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Crying: A Guide to When It's Acceptable. (In my opinion)

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Lots of crying talk today. Had an idea for this blog for months, even spoke about it on the radio months ago. For the sake of this blog we’re keeping this to pop culture moments/clips that I find acceptable for men to cry.

I just want it on record -Obviously it’s okay to cry during tragic moments in real life. That’s a different story. That’s real life. This is blog life, and in blog life- we talk about pop culture moments that make your cry.

Without further ado, in no order :

Field Of Dreams 

Now. The best part that grabs the attention, and instantly makes you cry  is when Ray gets choked up and says, ” Hey Dad you wanna have a catch?” That is beautiful in itself and reiterates the lesson of the entire movie which my dad brings up each time he watches it. Baseball is about fathers and sons. It’s the most pure bond in all of mankind, and it’s the first bond a father and son share. From T-ball to watching games over a six pack, baseball much like James Earl Jones said in the movie ” The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game — it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again.”

As I get older and older, the part I seem to notice more and more is right before the catch sequence, when John asks Ray “Is this Heaven?” Ray is perplexed by the question and simply answers “It’s Iowa.” Then he truly thinks about the question, takes a few seconds and asks John “Is there a heaven?” John answers “It’s where dreams come true.”

Ray hears his answer, looks around his land he worked so hard to build, looks back up at his house, sees his loving wife and beautiful daughter share a laugh on the porch , smiles and says, “Maybe this is Heaven.”

To me that is just beautiful. In a world where most people think their next Instagram post is vital, everyone hates everyone in politics and the world has so much bad in it. It’s absolutely beautiful to be reminded that a house, a hobby, and a loving family are the things that make life worth living, and they should never be taken for granted.

My Girl 

“He can’t see without his glasses. He can’t see without his glasses ! ” Just an absolute heart breaker of emotion from a young kid who should never have to go through it. Everything about the scene is captured so articulately in that it really stresses Vada (and all young kids  for that matter), doesn’t know how to handle it. She asks about bike riding, she gets mad, she gets upset, and she tells her teacher she loves him. I thought it’s captured extremely well given the horrific nature of the subject matter, which is why it makes me cry.

(The audio sucks in the clip and it’s long – please fast forward to 1:17:42. )

Here’s the quote :

Vada : ” Mrs. Senate.Thomas J. will be alright,  my mother will take care of him.”

I mean the gut punch of all gut punches. I once watched this on a slow day at work after not seeing it for years, and had to get up and walk away.

Vada starting the start of the film desperately trying to know about the mother she never met, dealing with a business obsessed father  who may not give her the attention she needs, to battling for his affection when he falls in love, to losing her best friend , and still having the ability to comfort Mrs.Senate as well as learn how to overcome such a tough situation makes you weep for her every time.

By the way, the truest quote of all time is “The great perversion of life’s order is the death of a child.”

Fresh Prince Season 4 Episode 24

Sad on so many levels. Will is clearly already a better man than his father as established in his statements about how he ‘s learned to do so many things himself, how he has plans for the future, and most importantly how he plans to be there for his kids. But what really makes you sad is that no matter how successful, how many years, or how much you try to hide it, that last question will never  escape you “How come he don’t want me ?”

Rings home that “anyone can be a father, but not everyone can be a dad”

side note : Stories have come out that the entire scene was improvised , but it’s proven false – full read : here

Saving Private Ryan 

“Earn This” … enough said. James Francis Ryan having to live with the tragedy of his brothers and now a captain who took him under his wing.

Side note  : It’s not necessarily a tear jerking moment, in fact it makes you laugh a lot, but this scene with Damon talking about his brothers is my favorite in the film.

Friday Night Lights 

Prefaced by Coach Gary Gaines halftime speech of “forever is about to happen here in just a few moments” which really encapsulates the small town dynamic of people, especially the kids thinking they will never be bigger than this State Title. Which is tragic just how many people say it to them, and how long it will take for them to realize there are bigger things.

No one has that stereotype shoved down his throat harder then Billingsley by his drunk father, who he amidst all the abuse still longs for this approval. Which makes the scene of them embracing and the old man slipping his ring on Don’s finger so beautiful. Maybe on some scale, the father is saying in addition to “forgiving” his son, that there are bigger things on the horizon.

PS- The movie is better than the show.

Jimmy V Speech

” There are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. No. 1 is laugh. You should laugh every day. No. 2 is think. You should spend some time in thought. No. 3 is you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heckuva day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.

I know, I gotta go, I gotta go. And I got one last thing, and I said it before, and I’m gonna say it again: Cancer can take away all my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever. ” – Jimmy V

Beautiful speech. So beautiful … that I won’t bring up him giving money to recruits at Iona,  and ignoring drug problems of players at NC State. Again, I won’t bring that stuff up.

Brian’s Song

” I love Brian Piccolo , and I’d like all of you to love him too. And tonight, hit your knees and please ask God to love him.”

There is no better bond than that of men and their teammates. “I played ball with him” is a badge of honor that never expires for me. That bond holds strong forever.

Wonder Years Season 6 Episode 1

Wayne- the biggest screw up of the show, and his knucklehead friend Wart share a bond after Wart comes back from Vietnam and struggles to adjust to what he’s seen, and how he’s being treated. Wart explains “nothing seems to fit” and Wayne who aside from like 3 other moments in the show is an ass, gives him the shirt off his back and comforts him. A truly beautiful scene and now rings home with a new audience/ generation that grew up with friends going off to Iraq and Afghanistan.  “Sometimes men are children, but sometimes children are men.”

Lastly,

It’s A Wonderful Life 

” To my big brother George…the richest man in town.” – Harry

” Remember George, no man is a failure who has friends.”  – Clarence the Angel

A Christmas tradition like no other. The most beautiful scene in all of cinema and a reminder that family and friends above all are the most important thing in your life.

– I am sure I left off some stuff, feel free to debate it on twitter. God Bless.