Bathed in Bubba’s tears

bubbawatson1404g_748It was clear by the 17th hole that, barring an unthinkable collapse, Bubba Watson was going to win the 2014 Masters. And yet I stuck it out, not necessarily to watch the conclusive putt but because I wanted to see if Bubba would once again weep like an emotionally fragile bridesmaid. He did not disappoint.

This wasn’t pure gawkerism on my part. It was science. Science, I tell you! About a week earlier, I had decided to document the things that make me weepy. I also wanted to monitor how I react when the going gets mush. Do I let it flow? Or do I fight back tears as though lives were hanging in the balance? And what does it mean to do either? And is this science or psychology? Is psychology a science? Shouldn’t I know that? So many questions!

As enlightened as we pretend to be, society is just not comfortable with men weeping, especially in public. When women weep in public, everybody goes, “Awwwww…!” But when a man weeps, everyone freezes and avoids eye contact, and in our heads we all turn into British military officers: “Good God, man, pull yourself together!”

So back to Sunday’s golf: here was a master weeper if ever there was one, a blubbering Bubba who simply lets the tears spew – doesn’t jam a tee into his thigh to toughen up or anything. Golf makes me want to cry sometimes too, but I can assure you they are not happy tears.

And why shouldn’t Bubba weep? If I had just won $1.6 million playing a game, I might burst into tears as well. Heck, I get pretty excited when my grocery store’s freebie-of-the-week is something practical for once, like toilet paper, so I imagine I would be a wreck if I won that much money, because that would buy a whole lot of toilet paper.

Singer Pharrell Williams teared up in an interview this week with Oprah, but that’s because Oprah punched him square in the nose. Of course she didn’t! Oprah would never do that! Oprah is a saint who could buy $1.6 million worth of gold-stitched toilet paper just like that! What made Williams so emotional was watching a video of fans around the world dancing to his song “Happy,” a song I really like for the first minute-and-a-half and then am pretty much ready for it to be over.

“Why am I crying on ‘Oprah’?” Williams asked. Alas, Oprah would not say because clearly it was a rhetorical question and Oprah does not waste time with rhetorical questions.

The reason for crying likely has to do with evolution (science!), something I could determine for sure if only I researched it, but clearly I’m evolved to be lazy. Crying might originally have been a way to ward off attackers by making them feel pity. Certainly this worked for me in junior high.

Perhaps this is why men hate to cry, because it conveys weakness, even when they are happy tears, or in Pharrell Williams’ case, happy “Happy” tears. Or is it “Happy” happy tears? But this isn’t a punctuation lesson, so let’s get back to sciencology.

Unlike sad tears, happy tears may simply be the manifestation of overwhelming emotional sensations, which are big words. If you’re Bubba Watson, and you’re overcome with joy and relief, your tears would be understandable, certainly more understandable than that hideous Ping golf visor you’re wearing. What doesn’t make sense is why Bubba crying would make some miserable shlub watching at home weepy as well.

And this is specifically what I wanted to document in myself. Why would watching Pharrell Williams go all runny make me feel a tiny twinge in the tear ducts? When I watch a video of two elderly Dutch ladies flying for the first time, it’s not my joy. I’m not the waitress receiving the cash, car and job offer in that “Prank It Forward” video. So why do I well up? Empathy, perhaps, a beautifully human and hopeful quality, and it’s always good to know that I am both beautiful and human.

So I know why I get a lump in my throat, but do I let those emotions flow freely, Bubba-like? Hell, no. What am I, a wimp? (Rhetorical; do not answer.)

So let it all out: What makes you weepy?


About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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38 Responses to Bathed in Bubba’s tears

  1. Paul says:

    A real tear jerker.

  2. I watched till the end to see if Bubba would cry, too! Then, the electricity went out and I was over it.
    Back to crying.
    My tough football player son is a beast. They call him Dane Train and Sandman. He’s grown up in a family of men’s men who communicate via farts and grunting. As a mama, there’s nothing more touching to me than the few times I’ve seen him openly cry. It drives my husband crazy…but, the context makes perfect sense and actually very similar to Bubba.
    Dane also wrestles and to me, there doesn’t seem to be any more of an intense sport. I’ve seen him find a corner and then break down even after he’s WON a match. So much emotion after everything else was just left on the mat.
    The most striking moment was when we took him to see “Lone Survivor.” The movie had him enthralled and enticed with the military prowess (he wants to be a Navy Seal), but when they showed the real people who died (during the credits), empathy took over and it was awhile before he recovered.
    Human empathy gives me hope and I tear up just thinking about it.
    When my husband does encounters Bubba-like situations. He looks up into the lights and simply says, “Wow, it’s really bright in here. The lights seem to be burning up my eyes.”
    Sorry for the dissertation…apparently, this is something that struck a chord today.
    Thank you!

    • rossmurray1 says:

      Thanks for the long note. I love it. I have an 18-year-old boy, basketball player. His team scrapped their way to the final for the Province of Quebec, but, out-manned, the underdogs lost. There were some sad faces. The toughest kids on the team, though, couldn’t hold back the tears. It seems the stronger the boy, the stronger the emotions.
      Have a smiley day.

