Saturday, August 9, 2008

That dress would go well with your tears, fellas

A feature piece by the Daily Telegraph's Judith Woods entitled "Please Save Us From The Boo-Hoo Boys" recently appeared. Ms. Woods criticized the plethora of sports figures who get weepy at every disappointing result and society's acceptance that men crying in public is a good thing. Just a few snipets from this article should suffice to get her point across to you, dear reader:
Another sporting weekend, another great big crybaby hits the headlines. Forget this summer's metrosexual cardigan, these days the accessory du jour for any strapping bloke with a five o'clock shadow you could sand floors with is a nice lace-trimmed hankie—proper cotton, mind you, so as not to chafe his septum.
[T]he first step to reclaiming masculinity is to dry those pretty little eyes, reapply your manscara, touch up your guyliner and get right back to the testosterone-saturated stadium/building site/trading floor. Oh, and how about relocating your backbone while you're at it?
[I]t seems as though the keening and lamenting is set to continue as the Olympics are about to start. I shall be keeping my own score card, not of medals, but of bawling athletes.

Well, mee-ooow!, Ms. Woods! This demonstrates how men just can't win. If we don't cry enough, we're cold fish, emotional cripples, who should get in touch with our emotions more. But if we do cry, we're told that we're sissies. Honestly, ladies, you see the mixed messages you constantly bombard us guys with?
But Ms. Woods would love me. You see, I never cry. On occasions I've come close, but fought the tears back every time, harrumphed, and just got on with my life.
I have a huge problem with crying. Even if, admittedly, it would have made me feel better during times when I could have used a weep, I kept a stiff upper lip nonetheless. Personally, I would despise myself if I cried. My own consciousness says, "men just don't do that!" And so I don't.
I get angry. I rant and rave. And I also get sad. I have melancholy moments that keep me awake. Tears never get in the way of my anger or melancholy, though. Frankly, if I wanted to cry, I might as well throw on one of my wife's sundresses while I'm at it. Because that's how I would feel about myself.
I do remember the last time I was lachrymose. I broke down while watching coverage of the state funeral for Reagan on the BBC. I shouldn't have to apologize to anyone for that, not even to myself.
But, ordinarily, I just don't go for tears.
Ms. Woods quotes Kathleen Parker from her book Save The Males: Why Men Matter and Women Should Care:
"At the same time that men have been ridiculed, the importance of fatherhood has been diminished, along with other traditionally male roles of father, protector and provider. The exemplar of the modern male is the hairless, metrosexualized man and decorator boys who turn heterosexual slobs into perfumed ponies. But in the dangerous world in which we really live, it might be nice to have a few guys around who aren't trying to juggle pedicures and highlights."

Amen to that. And I'm one of those few guys. I refuse to give into the whole metrosexual craze. I'm one of those fellas who, upon waking up, throws on a t-shirt and jeans, runs a comb through his hair, is perfectly happy to ignore the stubble on his face, and just goes out to deal with the world and whatever it wants to throw at him. A few sprays of cologne is my only vice. (I do like to smell nice).
I do have my ways of dealing with life and all of its resulting frustrations. Crying is not, and shall never be, one of them.


kristen said...

I was smiling while reading because I can tell you are NOT a crier.

As for me personally, I like a man's man. There's nothing sexier than a guy who is in control, is super masculine, and shows he is very strong (physically and emotionally). Now, having said that, there's nothing wrong with shedding a few tears now and again. The death of a loved one, the agony of a physical ailment, or something extremely moving. I DO like it when a guy can get a little emotional; but he can still be a sensitive guy w/o being a bawl baby. It's nice when a guy can show that softer side, but that doesn't mean I want him wearing anything pink.

kristen said...

And as long as he doesn't mind the woman breaking down in tears....

(Totally guilty of that)

Nightdragon said...

I hate to see a grown woman cry, but crying is excusable for females. (Breaks my heart to see my wife cry -- not that she often has any reason to!)
You would not believe the number of young men -- all of whom I'm sure are straight -- I've seen wearing pink t-shirts lately. And not just pink, but hot pink. I'm just amazed. When the hell did PINK, in any shade, become acceptable for men?
Don't you worry about me though. I wouldn't be caught dead in pink. And if anyone were to dress my corpse in pink, my spirit will totally kick their butt before moving on to the next world! :-}
The only acceptable pink for males is Pink Floyd!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I'd rather a youth in a pink T-shirt to the 'yoot' with jogging bottoms halfway across his backside that packs a knife and uses it as easily as others cry.

Hon, I've seen you shed tears at the loss of some of our beautiful rat kids, and I'm always comforted to see that they mean that much to you.

The Ugly American said...

All I can say about this's one of the reasons I won't watch the end of "It's a Wonderful Life"!

When I watched my little girls graduate from HS, I had to hide my face...I'm sure I will again when they graduate from college!

And on the rare occasion when the Yankees lose to the Redsox...

But in all that...I may be a big baby, but I'll kick your butt if you call me one!

Nightdragon said...

Dear Andy,



Nightdragon said...

"Anon": Well, OK, I always reserve some weepy sniffles for our kids when it's time for them to leave us, though not so much anymore simply because I know they're not in pain. And that's def. not something to cry about. Missing them does hurt though.

The Ugly American said...

I have two daughters...22 and 19. I'm praying my 22 year old will move away and you guys are crying about them leaving? I'm gonna have a party when my oldest flies the coop!!!

Line Dance Girl said...

Cheers Nightdragon, Kristen! Let there be no mixed signals here... Men's men are natural! Naturally, lol, men aren't supposed to listen to us women & our "you should be more sensitive" speeches! We don't really expect you all to start crying & coordinating & *gasp* using guyliner or manscara!!! Seriously?!? And I'd love an interview with the first person that intentionally made a pink shirt for men!
Thanks for the interesting post :*|

Nightdragon said...

You're welcome, Line Dancer, I'm grateful you read and enjoyed the post.

Nightdragon said...

Well, we're talking about pet rats here, Andy. Heh. They only live about 2 years at most. Which is why we've had so many of the beady-eyed, twitchy-whiskered buggers over the past ten years!

The Ugly American said...

My daughter has a pet rat....sorry, I just don't get it! Although, the silly little thing, actually not all that little, comes when she calls it...kinda.

Stick with rats...if you can swap them out every couple of years...can't do that with kids!