Did I Really Cry During The Movie ‘Real Steel’???

If you’ve ever seen the TV show Friends, my wife would have accurately described me as the character Chandler. There was a specific episode where they revealed that Chandler couldn’t cry at anything that normal society deemed to be “emotional”. I was no different than him. Sad movies, TV shows, general life moments, I had no ability to cry. It’s not that I had no emotion, I just didn’t show it by turning on my eye faucets.

So, after drying my eyes at the end of the movie “Real Steel” yesterday, it occurred to me that I am a lot more emotional than I used to be. Things that used to make me feel like I wasn’t normal for not crying at are completely sucking the testosterone out of me and replacing it with estrogen.

I started noticing the changes shortly after my father passed away 5 years ago. Here is a really nice article that was done by a sports writer here in Ottawa about him. We even started a foundation in his name, where we give back to underprivileged children who can’t afford to compete in sports. It’s called The Gil Read Memorial Foundation and I’m proud to be a part of it.

Shameless plug over. The changes were small at first. I had always welled up during the movie Rudy (what guy doesn’t) but for some reason, there was now a strange liquid pouring out of my eyes when Rudy takes to the field for the first time, with his fist pumping and a very overweight Jon Favreau uttering my favourite line of the movie “Who’s the Wild Man now”!

I remember starting to cry during an episode of American Idol when there was a contestant with a particularly touching story about his father. I remember my exact thought at that moment, “What the F*ck is going on here?!” I realized at that moment that everything had changed. In fact, to this day, any story/commercial/song/grocery flyer that had anything to do with a father/son, brings on this well of emotion that I have no control over.

Just as I had come to terms with this new, blubbering version of myself and had even found ways to disguise it, my wife gave birth to my son and all bets were off.

I now have 2 children and every day they grow older is a day that I get a little bit less manly. I think the first real indicator was when I started feeling the tingles in my chest while trying to fight back tears during Finding Nemo. I mean, what was this feeling I was having? Clearly my brain was confused. After all, this was just a cartoon movie.

Nowadays it seems like everything sets me off, especially anything involving kids. From episodes of Criminal Minds and American Idol to movies like Lord of The Rings, Toy Story 3 & the aforementioned Real Steel, I am a blubbering mess. If you haven’t seen it yet, Real Steel is a movie about Robot Boxing….yep, cried.

I should point out that I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be moved by things and I know that there are reasons for the changes. It’s just a big change to go through, especially for me, considering I had barely cried up until about 5 years ago and now I can barely fight it off during shows like Man vs. Food.

Have you guys noticed any changes in the way you react to movies/shows since you’ve had children? Ladies, feel free to rat out your men here, they’re not reading anyway and I won’t tell them!


6 replies
  1. Khrystena
    Khrystena says:

    Did you cry at the end, you know where everyone else was crying and the fact that you saw so much emotion in a 10 year old (oops 11 LOL get it reference) made you cry too? If not, I’m a cryer by nature and I have no idea where you would have found someplace emotional enough to cry at!

    • Chris
      Chris says:

      Yeah, the end was the spot for me. I normally would have never teared up there but some combo of the kid and the Dad set it off. I guess if anything, I am becoming more normal, which is just fine by me;))

  2. Al
    Al says:

    Welcome to the brotherhood man…. If you remember, your dad nicknamed me “Puddles” after my speech at the wedding. I’ve been dealing with this damn crying thing since Homeward Bound when Shadow comes over the hill limping at the end of the movie (which I believe came out in the early 90’s). For some reason when that happened, I exploded… Then came Dead Poets Society and that ended all remnants of manliness… So it’s been about 20 years since I first experienced this emotional craziness brought on by Television… So it may just be a family trait… They say chicks dig it.., but my wife just laughs at me these days.

    Glad to see you’re a real man now!

    Keep up the good work. Love the posts.

    • Chris
      Chris says:

      Thanks Al, I’ll never forget the anger I felt at my wife when she decided to rent Snow Dogs for our vacation. Sounds like a cute story about huskies but it’s more like a disaster story about dogs being neglected and dying!! I still haven`t forgiven her for that one, lol.

  3. Mary Young
    Mary Young says:

    Chris, I have caught my husband a bit teary eyed in front of the tv a few times, can’t remember what he was watching. There are certain shows that we do not watch anymore…anything involving harm to a child. Ours are 18 and 21, doesn’t matter, still feel the same way about these shows. As for the father son ones, Gil was one of the most wonderful men I knew. I feel privileged to have known him. I am sure you were his pride and joy. Just as your kids will be yours. Having children turns us all into mush….I think that is a good thing.


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