time you lose a friend or family member, a dog runs away, or you see Meredith Grey performing surgery, remember that I am probably crying right along with you.  Let it out guys, I am a shoulder if you need one.