“…And he started crying when I told him I wasn’t THAT into him!” Lisa grimaced at me as she made this statement. We had been sitting on the dock for about two hours at this point, and were exchanging stories about our funniest break-ups. We were supposed to go wakeboarding with some of my friends from school, but they hadn’t showed up to pick us up from the dock yet. The bags of ice they had asked me to grab were half-melted now, sitting in their own unfortunate puddles of waste behind me.

How the conversation made its way to this topic, I’m not sure, but it was funny. She, like most people agreed with me that there is nothing more awkward, strange, and potentially annoying than man-crying. In this age where terms like metro-sexual and gender-liberation are becoming increasingly common, what are we to expect from the sex that in the past, was expected to be the stronger of the two? I’m not sure, and it sometimes worries me. That said, here are the few times that guys are allowed to cry… at least in public.

1- When God is being awesome, and we’re at a church service, or something really, and I mean really spiritual, and God is doing something to them. I’m OK with men crying in church. The first time I experienced man-crying in church, children were coming up to pray about something I don’t remember, and one of my buddies, who shall remain nameless for his own protection and dignity started sniffling. I did the sideways glance to see if he was crying or had a runny nose and made eye-contact. I wanted to leave right then. I would advise against checking to see if someone’s actually crying. Just assume they are and never look at them the same again.

2-Funerals. Only if you’re actually close to the person. If you’re not, and everyone else is crying, then it’s appropriate to put your head between your legs and stare at the floor. It will end, eventually.

3- If your dog dies. It’s man’s best friend, so you’re entitled. But only while you’re digging the hole in your back yard to bury it, up until the dog is actually buried. It’s also OK to cry if you’re walking your dog out to the woods to shoot it, Old Yeller-style because that’s intense. You look a whole lot more manly if you don’t cry doing this. You might be made of steel or something else really awesome like that.

I have two… they’re not buddies, but older friends who cry at the drop of a hat. I live with one, and most movies will make him a little weepy, which always makes me laugh as I leave the room, but I respect him so much that I don’t make much out of it. The other is one of my pastors, and he cares so much about everything that it’s endearing more than anything when he man-cries. So as usual, there are exceptions to the rule, but since neither one of those men read this blog, then I can say that for the rest of you, man-crying is unacceptable and therefore, strictly forbidden in my presence.

By the way, we never did get into a boat that night. My friends never showed up, so we went and got a bite to eat! It looked like a really bad set up for a date!