Before I get to my subject, let me say that I do not like any part of the movement the last few decades to feminize men. I like the good, old-fashioned guys who believe in supporting their families, who work hard, who shoot guns, and who don't "share" their feelings with everyone they meet. [That does not mean men shouldn't help out at home or change diapers: my father is the manliest man I've ever known, but I never saw him get up from dinner and not help with the dishes].
I hope that establishes my Ricochet street cred, because now I want to do a little "sharing."
From the time I was a little kid until about age 50, I don't remember crying much. But, for some reason that I don't quite understand, about the time I hit the half-century mark, I found that not only did my tear ducts work, but they began working a lot more often. I have a theory that it's a trade-off: as the joints get creakier and the hair on my head disappeared, the Good Lord gave me nose and ear hair, and an increased propensity to cry.
I would read something moving, and find a tear rolling down my cheek. One of my grandchildren will say something cute, and I'll get choked up. Some songs will almost always get the tears flowing a bit (I'm pretty good at hiding these episodes by pretending to have something in my eye).
In past the two weeks, I've had two episodes. On the Sunday before Christmas, our church service was mostly the choir singing some beautiful songs about Jesus Christ. I was twice moved to tears.
Then this evening, Mrs. Tabula and I saw Les Miserables. I think we've seen stage versions of the musical three or four times, so it's not like I didn't know how it ends. But -- in spite of its naive revolutionary politics and some semi-manipulative scenes -- it happened again. The last 10 minutes of the movie, especially the reappearance of Fantine, was beautifully filmed and sung, and there was good old Tabula, crying like a baby. Mrs. Tabula did a nice job covering for me by actually crying audibly.
The music is beautiful. The redemption of Jean Valjean, the promise of a better world in the next life, and the love of a daughter for her father hit all my soft spots.
When my father was in the last couple of years of his life, and he knew it, I watched him more times than I can count choking up when his grandchildren would give him a hug. Because of that, I like to think that I can cry now and then and keep my "man card."
I also think that a man who can have a good, short cry is a lot better than a chronic whiner. I'm proud to say that no politician's speech has ever brought tears to my eyes (except for a few tears of anger).
So, have any of the older male Ricochetti experienced the same phenomenon? If so, what causes you to get emotional? Finally, should I be ashamed of myself?