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When Dudes Cry

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Youngman Brown

Michael R. Young aka Youngman Brown is a 27-year old poker player-turned writer who makes his home over at Youngman Brown.When he is not writing about how much he hates Nicolas Cage and Katherine Heigl, he is experiencing life to the fullest... from the comfort of his couch. He also enjoys long walks on the beach, in an effort to find a message in a bottle or a treasure map. Either one will suffice.

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I’m 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 by Dan of Shameful Promotions, where he talked about 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.

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  • Roxanne

    Dudes cry. Thank you for owning it. I know it’s difficult for some dudes to admit so most of us pretend to ignore it when it happens (unless it’s at a funeral). So when you carefully time your pretend scratch, you ain’t fooling anybody, but that’s okay. Great post.

    • youngmanbrown

      Oh man, and here I thought that the pretend scratch was imperceptible.

  • Chiara

    Michael, I may or may not have fallen in love with you right now (Jewels, you can vouch for me here).. when we discussed this being an article topic, we couldn’t help but go on our tangents about men crying (see articles coming out tomorrow in response to this one)… WELL.. my ONE weakness is seeing a grown man cry. Yes, I’ve cried at the mandatory movies like Titanic.. but if I see a grown man cry, I get a tingle deep within (not my vagina, even deeper than that).. that unleashes a fountain I cannot turn off. I envy you for being about to do the scratch-behind-the-ear when no one is watching.. Maybe it’s the estrogen.. but people can hear my sobs a mile away. As far as the evolutionary influence here, I think it signals that the situation calls for emotional vulnerability if even the most testosteroned out alphas (or successful actors) deem it worthy.

    Saying boobs makes me feel better, too.
    Welcome to The Indie Dicks.

    • Jewels

      I’m vouching for her. We discussed the phenomena that is men crying and how it triggers in us a kind of cry that nothing else can. I LOSE it when I see grown men cry (the in pain, emotional, mourning cry…not “the Eagles blew it again” cry). I know a lot of women who respond the same way.

    • youngmanbrown

      Saying boobs makes everything better, really.

      Thanks for the kind words, and I can’t wait to see the coming articles!

  • Michael Zosh

    Great article! As far as I’m concerned, real men cry. And they’ll admit it. Nothing wrong with a little water works every now and then. For me to cry it’s always because of the background music. It gets me every time!

    • youngmanbrown

      Oh yea, I know what you mean about the background music. I actually listen to random soundtracks and similar music while I write. Check out Thomas Bergersen for some great music :)

  • Jewels

    You already know how I feel about this article…I love it. There is NOTHING like a man crying to unleash my own waterworks. I’m also not the kind of woman to look at a guy who sheds a few tears at an emotional part of a movie and judge because chances are high that I’m full out sobbing myself. Love the honesty and humor of this piece and love even more that it inspired talk between our team and a follow up article. Great job, Michael….hope to see a lot more of you here.

    • youngmanbrown

      Thanks for everything you said, but more importantly for inviting me. I think I’ll stay :)

  • Michael Offutt

    I like men who are in touch with their emotions. It makes them more approachable and attractive.

    • youngmanbrown

      Here here!

  • Birdman

    Dude. I cry so much, my vagina aches, but when I see a grown man crying, I run up and punch his balls. There, now you have something to cry about.

    • youngmanbrown

      Let’s be honest, getting kicked in the balls is definitely something that any man is allowed to cry about.

  • workingdan

    It’s okay man, I cry all the time. It’s all a part of being human. Being a dude who cries doesn’t make you less of a man. It just means you are a good person because you care enough to cry. I’m the same way, I see a dude cry it chokes me up. Hell, I even cry watching cheesy Christmas movies or even cartoons. Ever see Toy Story 3? I cried at the end. Yeah, who’s the pussy now? lol

    • youngmanbrown

      I can’t believe I forgot to include Toy Story 3. That definitely got me.

      Also, the first scene of “Up” was pretty brutal.

  • Janie Junebug

    Who says boys don’t cry? Dr. X used to cry every time he couldn’t get it up in bed. Oops! I probably shouldn’t have shared that.


    • Chiara

      EVERY TIME? Geez. I’d say the first or second time would have been justified.. but ‘every time’?!

