Fog

The (fake) Crying Game

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 11:09 a.m. CST

I am so good at fake crying that I wish it was a contested sport. If producing fraudulent tears was an Olympic event I would surely be awarded the gold medal. I would be standing on the podium (next to Halle Berry) as the National Anthem played, proudly representing my country and wiping away fake tears with an American flag the whole time.

Don’t believe me? I don’t care. I won’t lose sleep about it tonight, nor will I (fake) cry myself to sleep. Trust me, I am a much better fake crier than you or your whiny toddler could ever hope to be.

I can whip up some flowing fake tears faster than it takes a person to say crybaby. My eyeballs are an emotional waterworks that I can turn on and off lickety-split. I have pretending to pout down to a science.

Oh, you lost your dog? Quick, let me manufacture some convincing crocodile tears. What’s that? You lost your job? That’s rough; sorry, there must be something in my eyes. The McDonald’s drive-thru twerp forgot to put your extra large fries in the bag? I’m so sorry. Please pass me a tissue or a napkin.

For the record I realize I should not be bragging about the ability to feign sympathy so easily. Essentially that’s a little too close to bragging about being a sociopath as far as I am concerned. But understand that I am not very talented in terms of natural athletic ability or superior intellect, nor do I possess a particularly charming personality, so I trumpet what little achievements I have when and where I can — even it if makes me appear heartless.

I am actually very talented in the whole realm of faking things: faking a laugh, faking interest, faking being a semi-talentless hack and, most importantly, faking I have an important phone call I need to take.

But again, I am not bragging about being heartless and insincere. I am just really, really good at it. In a way it’s like someone bragging about being a great backseat driver or a fantastic serial killer.

I am an even better liar than a fake crier. Because the truth of the matter is I cry a lot and it doesn’t take much to force me to tears. After all, if the tears are real can someone really be fake crying? It reeks of the old conundrum: if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Because how can sound exist if no one is around to hear it?

As a member of the Y Chromosome Club, I am not suppose to cry, admit to crying, think about crying or watch movies that involve crying, most notably the “The Crying Game.”

According to something I didn’t steal directly from Wikipedia, a German study concluded women cry between 30 to 64 times a year, and men only 6 to 17. A different independent study also revealed my father has never cried in his entire life. It reeks of another old conundrum — if my father cries in the woods and no one is around to hear it, is he actually crying?

I just tell people I am a great fake crier because I am embarrassed how much I cry. Men aren’t supposed to cry, and surely not as much as I do. These sockets of mine sure do spit out saline solution by the eyefuls. I would imagine it’s due to some emotionally off-balance condition, but I’ll be honest with you, I can’t afford a therapist. Besides, that’s what my wife is for.

And I even cry more than my wife. When we got married I was bawling. She had the stoic look of someone trying to prepare their own taxes.

I try so hard not to cry during movies, but I can’t help it. Christine always catches me. Even commercials make me tear up.

What can I say? I am a cry baby.

And I don’t know whether I should fake laugh or fake cry about it.

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