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Crying is a Mug’s Game - By Dr. Mike Colson

Every guy knows one thing for sure. When your loved one starts crying…you lose. Whatever chance you had of making your viewpoint known, or escaping from yet another butt-head move or ill-advised statement that ended when the tears started.

Crying is a mug’s game.

Sure, soft guy in loafers will act like a dime store romance character and weep a bit at the theater when Hollywood pushes the sap button. Kids cry and whine when they fall down. Girls cry all the time for what reason I am not so sure. I swear blind that my baby sister used to practice the act to get her way, but that could just be latent bitterness on my part. My mom, bless her soul, cried when I left for the war zone…every time. And, I have even known some older war veterans who in their last days have succumbed to the temptations to open the spigots over long forgotten memories, dead comrades in arms, and maybe a hint of regret. Like I said…a mug’s game.

The problem is that sometimes we have to play.

It normally starts with a tingle in the upper chest, a catch of breath, and a warm feeling behind the eyeballs. What follows is just plain embarrassing. Crying is very complicated if it befalls you when in the company of others. What I mean by that is that it is pretty bad if you cry in front of your spouse or children. But it is absolutely awful when you play the fool around your mates. Crap! I am pretty sure you cannot ever recover. Trying to pretend there is something in your eye is a weak argument when your chest is heaving and gasping for air. Like I said…horrible.

I cried all by myself the other day. It came on suddenly. This time it was Tom Hank’s fault – the opening scene of “Saving Private Ryan” when he kneels at the graveside of Captain John Miller . There have been others times.

It is funny though, when I am all composed and only slightly self-conscious, I feel more alive. The guys who didn’t come home, the wink-wink-nod-nod at death and suffering, the pessimism, stoic demeanor, and the cold that envelops my emotions takes a brief by noticeable hiatus. I feel better.

Maybe the mug was me and my crying is just another opportunity for me to process through all the complications in my head. I hope so…I don’t mind looking like an ass as long as I am not one.