CRYING at the movies is - as all real men know - sad. And yet many partners seem to think it's nice to show your softer side.
That may well be true in a darkened room when there's no one around.
But it's definitely not recommended at school fund-raisers when you've got your daughter's year 9 schoolmates to the left, your wife's workmates to the right, and the mother-in-law next to you, battling for control of the arm rest.
Such was the situation the other day.
The movie selected was the superlatively sad The Fault In Our Stars.
We knew we were in for a "weepy" when the major lucky door prize was a box of tissues. And the second major lucky door prize was another box of tissues.
The movie was picked not because it's a box office sensation in America at the moment. But rather because no boys turned up for the lunchtime meeting to decide which movie we'd watch.
No plot spoilers here, just take a bib. #TFIOS makes The Notebook seem emotionally barren in comparison; My Sisters's Keeper champagne comedy.
For this reason, I sensed eager anticipation from my female companions.
Some had even primed themselves by reading John Green's melancholic teen tome, the hope being the movie would be sadder than the book.
This, by consensus, would be a) an achievement; and b) awesome, seeing as we all love a good cry.
But not if it's going to earn you a mention at the next P&C meeting.
For that reason, I mustered all my anti-cry baby techniques. Well, all my anti-giving it away I'm a cry baby techniques.
First trick, refrain from touching eyes - a sure sign in clutch moments that someone is tearing up.
If you do find yourself reaching for the eyes, possibly because vision is being impaired by heartbreak, try and brush it off with a comment to no one in particular about your contact lens not feeling comfortable.
This works OK if you wear contact lenses. But is a touch transparent if you wear glasses.
Talking is often a giveaway too. Try and refrain from that at all costs, for fear of the old cracked voice and vibrating bottom lip.
For example, someone asks, "Are you OK?" and you reply, "Him hoke".
Translated: "I'm OK."
Actual translation: "I'm struggling."
Breathing through your nose can often telegraph mucal movement too.
For this reason, try not to breath when it gets intense.
Of course, movie makers understand people will offer resistance, so they pair paralysingly sad action with a cripplingly sad soundtracks.
The first notes of which, combined with a poignant moment, can often break the dam that's barely holding back the blubbering.
There can be times where you're doing a good job sitting on your hands, snorting imperceptibly, trying to get some oxygen into the system, hoping the moroseness eases off soon, and bang, the theme music triggers a tsunami of snot and bothered.
Such moments can bring a smile to your partner's faces, as if sooking together is a great relationship builder.
Fair enough, but I'd still like to hear my partner whoop during an action comedy adventure flick.
Now during this intensely sad movie the other day, there were a number of intensely intense sad moments when I thought I was going to crack.
I could hear my mother-in-law next to me doing the ole sniffle. And on my left, the year-niners were barely holding it together.
But I couldn't crack up because, well, I was trying to gender identify as an emotional vacuum.
So, just like in scary movies, where you hide behind your hands, I started searching for ways to avoid experiencing the major emotion the film was trying to illicit, i.e., man cry.
But it wasn't easy because the theme music started kicking in and the actors started to facially emote big time.
I could feel that bottom lip starting to quiver, and I reckoned if I breathed, I'd be gone.
So, in desperation, I looked away from the actors' faces, to the top left corner of the screen and tuned in like it was a radio.
Interestingly, the gagging eased off and I was able to sneak a few cheeky breaths, without sounding too wheezy.
This not only helped with staying conscious.
It was of major benefit during the apocalyptically sad climax of the nonetheless uplifting film when a motherload of plot moments collided to drench all defences.
People had paid good money for this, and judging by the collective sinus disorders audible round the room, they got value.
But I was able to ward off the tears by looking top left.
And afterwards, when everyone was unashamedly comparing who cried the most, I was able to say without puffy eyes, "Him hoke".
Unfortunately, "OK" was one of the cutesy shared motifs between the adorable main characters and next thing . . . Bwwwwaaaaa!!!!