I have a really embarrassing confession. Almost always when I chug a carbonated beverage, aka beer, I cry a little. You wouldn’t notice it unless you really looked, but it happens every time. I’m not in pain or anything, I just have this unavoidable natural reaction. I love beer and for that reason this upsets me. There isn’t an OTC medication for it either, trust me, I’ve looked! Unfortunately, I’m just forced to live with this super humiliating defect that I’m consistently judged for. Human social norms are insane! Most of them change generation to generation and there is no saying what will stay true when it comes to what is acceptable between genders. Think about something as simple as gender acceptable fashion colors. In the past half century, men have gone from the entire rainbow of choices to an accepted few shades of blue, grey and green. Anything else bends girls into thinking we are preppy frat boys (guilty), full massed metrosexuals, or playing for another team. I don’t make the rules, I’ve just been around. I’m not a very serious guy, though. I think when it comes to the topic of what is acceptable in the borders of manhood, I can throw darts into the bullseye, but I need to explain something first. One, I’m a comedian, so some of these are slightly for the sake of humor, but I am aiming to make a point and a convincing one at that. Two, “Crying,” for a man is confusing. Often times you’ll never see it, but it’s a thing… like an insect crawling away to die alone, we will retreat to solitude to shed a tear or let the sprinklers jet on the inside. Either way, there are a few, but acceptable, times when a man is allowed to cry. In the parenthesis painted in the list titles you will find either an “I” or an “O” which stand for “crying on the inside” and “crying on the outside,” respectively.
10. When your sister tells you she lost her virginity (I)
True Story: I’m on the pedestrian walking aimlessly with a good friend of mine in this little town over in Georgia. Jake and I are talking, I guess I should say arguing, about whether or not it’s easier for girls to score than guys. I go, “Of course it’s easier for girls! Guys are always down!” He childishly rebuts, “There’s no way. Girls just don’t have the confidence. Guys have it way easier because we’re built for the hunt!” Jake pauses and rushes to my aid, “You okay, man?” He noticed that I stopped walking and wore a painful expression on my face. I explain,”I don’t know, dude. I feel like part of me died.” In retrospect, this was probably because I was drunk at 3pm and my biological train was whistling, but I decide to make a joke of it. I laugh, “…maybe somewhere my sister just lost her virginity.” We both chuckle it off and go on with our lives. As it turns out, several weeks later I’m in the backseat of my buddy’s Volvo being sober cabbed by my sister in the middle of the night. My friends and I are incredibly inebriated enough to annoy her raw and she verbally reciprocates her feelings. I make another snarky joke to my dear sister’s complaining, “See, this is why you are a virgin!” She turns to me and launches the torpedo, “I’m not a virgin, anymore.” After further investigation we all discover that my mini heart attack happened around the time that she lost it. I definitely cried on the inside and I feel for every brother that has to go through this colorless unexplainable heartbreak.
9. That horrifying moment when your bro gets engaged (I)
I’m not completely against marriage. Actually, due to a recent and crazily random turn of events in my life, I’m sorta looking forward to it. Not the wedding, that can be her fairytale and preferably on her tab, but marriage sounds nice. Now that’s out there, you’re happy for your boy! He did it! After all the crazy, unspeakable, and sometimes… unlawful escapades… he’s on his way to the metaphorical coffin that many call a milestone. “Hey dude could you be my best man?” What? Not only are you digesting the impending matrimony, but does he want you to help bury him alive, too? I’m joking! Remember what I said, I’m not totally against it… just hold back the tears because those Hank and Runkle Californication moments have officially come to an end. Oh wait, at least there’s a bachelor’s party!
8. Your sports team loses the super bowl (I)
The worst let down, is the heaviest weight. Now, I’m not a crazy sports fan at all. I just understand the geographically bred insanity that fuels football fans. No, I’m sorry, I don’t want to hear about your favorite college team or any kind of baseball catastrophe. Get over it, honestly. Now, if your favorite “hometown” NFL team blows it at one of the biggest entertainment events in history, I can understand if you have a hurricane of tears flooding your insides. After all the months of meat-punching, it’s probably like watching your own family embarrass themselves right before achieving the dream, which is psychotic, but I grasp it. Who knows, I might even listen to a well choreographed rant about the loss after a couple shots.
