Happy Monday, Wingman faithful. And since I’m a Georgetown fan, I use the word “happy” loosely.

I don’t care how many people are writing about the next big Cinderella story today, I still say “Suck it, FGCU.”

If you’re like me, you spent the weekend watching the tourney elevate men to kings, and then dash those empires to the ground almost as quickly as they rose. It’s been an emotional few days and frankly, I’m exhausted. But it got me to thinking…

Are guys usually graceful losers? Is there really a way to take the art of rejection like a man?

Eh, it depends on who the unlucky party is, but I suspect that some of you need a lesson on losing with class. From striking out with the ladies, to losing your job, to sports upsets of all kinds, failure can be a fickle beast. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t maintain your dignity (and your composure). So pull up a chair, boys, because class is now in session. And this time, the only grade on your report card that matters is an F.

I give you How To Lose Like A Man:

*Assess the situation. How bad is it? On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being getting brushed off by that blonde at the bar, and 10 being a game 7 upset in the 2004 World Series (from the perspective of a Yankees fan, obviously), where does it fall? If it’s above a 6, the requisite pouting-slash-bitter grumbling is allowed, sulk away my friend. Only for a little while, though. But if it’s just a minor ego bruise, put it in perspective and walk it off, man.

I understand that in matters of financial ruin, impending legal action or jilted love – being left at the altar must suck, I’ll give you that – the stakes are a bit higher. But try to remember that there will always be an upswing. Turn to your friends, faith, vodka, whatever. Just do what you have to in order to white-knuckle through it, and I promise you’ll make it out alive.

*Know when to take “No” for an answer. If we’re talking about your garden variety date proposition or failure to get a woman’s digits, sometimes persistence is key. I’ve known couples who started out as a relentless guy and a girl who eventually gave him a chance once he wore her down. And yes, those happy endings are possible, so long as you stay on the right side of the law.

But there are also times when you should bow out gracefully. Did you get passed over for a promotion? Ouch. But throwing a hissy fit will only ensure that you lose the job you do have. Has she moved on to someone else and told you that she’s finally happy? Brutal, but give her the courtesy of closure.

There’s a fine line between fighting for what you want, and disregarding someone else’s wishes (Steubenville, anyone?) And no, silence should never be confused with compliance. D*cks.

*Be a class act. As much as it might kill you, being the bigger man is always key. Even if you were a stand up guy for 99% of the time, if you punk out in the home stretch, whatever legacy you created for yourself will likely be ruined. And who wants to taint their own reputation? Resorting to cheap shots, cutting remarks or tantrums of any kind is never the answer.

Plus, recognize that your setback could be someone else’s moment for glory. And even if it is, that doesn’t mean you won’t get your turn one day, too. Would it suck to be John Stockton to Jordan’s game 6? Absolutely. (Or Eisley, for that matter, and suck is an understatement). But should you begrudge somebody their moment in the sun? No. Because A) It’ll make your own accomplishment that much sweeter and more appreciated one day and B) You know what they say about karma.

And finally…

*Crying Is not an option. I’ve made my beliefs on the Man Cry clear before, but just in case you need a reminder… Allow me to extol the virtues of just sucking it up once more. Sure, the relationship between chicks and your waterworks is a tricky one, boys, but in regards to sports? No such ambiguity. I leave you with the sore loser gospel according to Tom Hanks, even though I’m making a one-time exception and repeating a clip I’ve previously posted. Why? Because it’s a classic. And also, because the man has a point.ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

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You’ve heard it since you were little: Men don’t cry. Or, at least, don’t cry often. And never, ever – for fear of having your testosterone card revoked – cry in public. But whether you care about what other guys think of you when it comes to crying, the bigger question remains. What do women think about you crying? We’re no strangers to the Man Cry, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have opinions on it. So sit back, relax and grab some Kleenex, boys. This might sting a little.

The problem with this topic being written about is that A) it’s usually written by guys or B) it’s written by women who make stupid observations about wanting a sensitive man who shows his emotions, blah blah blah. So forgive me if I’m underwhelmed by what you’ve been told, but here’s the real story:

We don’t mind. It shows you’re human, it shows you trust us, and it won’t make us view you as any less tough. But – and this is a very important, huge, Kardashian-sized but – there is a limit to the waterworks we can tolerate. I repeat: THERE IS A LIMIT, men. If there was a meter to gauge acceptable man crying behavior, the female-friendly spectrum would lie between “We’ve only seen you do it once or twice” and “On occasions of extreme sadness/profundity.” With the sweet spot somewhere in the middle, naturally.

