All Choked Up

Posted on April 26, 2013 under Storytelling with 6 comments

Men are, by and large, a stoic lot.  They are not prone to outbursts of emotion and rarely if ever cry.  Some would say that this is both a blessing and a curse.  Maybe we are dour Scots and it’s just not in our DNA to weep in public.  As I get older and the trips to the bathroom and to doctors’ appointments are more frequent than trips to the grocery store, I think about these types of things more and more.  When is the last time you saw a grown man cry?

There is only one sure fire way to bring tears to my eyes and that is cutting onions.  How can something so tasty be so aggravating to prepare?  When my wife is getting ready to prepare the stuffing for the turkey or the gravy that goes with it, my job is to cut the onions and sauté them in the old cast iron frying pan.  When we were sorting out job descriptions, I drew the short straw on this one.

I love music and occasionally I can feel a tear welling up when I hear an inspiring piece of music.  Church music sung by a choir in four parts is probably as close to heaven as I’ll get.  And is there anything more joyous than listening to a symphony orchestra live and in person?  Some current pop music makes me cry but for a whole different reason.

But there is probably nothing more emotional for a man than to witness the birth of his first child …. once he gets over the utter shock of labor and delivery.  I remember carrying my son from the case room to the nursery.  I was overwhelmed as I sang “The Massacre of Glencoe”.  I was quite choked up.  In retrospect, it is hard to believe that the first words your son would hear were about the slaughter of his forefathers.  I carried him in fear and trembling lest I drop him.  A few days later, we took him home. And then it happened.

Back then, my wife was a student and I was earning a meager income in the non-profit sector.  Resources were tight and there were several luxuries we could ill afford, including alcohol.  However, you can rationalize just about anything after the birth of your first-born and I somehow juggled the budget to allow for the purchase of a forty ounce glass bottle of rum.  I was planning a gathering of a few of my friends to toast the continuance of the clan.  I didn’t invite any Campbells.

You hardly need a liquor cabinet when you can’t afford to buy it so I stored the rum under the kitchen sink.  My sleep-deprived wife happened along and went to get some dish soap or Mr. Clean from under the sink.  I was in the adjacent room beholding the miracle of birth.  And that’s when I heard a crash followed by a gasp.  No longer was I marvelling at my four day old son.  Now I was staring in disbelief at the broken rum bottle and its contents gracing the surface of the kitchen floor.

As tears welled in my eyes, I went down the hallway seeking consolation from my son.  I grabbed my Stones collection and let the needle drop on the vinyl and listened to the lyrics to “As Teardrops Fall”.

We will be married thirty one years soon but for a split second on that fateful night so many years ago, our young marriage was sorely tested.  We passed that test. Barely.  The first of many to come!

Enjoy this? Visit the rest of my website to enjoy more of my work or buy my books!
Tri Mac Toyota!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


6 Responses to All Choked Up

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.