Last night my oldest son called and we got into an old subject: him defending my honor. I could say I've no honor to defend, but that wouldn't be true. I am an honorable person. I could also say that I don't need defending, not against rude children or current spouses of ex-husbands because, well . . . there really is no need to go any further. My son was sincere in his passion to defend me against any and all foul comments, and I applaud him for that even though I am a little sad he felt the need to defend me.
Don't get me wrong. I think it's sweet that my son loved me enough to defend me, even to the point of bruises, blood, and the usual rewards of fighting. I also think it's more about a young boy's need to prove himself in battle and to himself that he is a man, which is some feat for a seven-year-old. I have always believed the need to resort to fists and weapons, the push to war, is ingrained in the male psyche and, after reading some of what an acquaintance is going through with the introduction of testosterone into her system to transition from female to male, it must also be hormonally connected. Take that, fellas. Men get just as hormonal as women; it manifests in a very different way.
Women, when hormonal, get weepy and moody. Men, when hormonal, get homicidal and often sociopathic. To put it in another way, hormones when rising make women go into the house and men out of the house. Women nest and seek answers and men want to mix it up.
I know. It's a very simplistic way of looking at things, but it's also right, at least from what I've seen over the years, and I've seen a lot of years, and men high on hormones angling for a fight. Only a man could have written, or even conceived of, Fight Club. Some women enjoyed the book, as I did on some levels, but they really don't get into fighting for the sake of fighting, even if the end result is being beaten to a pulp and spitting teeth and various chunks of internal organs. Women on the whole just do not get all excited about blood and guts and physical damage.
Having written that, I wonder at my own excitement during Gladiator or other movies where there is physical violence and I can safely say it's more about justice than blood and guts exciting me. Seeing the villain, or villains, getting their due after raping, pillaging, and exercising their hormonal excesses gets my heart beating faster and the blood rushing through my body. It's visceral -- and it's also hormonal. I've been known to get excited when reading a particularly bloody and physical scene in a book when the villain is beaten into the dust and loses a body part or his life. I wince when the hero is mauled. My sympathies are always with the hero. I'm a girl looking for a hero after all.
The human body is mostly water and water transports nutrients and hormones, lots of hormones, all over the system (the body is a system) like the Colorado River at spring thaw. Whitewater rushing from organs secreting hormones infusing the brain, muscles, and tissue until the chemical soup boils over and the mind, body, and soul are poised for action: women inside the house and men spoiling for a fight outside the house, although men have been known to mix it up inside the house as well. Men just want to fight.
I smiled when my son got that hurt and defensive tone in his voice. "I had to protect you, to defend you," he said. I wanted to laugh and tell him he was silly, but he was being true to his feelings and acting on hormones. I didn't want to downplay his contribution to defending his mother, so I just said, "Thank you." Then I explained that I've heard lots of people calling me names and saying nasty things about me and it doesn't bother me. After all, after spending my formative years being told what a waste of space I was and that I was a whore (while still being a virgin) by my mother, nothing gets to me any more, at least not if they resort to names.
My ex-husband's spouse lives in mortal fear of me coming back to reclaim my husband, and she demonizes me in order to give herself a reason to keep trashing me. She's right on one count. I am overweight. Like my mother, she is also wrong. I have slept with far fewer men than advertised and have not spent my life on my back with my legs in the air and my box stuffed. I haven't had the time and well, overweight. The two just do not work or play well together.
One thing I do know, which I didn't tell my son, is that people demonize people they fear and have wronged. It has nothing to do with logic or truth or honor. It's the only way they can justify their hormonal excesses.
When the twins are older and fighting for his honor and good name, he will look back and smile a little because he will finally understand that kids will be kids and the spring thaw hormonal rushes are upon them, and he'll remember our conversations. The wheel of life turns and his position on the wheel will have changed. He was my little boy and one day his little boy and girl will look up to him with that hurt tone in their voices and a glimmer of tears in their eyes while their lips quiver and my son will smile. It's the only thing to do when hormones are in control.
Guess it's the woman's turn to ask her fella, "That time of the month?" when he goes off like a rocket or pushes up his sleeves in preparation for a smack-down.