When my husband and I left the AA Meeting the other night, he asked me if I’d cried. No, I told him. I just teared up a little.
“That’s crying,” he said. “Tearing up is crying.”
I don’t actually agree with that, but it seemed a crazy thing to debate so I let it ride.
“For some reason you label it ‘crying’ based on audibility, not eye moisture,” he said. (I’d had a very tough week with more than my fair share of audible eye moisture, so I felt like this was an accurate portrayal of me.)
He went on: “I consider any moisture in the eye to be crying. If I’m riding my bike on a windy day and my eyes tear, that’s crying.” I wasn't quite sure how to respond to that information. At the very least, it deepened for me what I consider the Endless Mystery of Men.
Later that weekend, my kids and I watched Blindside on DVR. We took bets on who would cry during this famously touching movie, going so far as to wager who would “cry first.” My sons have never cried during a movie. Not even during Up. The teenager thinks it’s both charming and revolting that I heave and sob while a pile of tissues grows on my lap.
I watched Million Dollar Baby with him. He didn’t cry. Juno, where Micheal Cera climbs into the hospital bed with her and they just lie together, silent. No tears. Sometimes I feel like I’m on a personal mission to simply find a movie that will break him down.
“That’s so sad,” my older son said about Big Mike when he told Sandra Bullock he’d never had a bed. I’d seen that clip in trailers about a hundred times and still I started convulsing as soon as Big Mike delivered his line.
The little one passed me a box of tissues. “We win,” he said. The teenager looked over at me with bemused pity.
I feel so good after a Movie Cry. It never produces that hangover feeling like a Fight Cry or a Therapy Cry, or what I imagine to be an AA Cry. A Movie Cry is just pure release.
I looked over at my boys -- my "Mystery Men in Training" -- and tried to detect a touch of eye moisture. I couldn't. “As usual,” I told them, “you have no idea what you’re missing.”