Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.

CP: Weddings, funerals, the cancellation of "All My Children." I have been crying an awful lot lately.

RN: You and me both. I recently rewatched "Terms of Endearment" and nearly had to be hospitalized.

CP: I saw a show on the gym's TV the other day that seemed designed entirely to give its guests — and us — a good half-hour sobfest. A middle-aged cancer survivor was brought on and she was then treated to a song, a long-distance call, a surprise visit from a long-lost child. Eskimos may have 50 words for snow, but this woman had 65 different ways of crying.

RN: You'd have the emotional waterworks flowing, too, if you found yourself subjected to the Wendy Williams version of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

CP: I imagine a production assistant bursting into a meeting room to announce, "I have found a virtual crying machine! She's perfect." There was a program on Univision in which every character — dad, adolescent daughter, grandma, the gardener — had cheeks soaked with tears. Isn't crying best done in private?

RN: Not on a telenovela, where eyedrops are frequently a major budget item. You've always seemed fairly impervious to tears, despite your penchant for bringing underlings to them. Or is there some sob sister within that I don't know anything about?

CP: While it is true that the sight of roadkill doesn't make me weep, as it does for some of my loved ones, I am no stranger to the occasional emotional outburst. Unlike you, who sat dry-eyed through the movie version of "A Single Man." I was a puddle.

RN: To each his own. I need a jumbo roll of Bounty to get through the second movement of Balanchine's "Concerto Barocco." And I bawled like Diane Keaton in "Something's Gotta Give" last week while reading a preview copy of "The Days of Anna Madigral," Armistead Maupin's latest installment of his "Tales of the City" opus.

CP: You should write a memoir: "Tears of a Balletomane." This is top-secret, but Robert got a bit choked up at your wedding dinner. Those were tears of joy, right?

RN: He was completely adorable, so here's hoping. Of course I was a total faucet in front of the judge. But I figure you've got to have ice water running through your veins if you don't get a little weepy sometime during your nuptials, right? I bet even Mickey Rooney sobbed his way through his eighth marriage ceremony.

CP: You held up very well. Yes, it was your wedding day, but history was being made in Minnesota, and the camera was rolling.

RN: Photos? Don't remind me. How brides survived the pre-waterproof mascara era, I'm sure I'll never know.

E-mail: witheringglance@startribune.com

Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib