October 22, 2010

I expected to cry at my wedding ... but not more than the bride.

Very rarely do I cry during a movie. In fact, the last time I teared up at the cinema, I was having a man date with Best Man Justin, and he was a little emotional himself. In cases like those, it's clearly a ploy by the director and the editor to make men cry. That doesn't count. Heightened stakes with dramatic scoring doesn't count.

(The movie was Hot Tub Time Machine, by the way.)

I typically don't cry in moments of sadness. I'm much more "find the silver lining," "let's move on to the next thing," and "let's not make a scene here at Pinkberry." Between the two of us, I do about 90% of the consoling around the house, and I'm perfectly happy to carry out that role.

Gene Wilder makes me all blubbery

But I was almost certain that I would be an absolute mess on our wedding day. Why? I'm a happy crier. Someone with a degree in something or other might say that I don't express myself outwardly, so I become overcome with emotion, and that emotion releases in the form of tears.

(I should consider myself lucky. It could very well have released in the form of involuntary moaning, or puffy fingers, or even break dancing.)

What I did not expect was that I'd be crying more than my 2E's. Clearly she's a sad crier. And in this sick, twisted world, that kind of makes us a perfect match. I can console her when she's sad, and she can calm me when I'm happy. Synergy.

Having said that, here are some preventative measures I could have (and perhaps should have) taken in advance of the big day:

by the groom says

1. Think sad thoughts.

If it's happiness that starts the waterworks, why not prep yourself with misfortune? Read the business section of any newspaper just seconds before you step up to the altar and you should be fine. 

2. Consider tear duct removal.

Sure, it sounds painful. It probably is. It'll most likely cost a fortune. And sure, you'll never be able to cry ever again. But think of all the money you'll save on Kleenex!

3. Try therapy.

Perhaps your balance is off, and you need a licensed professional to rattle your insides a bit. After all, you never did get that Barbie Dream House...

The source of all the pain

4. Add a Best Man duty.

The Best Man has little to nothing to do during the ceremony. "Holding the rings" doesn't require too much. So in addition to the brass, ask him to hide a long, thin needle or a rusty shiv in his jacket - which he can proceed to poke you with should you start to cry at inappropriate moments. ... Oh, and the kids'll love it!

5. Don't pee. 
That's right. Drink a load of water and hold it. You'll be so worried about pissing yourself, you won't have time to cry! And if you DO piss yourself, you'll be too embarrassed to cry! It's a win-win.

6. Deal with it.

You'd be surprised how many wedding web forums I've come across -- portals of distress where grooms have expressed their fear of "ruining the big day" because they cry heavily at anything. Unless it's that  uncontrollable, can't-get-through-a-single-sentence kind of crying (making the vows pretty painful for your guests), my advice would be to own up to it. Cry away. It won't emasculate you. If you can put up with a few wisecracks the next morning from the manly men in your family (and, more likely, HER family), then you've got nothing to worry about. 
Now go watch Bambi, you coward. The director's cut.


  1. You know what? My favorite photo shot is almost always when the groom's face is all messy with emotion. That's when I know that the couple really loves each other and this marriage is right. Because women, we're allowed to cry. But when men cry, you know it's something really important and, in this case, right. So yeah, I like your advice in #6 best.

  2. Glad you think so, Becca. There'll be plenty of photos with my face all messy.

    On a separate note - you are totally invited to our next Men Who Cry support group meeting.