I had a weird experience once, which I was recently reminded of while watching Project Runway on TV. One of the designers this year was a guy named Ricky, who would cry at the drop of a hat. In fact, he cried so often that the show finally ran a bit that combined all his crying jags into one hilarious cryathon. It seemed weird that Ricky cried all the time, but I wrote it off to all the stress he must have been under. I would have cracked under that pressure as well.
As I said, I didn't make much of it. Then I remembered this guy I dated a couple of times back in my 20s. He was a perfectly nice guy, maybe not a keeper but someone who seemed well worth spending some time with. On our first date, we went to a movie. I don't remember what it was, but I do remember it was a comedy. It might have been Good Morning, Vietnam, with Robin Williams. When there was a sad moment in the film, I noticed that my date was crying. Not profusely, but definitely crying. I, of course, didn't say anything, just pretended I didn't notice.
The next time we saw each other we went out to dinner. And although I don't remember what we were talking about, I do remember that he teared up twice during the meal, once because of something I said and once because of something he was saying. This just struck me as very weird. And I brought it up with him, asked if he was okay. He said he was fine, he was just comfortable showing his emotions. I let on like I didn't have a problem with that, but the fact is I did. It was just too creepy, and when he called again I begged off. I felt guilty about it, though. And I'm wondering whether you think it was okay to blow off a guy because he was always breaking into tears.
Town Crier: I'm sure I'm not the only one who's wondering how he reacted when you refused a third date. Did he take it like a man? Or did he turn on the waterworks? We're so used to men keeping a stiff upper lip that we don't know quite what to do with them when they lose it. Offer them a tissue? Marry them on the spot? In the entire time I knew him, I saw my father cry exactly once, God bless his soul, and that was at my grandmother's funeral, God bless her soul. As for my mother, God bless her soul, I'd say she teared up about once a day, outright sobbed about once a week and had a complete nervous breakdown about once a month. (Hmm, once a month....) And the message I took away from all that was that men were more stoic, women more emotional, more hormonal.
But are they? Or are men just less in touch with their emotions, whatever that means? I've put so much effort into not crying at movies sometimes that I wound up with massive headaches. Was I in touch with my emotions? Damn straight. I just didn't particularly want to share them with a room full of strangers. The difference with your guy is that he seems to have been perfectly willing to share his emotions with just about anybody. Either that or he was faking it; good actors can cry on cue, you know. We cry for a variety of reasons - because we're sad, because we're happy, because there's something in our eye, because we just lost another damn primary. But on a first or second or even a third date, we really should suck it up.
After that, get out your handkerchiefs!
If feeling nothing makes you want to cry, write to: MR. RIGHT, ISTHMUS, and 101 KING ST., MADISON, WI 53703. OR CALL 251-1206, EXT. 152. OR EMAIL MRRIGHT@ISTHMUS.COM.