Whoa, there, guys, I see you...no slinking away into the other room or slamming your laptops shut. No...this post is designed to help you (and in turn, the lovely woman in your life, presuming you have one...) to get through some potentially difficult times relatively unscathed and with fewer relationship scars. That can only be good, right? Right. So, this is no time to be squeamish. I invite you to man-up and read on but please feel free to pause now and again to scratch or spit or watch ESPN stats or do whatever you need to do to preserve your sense of manliness despite the fact that you are reading a post about hormones.
Okay, let me start with the first tip which is really the most important thing to remember as you are navigating the dangerous minefield of a woman under totally troublesome hormonal authority (who we will hereafter refer to as WUT-THA?) Here it is, and I'm capitalizing on purpose to get your attention:
#1 CRAZY PEOPLE HAVE NO IDEA THEY ARE ACTING CRAZY.
This is important to remember because there will be certain times when you will want the WUTTHA in your life to own up to or even (hahaha!) apologize for her attitude or behavior while under the influence of hormones and she will have no earthly idea what you are talking about. She would rather eat dirt than say she is sorry for something she believes is a complete fabrication of your imagination. That is why you must learn to recognize the signs leading up to and during the duration of your WUTTHA's hormonal invasion so that you can protect yourself and others within her circle of influence. This leads us to survival tip #2.
#2 SORRY, I WAS JUST MESSING WITH YOU....THERE WILL ACTUALLY BE LITTLE OR NO WARNING BEFORE THE ONSET OF SYMPTOMS. This is one reason why we seem so cranky. One minute it's all sunshine and roses and then without warning...WHAMMO. We have an overwhelming urge to throw something across the room and hear it shatter into pieces for no apparent reason. Right after that we will burst into tears and sob uncontrollably about how much the thrown object meant to us. Does this kind of behavior make you uncomfortable? Well, that's too bad because in that moment, we won't particularly care and will demand that you hold us while we cry. So you see, there is unfortunately no preemptive strategy you can employ to prevent the inevitable emotional collateral damage (see I'm using man-speak to make this more palatable for you) but there are some steps you can take to mitigate the suffering. (Yours, not hers).
#3 Do not draw attention to her situation by asking pesky questions such as: Wow, what's your problem today? Are you on your...(you get the point.) This will only ignite a powder keg of unstable emotions. BOOM! No, sir...you don't want that.
#4 Under no circumstances should you laugh at her behavior in her presence. I cannot stress this enough. If you must laugh, stifle your outburst and hie yourself off to a safe distance, far away from the earshot of your WUTTHA. But be warned...our hormonal hearing is unnaturally acute and even if we don't actually hear the laughter, we will still feel that you are making fun of us. Fair warning: You indulge in humor at her expense at your own risk.
#5 Trying to make your WUTTHA feel better by showering her with compliments or offering sympathy will only backfire on you. Even delivered sincerely you will most likely be perceived as being patronizing. Do not, I repeat, do NOT tell her you know how she feels or compare her backache and cramps to the time you threw out your back playing baseball with your buddies. Trust me...not the same thing.
** It is important to note that while compliments and sympathy are not recommended, gifts are perfectly acceptable as long as you make a concerted effort not to say anything stupid during presentation of said gift.
Are you still with me? Wow...impressive. You are a good man, indeed. At this point, I can imagine you asking: "Well, sheesh...what can I do to make her feel better, then?" Good question. The answer? Not a darn thing. But fear not...all is not lost. Here is an insider's list of things that are marginally safe to say to your WUTTHA that may not get you in too much trouble but are certainly not guaranteed to help you out in any way. Try saying things like:
"No, you are not fat. Not now, not ever!"
"Here's the credit card, why don't you go shopping with some friends."
(This may sound extravagant but is really a win/win as it gets her out of the house for a while).
"Yes, I'd be happy to."
"You have every right to feel the way you feel."
(This may not be entirely truthful but she'll appreciate it, nonetheless.)
"I can see that you are upset, but I'd prefer that you don't call me an idiot, please, if you don't mind."
"Take all the time you need."
"Here are some tissues...just let it all out."
"Honey, what you need is a heating pad, some Advil, a good book and a little space."
"Why don't I take the kids out to see a movie while you hang out and watch whatever you want on TV."
And last but certainly not least..."Yes, dear."
Try to remember that being under the influence of hormones feels like a full body hostile takeover. It is only temporary insanity and we really wish there was a way we could keep you out of the cross-hairs of our crazy mixed up emotions. I think I speak on behalf of all of the WUTTHA's out there when I say "I sincerely apologize for any ongoing inconveniences you may be experiencing as a result of our raging hormones. We will make every effort to minimize your suffering and confusion and to take it easy on you as much as is humanly possible in the future."
Now, enough with the chit-chat. We want a foot-rub. ;0)