The front door opens. It must be my wife. “Hi honey, my meeting got out early so I decided to just come home,” she says as she walks up the stairs.

Quickly I change the channel to sports and casually place the tissues back on the bedside table. She opens the door and I avoid her gaze, praying she can’t see the shame in my eyes. “How has your day been? I know it has been tough being out of work. All this alone time must be driving you crazy.”

If only she knew. My eyes followed her as she walked over to the closet. My pulse quickened for fear of her finding the shoebox in the back of the closet where I keep the tapes. I’ve developed quite the collection. From newer ones to the old classics; I even have some foreign ones. “Be downstairs in a couple minutes. Don’t forget we have movie date night,” she said as she left the room.

I quickly get up and remove the tape from the DVD player. That was close, I thought, she would never let me hear the end of it if she knew what I was watching. I let my eyes linger over the title of the movie for a second: “Bridget Jones’s Diary.”

Yes that’s right. I love romantic comedies. I love everything about them. From the awkward moments to the predictable endings, there’s nothing that gives me a good cry more than a happy ending. But alas society has deemed it unacceptable for me to like such movies, insisting they are only for women. So now I am trapped, a prisoner of my desires that I can share with no one. I must acquire new movies in secret – wearing a mask as I exchange money for films from a dealer in a back alley behind a closed Blockbuster.

“Honey what movie are we going to see?” I yell down the stairs.

“Well it’s my turn and I want to go see that new romantic comedy. I hope you will be able to sit through it unlike the last one.”

The last time I had to get up and go to the bathroom so she wouldn’t see me cry. I try to calmly phrase my next question. “Who are the stars?”

“Oh it’s one of those ones where they have like 20 people starring. I’m sure it will at least be fun.”

A sigh of pleasure escapes my lips. “I’ll be down soon,” I announce in what I hope is a disinterested tone.