    • youngmanbrown

      Get what up?

  • WilyGuy

    Well, who didn’t cry at the end of Armageddon. Frankly, your “he started it” attitude towards other guys crying is perfectly healthy. It is macho crying.
    On the one hand, the other guy has begun crying making it acceptable for you.
    On the second hand, you are crying to make him feel accepted.
    On the third and obviously radioactive hand, you’re still a big baby.
    On the fourth and getting somewhat ridiculous hand, who doesn’t love babies for crying out loud.

    Great piece, I always knew you were dick enough. (Wow, that sounded uncomfortable and awkward, yet I’m leaving it because you know what I mean)


    • youngmanbrown

      I wasn’t sure that I’d be dick enough.

      But then again, I also wasn’t sure how many hands I had.

      Thanks Scott.

  • Sonja Rois

    Honestly, I freeze up when I see a man cry. I just DO NOT know what to do. It’s like being lost in a cornfield. I don’t know which way to go or what to do, but I know I want out! I don’t think it’s the guys fault though. There is nothing wrong with a grown man crying and I don’t think less of any that do, I’m just not an overly emotional person myself so I don’t know what to do with someone else’s. I also have the same reaction when girls cry, but being one myself I can usually wing my way through it before bolting out the door.

    But seriously, man or woman, who didn’t cry at Armaggedon? Even I cried at that one and my friends have deemed me “The Robot” because I don’t get emotional at movies. (The scene where Liv Tylor is saying good-bye to Bruce Willis is the one that does it for me. And Heaven forbid the Aerosmith song come on the radio while I’m driving.)

    Great post! Good to hear of something that isn’t easily admitted by most men.

    • Chiara

      I’m the same when a guy cries… like right in front of me. I’ve had a couple of ex boyfriends cry and quite frankly, I just checked out until it was over. What am I supposed to say? “There, there. It’s okay. The pain will subside soon.. Sh…”

    • youngmanbrown

      Oh, also when the guy goes up to Liv and asks to shake hands with the “daughter of the bravest man he’s ever known.” That one gets me a little verclempt.

  • Crack You Whip

    My son punches himself in the face when he starts to cry. “Oh, yes, that is why you are crying…because you punched yourself.”

    Great read.

    • youngmanbrown

      Hopefully he doesn’t have too vicious of a punch yet!

  • Shockgrubz

    I cry so much that I’ve categorized my tears into 10 distinct types, my favorite of which is the tear of joy. Too bad they’re so rare.

    • youngmanbrown

      Wow, I’d like to know what the other categories are.

  • Kianwi

    God, I’m a sucker for a man who cries. Well, not one who cries all the time, and is mushier than me, but when one cries about the important things? Or one that cries in a movie and tries to hide it? Oh, sheesh, I’m a goner!

  • Brett Minor (@brettminor)

    You’re busted. I see a few of your regular readers have found you and know your ‘dirty’ little secret.

    Something chokes me up every now and then. It’s small, usually private and goes unnoticed, but it’s there. It didn’t happen when I was younger, but as I have gotten older, I’ve gotten soft.

  • Kate

    Absolutely hilarious, and very well written. A definite must-share. Still laughing and wiping tears from my own eyes, lol.

  • Ken

    Just you wait until you push past 40 and the old testosterone levels start to dip. You’re going to find yourself, sitting watching some random movie like Secretariat, bawling your eyes out at the ending for no apparent reason.

    ………….or, so I’ve been told.

  • @bluenoteabacker

    Nicely said, though I can attest that men *do* cry. I cry all the time but only at really REALLY sad things. Like sappy TV commercials, sad or sappy movies, super happy times, when I miss my daughter or my girlfriend, when I hurt myself, when my team loses, during operas or ballets, when I hear a moving piece of classical music, when I hear a song that reminds me of sad things, or when I’m so bored tears leak from my eyes. Only then, will this man cry. I’m glad we can admit to crying and remain manly men.

  • BeaSempere

    Cute article! I have no problems when my husband cries. It makes me realize just how not-so different we really are. :)

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  • Jo-Anne

    Most men who say they never cry will cry at the birth of their child, I am married to a man who is not afraid to cry and I love him for it