7. She cheats on you (O)
You’ll never admit you have or never admit you would, but I believe it’s acceptable to let the faucet leak a little if you’re cheated on. I know what it takes for a guy to actually surface emotions. I’ve been there. Okay, kidding, I think there’s only one lady that has actually evoked some deep rooted emotional response from me, but being betrayed is soul crushing… especially when most guys from my generation don’t even know they have souls. You’ll probably distance yourself from the world and shed that single tear you never knew you had in you. It’s okay, bud, let it out. Just like McDonald’s, there’s a bar in every mile of this country, and I’ll see you there.
6. “I’m pregnant” (I,O)
This, to no surprise, is a double-edged sword. I get that at some point the expiration date of youth comes to fruition and we all magically want the meaningful suburban lifestyle. So, in the event a man really wants kids and it’s all of a sudden a reality… good for you, bro! I think it’s absolutely understandable if you joy cry about something life-changing like that. Speaking of life-changing, I’m also talking about the guy with the crazy girl he was running away from or the guy with the shallow wallet. Whether you need to poor some beer out for the tough times ahead or raise a glass to the wonderful miracle, I feel you bro.
5. Seconds after realizing you missed last call (I)
I had to throw this one in here because there will be a few, but highlighted, group of gentlemen that know the pain. The guys who were too busy doing other asinine things to keep track of time. I often feel like your time at the bar is a metaphor for life. We all rush in happy, energetic, and hopeful for what this world has to offer. There’s a battle between time and our bros… time and girls… time and the bar… the thing is that, just like life, you don’t have enough hours to give everything the right amount of attention. In that moment, you realize you gave a tease more attention than your bros or the bar. You’ll whimper internally because you’re going home alone with a meaningless buzz that’ll fade away just as quickly as the fleeting time we have on this earth and there’s nothing you can do about it except long for next weekend. I’m almost disgusted at how deep I dove with this, but I’m not going to apologize.
4. When she says, “I’m fine.” (I)
There is so much going on in your life that you miss every signal that she’s in a bad mood. I’ve said this before, but guys are just not as emotionally intelligent as women. Most of us have at least moved our emotional radios to FM signal, but there are a good number of bros that still track on AM. This is not a good thing because all women are transmitting on XM which is completely incompatible with our range. The completely stupid analogy aside, you get the point, and finally ask her. It’s too late, your question is more annoying than comforting. She says, “I’m fine,” which is female for “I’m ruining your night.” There is nothing you can do except rain on the inside to get a little of the frustration out.
3. You blacked out during a sexual miracle (I)
They’ll go, “One more, just one more man!” You’ll say, “Okay, fine…” because you’re not one to let your boys down. In that moment you take a fatal tequila shot that will dislodge your mental tape recorder. “Where am I?” You think to yourself as you look around frantically with the morning sun slapping you. “Am I in a girl’s bed?” Yes, you are. She walks out of the bathroom all dolled up for her day job at Hooters and greets you with a shy kiss on the cheek. You just have to ask, “Did we, uh, you know?” “Yes, yes we did.” She’ll smile and walk out of your life. For the rest of your days, you know it happened, but since you have no recollection of it… did it? If a miracle falls in the woods, does it make a sound? Yes, they do. It sounds like a man crying internally.
2. During or after watching Saving Private Ryan (O)
There are a number of movies that are perfectly acceptable to cry over, but this movie hits home and I just had to throw it up all on its own. The film does an amazing job of getting you involved with every character and the conflict at hand. You will find yourself physically tearing up, you will find yourself trying to hold it back, and you will fail. Is there any way around this? Yes, there is. Never be alone when watching this movie. Your instincts will kick in and you may just be able to pull through without crying just because there are other males around you… or there might be a bunch of fully grown men bawling together. Brotherhood, right?
1. You lose a loved one (O)
I tried to find any way to get around this, but I couldn’t. I don’t like ending anything on a sad note… not even a one night stand. That’s right, I either make breakfast or take them out somewhere that morning. Anyways, I guess I have to talk about it even though it’s almost pointless considering the topic is more straight-forward than Caitlyn Jenner. Death plagues any heart and shatters happiness. I dare anyone to say you lose a man card for openly sobbing after losing someone. The only time I’ve ever cried out of diapers was because of a tragedy and I’m not ashamed of that. Who knew that I’m human! Who knew that we all are! This stuff is tough, especially when even alcohol can’t fill the void, but we all figure it out in time.