Posted by: laughs4dads | July 23, 2010

Crying in My Popcorn

My wife, Barbara, and I went to a kids’ movie the other day. My wife, Barbara, and I do not have kids.

We have a daughter, but she’s not a kid anymore. Most of the time.

Anyway, the movie we saw was Toy Story 3. And I have to admit that I teared up a bit at the end. I won’t get into what happens in case you haven’t seen it, but suffice it to say that I wasn’t crying because the 3D glasses were making my eyes ache.

 I never used to cry at the movies. The first time was 1989. The movie was Field of Dreams. When Kevin Costner had a catch with his father, I was bawling. I purchase the film every time it comes out on a new medium (video, DVD, Anniversary Edition, Blu-Ray)–and I still cry. In fact, I cry before that scene…in anticipation. Someday, when the holographic version is released, I will cry on James Earl Jones when he says “…for it is money they have and peace they lack.”

If this had been my only foray into cinematic sobbing, I wouldn’t have thought anything of it.  After all, what real man wouldn’t be touched by the father and son reunion?

It was later that year when I started to become concerned. When I cried at the end of The Little Mermaid.

I realized then that it was, perhaps, not a coincidence that I had managed to go to movies for some 30 years without shedding a tear but now, three years after my daughter’s birth, I had turned into a blubbering…well, woman.

Anything involving a father and his offspring suddenly made me weepy. King Triton at the wedding of his rebellious daughter. Ray Kinsella tossing the ball around with his dad. The son revisiting his father’s tall tales in Big Fish. Mufasa and Simba in The Lion King. Darth and Luke. It was getting so I’d cry just seeing James Earl Jones, even if it was only in a commercial for telephone service.

So, anyway, here I am dabbing my eyes at the end of Toy Story 3, which is difficult because I’m wearing the 3D glasses over my regular glasses (which are progressive, multi-focal lenses, so I may have been watching in six dimensions), and I’m wondering if I’ll ever regain the movie manhood I had before becoming a father…the emotionless macho grit that enabled me to sit through Brian’s Song without tissues.

Probably not. But I still have no intention of watching Beaches.



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