Let me get something out of the way first, though. People need to stop stating the obvious. Of course it’s OK to cry at the death of a loved one or friend – loss is crushing, if that doesn’t elicit some tears, I don’t know what would. Further, crying at the loss of a pet can also be brutal, so weep away, boys – we totally get it. But crying when your team loses a playoff game? Hold it right there, buddy. That’s where I draw the line.

Maybe it’s because March Madness just drew to a close, leaving a bevy of devastated dudes in it’s wake. Upsets are tough, no one disputes that. (Just ask my Brother-in-law, whose KU heart is shattered, not to mention the sound barrier from his screaming). The appropriate guy reaction to a sports loss, in this girl’s opinion, is to do something manly – like yell, or punch a wall, or flip a chair – whatever. It may sound caveman-like, but it works. You’re men, that’s what you do. Just don’t let me see any tears. Those are better saved for the exceptionally heart-wrenching stuff…like military tributes.

If you can watch videos about the soldier’s dog welcoming him home, or hear parents talk about their son or daughter’s ultimate sacrifice and not have your eyes well up, you’re a tougher person than I am. You also might have no soul, for what it’s worth. Extreme topics like loss, struggle, overcoming obstacles – these are all fair game. It takes a very specific type of person to hold it together when watching 9/11 widows, children orphaned by war, the list goes on. We’ll never think less of you for crying at these topics, but we will, however, pass judgement on other things.

Like if you cry during “The Notebook.” Certain movies are 100%, Grade A acceptable for men to cry during, but a Ryan Gosling film is not one of them. Titles that tend to get you guys choked up that we don’t mind? Rudy. Braveheart. Saving Private Ryan. Old Yeller. Friday Night Lights. Field of Dreams. Shawshank – and the list goes on. But if we see your chin quiver during “Beaches” or “Armageddon,” all bets are off. (*Miss Wingman note: Sorry to the guy who fits this last one, you know who you are).

You can, however, cry tears of joy. Times that are appropriate? When your team WINS a playoff game. But only if it’s a really big deal, like the Gmen vs. the Patriots, anything Stanley Cup related (Go Rangers) or, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, if your lousy Boston team finally broke it’s 86 year curse to win a World Series. Whatever, that’s the only Sox sympathy you’ll ever get from me. Moving right along…

Other acceptable tears of joy times include the birth of your children (obviously), when you complete a really monstrous feat or milestone in life, and your wedding day. And while we’re on the topic of wedding day tears, let me just say this: The day I walk down the aisle (in 2047, no doubt), when I stare into the face of the man waiting for me at the other end, he better damn well have some tears in his eyes. Women – yes all women – have this weird thing where we want to believe that we can make you cry. Like, somehow our ability to bring you to tears, however infrequently, is proof of how much you love us. It’s twisted, I know, but true.

The elephant in the room during all of this is what we’re expected to do when we see you cry, and I still don’t have an answer for that one. I’ve seen my own father cry numerous times (I come from a long line of passionate, emotional Italian men – don’t judge), and I’ve seen guys I’ve dated cry, and I never know how to handle it. My inclination is that we as women should just be there. We don’t necessarily need to say anything brilliant, just be there. Give a hug, a rub on the back, something. But sometimes it’s just better to listen than to give advice or cheerful words, and I suspect that this is one of those times.

I will say that, if you’re a guy who notoriously bottles things up or comes from a family that’s not demonstrative with their emotions, when you eventually cry in front of a woman, she will be downright shocked. And heartbroken for you. Nothing sucks the air right out of our lungs like seeing someone we thought was unflappable show cracks in their armor. It’s tough to watch, because we want to take it from you. But we know we can’t.

What we can do is remind you of these guidelines when you’re being a… (um, I’m not going to finish that sentence, you know where I’m going with it). I’m not one for traditional gender roles, close-minded thinking or stoicism, but on this one I have some strong feelings. Jaleel White, I’m talking to you! (If you didn’t see him weep openly during “Dancing With the Stars” you won’t get the reference, but it’s worth a watch. Worst. Man Cry. Ever. Really, Urkel?)

Either way, don’t be afraid to test the teary-eyed waters in our presence, but be careful what you peg it to. It probably won’t be a deal breaker, but you don’t want to find out the hard way.

That’d be a crying shame.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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