  3. pinklightsabre says:

    I will often cry in movies when it’s not really appropriate to do so. It was actually a blog idea I never carried forward: “Tears of Acknowledgement.” I don’t know if I have a condition or I’m just a ding-bat (maybe both), but it started in the late 80s with the film, The Untouchables. There was a scene where Kevin Costner basically says We’re not going to stand for this mob BS in our town, and I just started crying. I thought Wow, what courage. And I still do the same thing in the most unlikely movies. It may have even happened in the Lego film, I don’t remember. Because I start crying and then hope no one will notice, as they’re watching the screen.

  4. Oh my stars! That Ria is a hoot.

    I tried so hard not to get attached to Jordan Spieth. I almost didn’t watch on Sunday. But then I did.
    Darn it all, I did.

    And I did get attached and my heart was breaking as they approached 18, even though Bubba is a fine gentleman and all that. And then I saw Bubba’s son toddling out to greet him and I cried like . . . well. . . like me, watching a Kodak commercial.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      Oh, commercials, forget it. I actually get mad at commercials and movies, because they are so manipulative. And how? Soundtracks! If I could talk to people with a soundtrack playing in the background, I would be Coach friggin’ Carter!

  5. I shift uncomfortably in the face of public displays of emotion, but I assume that’s the stoic midwesterner/Brit heritage in me. As I get older and my life is stable and undramatic, I rarely cry on my own behalf, but will sniffle through the most godawful Disney movies, random YouTube videos, listening to my daughter sing, a written turn of phrase. It’s as if since I don’t really have a good reason to cry, I seek out random, odd outlets for emotion. Although, golf -no, not at all. If a woodchuck showed up on the ninth hole…maybe.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      It’s strange that music rarely (if ever) moves me to tears (goosebumps, yes, but not tears) and yet it’s the music in those damn movies and videos that pulls/manipulates the heartstrings.
      Yours all sound like happy tears, though, which is a good place to be in life.

  6. He cries b/c his name is ‘Bubba’ – I’d cry too with that moniker, Rosemary.

  7. markbialczak says:

    My eyes well up when I come to the end of a Ross post.

  8. Ned's Blog says:

    Admittedly, I had to compose myself before commenting. In all seriousness (not that I wasn’t being serious before), I often tear up whenever I witness an act of kindness or thoughtfulness — in movies or even a TV commercial (thanks, McDonalds) — between people who are strangers. I don’t know why. Notice that I said in movies or TV commercials, and not in real life. I think that’s because when I witness acts of kindness in real life it’s usually not accompanied by sappy music. Except for that time at the symphony, when someone handed me an extra program. I cried like a baby.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      It’s totally the music. Here’s a weird one: I’m not a teacher but I’m an advisor to a handful of students (what could possibly go wrong?). Whenever I have to give them serious advice, whether a pep talk or a boot to the behind — you know, sincere stuff — I feel myself starting to tip over the edge. My own kids, though? Business as usual.

      • Ned's Blog says:

        I totally get that. I’m the same way with my kids. I think it’s a Dad defense mechanism. Although after my oldest daughter moved out a couple of months ago, I was sprucing up the empty room to give to our youngest daughter, and all of a sudden Pandora started playing “You’re Gonna Miss This” (not that I expect you to know a country song, but it’s a COUNTRY song, so you get the picture) and I practically did a ninja roll trying to change the station before I started bawwwwling. I still can’t listen to it yet. The same with “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw.

        Maybe I just need to stick to AC/DC…

  9. I wasn’t going to comment because it’s so deeply humiliating but I can’t resist.

    I didn’t weep at my mother’s funeral. I didn’t attend my father’s. But do you know what lays me flat every time I hear it? Are you ready for this? Katy Perry’s song Firework. Because growing up, I was that empty plastic bag in the wind. And nobody ever told me I could be something. And I wish they had. And I have to go now.

    “Happy” is 2014’s “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.”

  10. I get uncomfortable around crying people, men or women – they make me want to cry, too, and that annoys me. But I think we should all have a good cry once in a while, preferably in private. I’ve read that emotional tears have a different chemical composition than irritated-eyes tears, with many times more manganese (or some other thing that starts with M – I should have taken notes), and depressed people have higher manganese levels than happy folk. I’m not sure what those two facts combined might mean, but it’s safest to let it all out now and then.

  11. ksbeth says:

    my daughters have told me that they have noticed that most all of my stories (real-life) end with me either laughing or crying.

  12. When a grown man cries, I will cry. It’s the damnedest thing.

  13. benzeknees says:

    I used to be like Nan – I loved flying & roller coasters. Now I’m more like Ria – afraid of everything. I wonder why that is? Maybe I was too stupid to know about the dangers when I was young?

  14. cat9984 says:

    All of this bonding is really scary.

  15. jillscene says:

    Weeping in public? Brass bands in a parade, every time.
    It only happens out there, in public, strangers everywhere and the risk someone I know may actually see me! The same music in the privacy of my own home – nothing.

  16. Pingback: Getting friendly with the neighbours « Jill's Scene

  17. I cry all the time. Especially to the end of films, no matter the genre. I even tend to cry at the end of action or horror films when everyone gets out okay in the end. Strange, I know. My friends always laugh just to make sure I feel daft enough as well. But there shouldn’t be anything wrong with crying. So many people, women and men, feel ashamed to cry in public. I know it can be awkward for some people because they don’t know how to react, but I don’t think that should make people any less emotional. Emotion is a natural thing, and if we want to cry at a film or a song, why shouldn’t we? No one should feel embarrassed to well up, whether male or female.

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