I do wished that I cried more.
Do you know what I mean?
I mean good gut wrenching, stomach churning, face distorting, hyperventilating, Kelly Clarkson inspired “catch my breath” type of cry.
Let us remember unlike Pinocchio, I am not on a quest to become a “real boy” as I am a fully functional human being and despite my stoic façade, just like anyone else, life will wear me down to the point where I get tired of being tired but unlike Smokey Robinson rarely do I express these emotions through the tracks of my tears.
I attended a single sex high school, and even back then I was aware of being subtly socialised to express emotions utilising methods favourable to an all male adolescent environment. It was okay to cry through laughter or anger but other than that, you would never dare weep tears to express vulnerability.
But adolescent life is pretty awful for most people, so in an effort to understand why crying is not an expression I access as readily as I would like; I turned to the open arms of the Google search engine, in the hopes that I would find the answers I was looking for. I was pleasantly surprised to find most articles stated there were clear and present psychological, physical and emotional advantages to crying.
Although some evolutionary psychologists believe that over time men cry less than women due to evolution and openly tearful males (of a more primitive era) were more susceptible to attack and would therefore be a less attractive prospect to a potential love interest. As a result male tear ducts are larger (therefore retain more liquid) so tears don’t flow as freely when compared to females.
So perhaps I can play the “evolution” card?
Do I posses a core primitive behavioural drive that compels me to show strength by maintaining dry eyes in my house? Or does the river of tears that divides genders have a biological basis due to the hormone prolactin (that women can produce) which assists in tear production.
The good news is, there is an overriding trend for men to openly weep and men today cry a lot more than men of a previous generation. Things are definitely changing for the better and if one of the most charismatic leaders of the free world, Barack Obama can be openly moved to display tears in public, then why shouldn’t I feel okay to do the same thing?
The problem is, in situations of high emotional tension my default behaviour programme is like that of Arnolds Schwarzenegger’s T-800, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel it just means that I express myself in a more measured way (which usually means shutting down and not speaking at all) but if you catch me watching Mufasa’s death scene in The Lion King, it never fails to make a few tears fall.
At this point please feel free to play some Kool & The Gang because not only do I “celebrate” men who cry, there is growing evidence to suggest men who openly express their emotions have a better chance of living longer!
As human beings we are the only species on this planet who cry emotion based tears (as opposed to functional tears) so it would be a shame not to use this form of expression more. I’m getting there, however this will take time and it’s not that I am trying to be a modern day He-Man, it is just not something I have mastered within my universe.
Until next time.