Big Boys Don’t Cry . . . A Lesson In Life

Gardening At The RanchFarmington California – Population 210

I’m in 2nd grade, standing on the playground at Farmington Elementary School, minding my own business. Well, maybe I’m not minding my own business, but anyway, James Payton a big 3rd grader proceeds to beat the crap out of me. Whistles blow and here, loping across the playground, comes Mrs. Reid the 3rd grade teacher. Mrs. Reid is the typical vision of a 3rd grade teacher, she has her hair tied up in one of those bun things, is wearing a long, non-descript dress that goes all the way down and covers everything up, and is really old. She has to be at least 40.

She proceeds to pull us apart and then looks down at me and says in adult like fashion: “Now Alan, you know, big boys don’t cry”.

That was the day I learned to cuss. In fact I became very proficient at it, thank you very much.

OK, I get it . . . I get it . . . I get it! Big boys don’t cry. Nope, no cry babies allowed on the playground at Farmington Elementary School.

The lesson that day was crying is not an appropriate way to express your emotions. Crying equals weakness and the last thing a boy, or for sure a man wants to be labeled is weak. But for some strange reason, cussing is seen as an acceptable, and even a manly way of displaying emotions.

So I concluded that from then on, if I’m ever getting the “crap” beat out of me, I won’t cry, but instead proudly assail my opponent with a barrage of cuss words.

Everyone will see me as strong and manly and not notice the blood gushing from my nose.

This entry was posted in Short Stories From A Long Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Big Boys Don’t Cry . . . A Lesson In Life

  1. They also said this about big girls. Growing up crying equaled weakness; Being weak put a target on your back. For a long time, I felt nothing because of it. If you are tough, people can’t hurt you. It was a lie then and still is a lie. Strong people can be hurt, but the truly strong people have the courage to express their emotions. But they also love themselves enough to not accept bad behavior in others, especially those who claim to love them.

    Tears was the pain away so that healing can make room for the joy and love.

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  2. J L Cathcart says:

    Well, Alan — this was a terrific post because the story makes its point and you wrote it so VERY well.

    Like

  3. Jennie Blue says:

    Love this Alan. I think the most destructive lesson a parent can enforce on their young son is that they do not cry. I feel it is much more healthy to use your emotions in the manner they help you.
    To withhold tears or emotions of any manner makes that child at a loss when he is hit with
    something destructive., what does he do? why cuss of course.

    Like

  4. Jennie Blue says:

    I disagree entirely that boy’s do not cry, why not? They are human, and humans display all sorts of emotions, and that is the healthy way to get by in this funny changing world of ours, They grow up not being able to communicate and are often mistaken as cold and indifferent. So my advice to boys, cry if you choose and you will grow up and become a much loved man.
    Jennie Blue

    Like

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