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Death By Chronic Weepy Girly Man Syndrome

 Death By Chronic Weepy Girly Man Syndromecry at movies.

I’ve been strug­gling with this for a long time because I’ve never been able to truly under­stand it. I still don’t. But I’ve decided it’s some kind of weird ben­e­fit, a deci­sion that came from the reac­tion of my chil­dren, those mon­grel dogs, when they caught me wip­ing tears out of my eyes at Ice Age 2.

Never mind that I cried in Ice Age one, as if that’s not bad enough. No. I was crank­ing out the juice in the sequel. I am a sad, sad lit­tle man and I’ll never be cool. I’ll never be Indi­ana Jones.

The list of guys who are cooler than me is long enough that it fades off into the dis­tance like some desert high­way. Every­one is cooler than me. Everybody’s Steve McQueen.

Take the guy remod­el­ing my house. He can build stuff that doesn’t fall down, he scuba dives in the Caribbean, he goes off to Galena on the week­ends to work on his boat, and he beat up three guys last year who were try­ing to steal his tools. Oh, and he was a Navy res­cue swimmer.

Take my buddy Pat Greene (not the gay coun­try singer). Last year he moved to New York for the hell of it, worked for three months as a super­lu­mi­nary in a play in Ashville where they put him up in a lux­ury apart­ment, and now he’s going to travel the world in the ground crew for a blimp. He gets a cool flight suit.
Me? Here’s a list of movies and com­mer­cials that have reduced me to a blub­ber­ing girl man:

• Ice Age
• Ice Age 2
• Over the Hedge
• Amer­i­can Idol when Gina G got voted off and had to sing Smile as her good­bye song and pulled it off with super­nat­ural grace and aplomb.
• The Syl­van Learn­ing cen­ter one with the kid with the skate­board? Every time.
• Chicken Lit­tle
• Spi­der­man I and II
• Shrek
• Lord of the Rings I, II, and III
• The hall­mark com­mer­cial where that kid gives that girl that card.
• Find­ing Nemo
• Click (This claim is con­tested as RahRah is admant that I was tearstruck, where Roon is equally adamant that this is the only movie where I didn’t cry. Per­son­ally, I have a hard time cry­ing in Adam San­dler movies…)
• Stranger than Fic­tion (like a busted dike)

Just now while com­pil­ing this list, I asked my daugh­ter, Queen-of-All-14-Year-Old-Heartless-Daughters-and-Animé-Superfan, what movies I’ve cried in and she glee­fully rat­tled off more than I could bear then cut her­self off and said “basi­cally, any movie where it’s not manly to cry.”
Hall­mark com­mer­cials? What the hell is wrong with me?

Ok, I cried at my daughter’s play where she had the lead in Annie and did such a FREAKING AMAZING JOB and got sev­eral stand­ing ohs and who wouldn’t cry, right? That’s cool. That’s manly. But I didn’t cry when the cat died and my kids were decav­i­tat­ing and flood­ing the room up to my knees with tears. Me? Dry as a piece of sand­pa­per.
If it had been a movie, I’d have been soak­ing my shirt sleeves. But in real life I’m bone dry.

Well, not always. About three months after I retired for a life of leisure, I had some kind of bizarre house­wife cry­ing jag which freaked me AND my wife out. I just walked into the kitchen and started weep­ing. My wife crept into the kitchen like I’d sprouted wings and asked me what was wrong and I remem­ber look­ing at her with total baf­fle­ment and say­ing “I have no idea!” It was like hav­ing a seizure. Appar­ently this hap­pens a lot—TO WOMEN who retire from the work­force and stay home. My sis­ter told me it had a lot to do with miss­ing the peo­ple I’d befriended at my job, like they’d dis­ap­peared off the face of the earth—oh and that I was a wussy lit­tle girl.

I get those. They make sense. But I opened one of those glurge mails the other day, you know the kind, about some act of angelic kind­ness that is so hokey and sac­cha­rine you actu­ally get dia­betes at the end of the let­ter, that kind of glurge, and I weeped up.

It’s an afflic­tion. My daugh­ter says I have CCB—chronic cry baby syndrome.

But it’s a part of me and I gotta get right with it because believe me, it ain’t going any­where. And I’m think­ing it teaches some­thing to my kids. I don’t know what, but they love it. They can barely pay atten­tion to a movie for all their neck cran­ing to check me for tears. What­ever chem­i­cal defi­ciency causes me to leak so often also causes me to dis­play a kind of gen­uine ten­der­ness in front of my kids. I mean, it’s funny, they don’t let me for­get that, but it’s also real.

So I’ve decided to take it as a kind reverse badge of man­li­ness. I weep openly now. I cry with aban­don. Hell, I’m cry­ing right now—you got a prob­lem with that, bub? Huh? Do ya?