Monday, February 21, 2005

Oops, I'm sorry I killed 5 people, it's that time of the month

To begin today's post, I want to take you back a couple years to an incident that really defines today's post. I was having a real good dream. Not one of those Michigan wins another football title dreams, but a good one nevertheless. When I was woke out of it, I was smiling. The voice that woke me came from the bathroom. "You need to come here to see this." I stagger out of bed. Walk to the bathroom and look around. No underwear on the counter, no clothes on the floor. So far, so good. Not here for underwear, clothes or the hamper talk. Decorator towels still straight? Yes. Not here for the don't use these, they're only for looks talk. Look on the floor. There is a cat on the floor. Cat looks dead. Is the cat dead? No, just saw it breathe. Cat's just asleep. Wish I was. Not dead, so not here to see the cat. Glance around. There is the wife. She's smiling. Sort of... Now a sort of smiling wife is never a good thing. Usually it means that it is time for the mind games that make electroshock therapy feel like a soft pillow. Usually said games wind up badly with her crying or mad and me thinking what the heck was that all about? So here we are, one of these if you really loved me, you'd know what I am thinking faces staring at me. As if I am the amazing Creskin or something. I stare blankly (it is 6:30 am), and she glances down at a piece of plastic. It has pink lines. "Do you know what this means?" Now most of my brain is well aware of what that is and probably means. However, it's 6:30 am. Right now, that part is still asleep and the second string is currently controlling the consciousness. So here go the guesses. "We have hard water? Is that why the whites have been a bit dingy?" Bad answer. *Very* bad answer. She's now getting upset. I try to calm her. " No, no of course, not. No. The whites are brighter than ever. I don't know why I said that. Please don’t cry." Oh, dear Lord, please make her stop. Quickly, I go for the second guess: "Um, our son is doing drugs?" Even worse answer. I knew he wasn't, but hey, maybe I can get one of those slaps on the back of the head 'Hey moron, it means...' answers. No such luck. Now she's tearing up and she's turning red. About this time, the part of the brain that understands, is waking up, but unfortunately it'll be a moment still, so the second string continues. "Oh, come on. It's a plastic strip. No, I don't think we're raising a druggie. No, please calm down" Her face is mad and teary. Better get this right. The knowledgeable part of the brain finally wakes up and engages. It has no clue either, since it's been asleep, but it goes for a guess: "Um, athletes foot? Oh, come on. They way your acting, it's almost like your... " Then it notices the strip. Reality hits. She's having a baby. Still half asleep, I reply "No. Can't be. It is?" My reaction didn't go over well. She's not happy with the guesses, and is now not happy that I am not jumping for joy. "Well of course it's a good thing. No, it's great. Please stop acting psycho. No, you're not psycho. Bad slip of the tongue. Oh, please just let me die now..."

Today's talk is the hormone excuse. A pregnant woman can go into a Kmart and take out 100 people with mace and a pick axe and turn around and say "Oops, sorry. My hormones are a bit out of whack, but I'm ok now. You might want to put a band aid on that. Tee hee hee." And people will accept it. You know it's true. Everywhere a pregnant woman goes, people make way. Most people assume that it's to make sure they don't risk bumping her and somehow hurting her baby. No, it's more basic than that. It comes from years, no millennia of years of evolution. They back away, because they don't want to be the first object in range when the hormone charged ball of psychosis snaps for no reason. Deep inside every man is then knowledge of psychotic hormones. It is why when we open doors for pregnant women, we are on the *other side* of said door, using it as a shield. Our DNA holds many memories of pregnant rages or “that time of the month rages” that make being eaten by a pack of wolves seem like Disney. The reputation of hormone changes and behavior have been documented through the centuries. I'll bet you didn't know that every culture has a name/phrase for the word estrogen. In the Congo tribe of the Swahilians, it means "What the heck was that all about?" Some American Indian tribes had a phrase for it which loosely translated meant “Squaw more psycho than a rabid hyena”.

Hormones have become the catch all excuse for women. I have a friend whose wife has had every checkup imaginable for her weight. First it was thyroid checks. Then it was kidneys. Then it was some disease she found on google (I think she googled “my fat can’t be my fault” or something similar). Test after test was negative. Then it was diabetes. Then it was hypoglycemia. Then it was pituitary. All negative. But the hormone excuse continues, I mean it can’t be the 6000 calories a day she eats in front of theTV. Oh, no. And if you make the mistake of suggesting dropping the cookies, well, my friend spent a sexless 2 months for that one. So men just smile and wave and agree. It keeps the peace and the “pie”.

Now men could never get away with this. Can you imagine being at work and having this conversation? Boss: This project is a week overdue, what’s the problem? You: Sorry boss, I had a rough week last week if you know what I mean. The hormones just made me feel sad. But I’m happy for now . Yeah, you’d be out in a heartbeat. But hey, grin and bear it. They may be hormone crazed, but at least they look good.

C’ Ya!