The Hormonal Headlock

I don’t mean to brag, but I lead a pretty healthy lifestyle. I don’t smoke unless my hair is on fire. I exercise, except when I’m in an internet-induced stupor. I eat obnoxiously healthy 95% of the time. And I try to manage my stress with loving, hippie, New Age-Christian thoughts. Considering that in my twenties I was a promiscuous ball of toxic thoughts, working my way from one microwave cake to another, it is pretty darn amazing.

Promiscuous ball of toxic thoughts goes dancing. I’m the ball on the right.

My healthy lifestyle didn’t stop my hormones from going bat-sh!t crazy when I hit forty, though, much to my dismay. My ob/gyn, who I deeply respect for her love of bacon and Otis Redding in the O.R., suggested I go on the pill. However, I’m oddly resistant to medication of all kinds. I support the idea of medication, I just don’t like the idea of it being mine and having to take it every day. It’s a commitment issue.

I’m better at cutting things out than adding things in. One of the benefits of being raised on guilt is that I’m scary-good at self deprivation. It’s one of my super powers. So instead of adding in birth control, I decided to cut out sugar and caffeine. And joy.

Yay me! Step back, synthetic hormones!  I got this!

So imagine my surprise this month when the PMS fairy kicked down my door and made me her beyotch? I tried to explain that she was visiting the wrong house because I am living a life of righteous deprivation like a Tibetan Monk, but she threw me in a hormonal headlock anyway. She is not a nice fairy. You’ll never see her being celebrated in Wiccan circles.

Never trust a fairy who carries wire and a cinder block. (image via dreamstime)

Suddenly I am tired, irritable and ready to cut someone for a burger and milkshake. And not a paper cut either. A real cut that might even require stitches. And a band-aid.

Then my son starts spontaneously crying for ice cream. Not “I want ice cream,” “No you can’t have ice cream,” and then tears, but tears first, then “why are you crying,” “Because I want ice cream.” That kind of emotion over dessert foods can only be brought on by one thing and it rhymes with pormones.

I infected my son with my ladiness like the Swine Flu. Dang it! I should have worn a surgical mask and hermetically sealed underwear. Now two out of four members of this household are a mess-trogen.

Man down!

I can’t layer hormonal craziness on top of my usual craziness like some sort of Dagwood Insanity Sandwich. I don’t know whether I need to wave some burning sage over my uterus or contact a priest for a full on estrocism, but something must be done about this. I have to get a handle on this before our whole house is infected with the evil spirit of Estrogen and there are casualties.

Crossroads: Not Just A Bad Britney Spears Movie

Hubs is bummed out.

It’s a rare occurrence, like a total solar eclipse or sitting next to Leonardo DiCaprio at IHOP. Hubs isn’t the type of person to usually get melancholy and introspective. You won’t find him sitting in bed with a pint of Haagen Daz wondering why someone doesn’t like him or worrying if he really did the right thing. He acts with no regrets, addresses problems and conflicts face to face as soon as they arise, and never frets over being liked or disliked. If he feels like he did the wrong thing then he steps right up to remedy the situation. I envy him because, well, let’s just say that there are some sizable Haagen Daz stains on my side of the bed.

An ancient photo but it captures his approach: show up loaded for bear and wreaking of confidence.

Hubs is suffering from job dissatisfaction, which is highly unusual for him because he loves what he does. From chasing a gangster with a gun to comforting little old ladies–Hubs loves it all. What other occupation could combine so many of his favorite things: fast cars, dangerous toys, problem solving, variety and the constant threat of danger? It would be like giving me a job that combines telling stories, eating and getting massaged. And what’s more? He’s good at it. Really good.

Colors! Colors! Colors!

You probably think I’m biased because he’s my husband and he looks so cute in a gas mask. That’s a logical conclusion but I assure you that I’m pretty honest about my husband’s strengths and weaknesses. If you ask me whether he’s good at washing dishes I’ll tell you straight up. He isn’t. Is he a dandy dresser? Not so much. Would I let him decorate my living room? Now you’re just talking crazy. But law enforcement? He might as well have been born with a badge.

He's hiding his badge in his diaper.

I’ve met plenty of good police officers, but most are good at certain aspects of the job and not as good at others. Some officers are very proficient at dealing with hardened criminals but hate talking with the public. Some are great at dealing with regular citizens but not as good in a life and death situation. Some guys can write a gazillion tickets. Some are gifted at polishing their desk chair with their backside. Everybody has their strengths.

How do you know that your undercover guise is effective? When you get a fist bump and a free coffee from the white supremacist in the Starbucks.

Not many officers can become “STEP INTO A SLIM JIM” scary when needed then flip the switch to transform into Officer Cuddles, community liaison. Hubs can. He will pull over to change someone’s flat tire in the rain. He will wrestle a 200 pound, gun-toting victim of society. He will also get out and dance at a Martin Luther King Jr. parade (but he would advise you against checking that out on YouTube under “Martin Luther King Parade-Cop dancing!” –I’ve already said too much.) And he has an uncanny knack for spotting felonious intent. He’s a complete law enforcement package with a cute butt. I will admit that the cute butt has no impact on job performance–it’s just a personal preference.

Officer Cuddles in the house

Here’s the thing: some bureaucratic organizations, as well as many large businesses don’t necessarily appreciate super efficiency. I know, it is shocking, like discovering politicians don’t always tell the truth. People hate over-achievers. They ruin the curve and make everyone else look bad. They set a pace with which it’s hard to keep up and people resent that.

Head-shots are strongly discouraged unless dealing with a suicide bomber or zombies.

If you come into a detective squad and close a bunch of cases all at once, everyone else looks like they’ve just been sitting around playing computer solitaire every day.  If you arrest too many violent offenders, you get a lot of “uses of force” in your career file and Risk Management sends you to sensitivity training to learn how to hug homicidal maniacs. Career-savvy workers keep a low profile, play the political game and pace themselves, doing just enough to tow the line but not enough to ruffle feathers.

Give me a hug...and your wallet!

Hubs doesn’t operate that way. He goes all out to the finish line, pukes, tapes up his injuries, sleeps like the dead and then does it all again. That’s just how he rolls.

work hard, play hard, sleep hard: that's his motto.

The criminals are holding up their end of the bargain: breaking the law and trying to get away with it, running away, lying, throwing guns and narcotics in bushes, wetting their pants…you know, the stuff they’re supposed to do. That’s heartening. However Hubs has grown weary of watching peers (not all, but some) coast along doing the bare minimum and cutting corners that affect officer safety. And he’s tired of being penalized by superiors (again, not all, but some) for being outspoken and proactive, especially when the superiors doing the penalizing are more skilled at climbing the career ladder than actually doing the job. See, not every skill will get you a big high-five from your co-workers.

Just an early morning criminal courtesy call to say, "hi! you've violated parole!"

So what do you do when you’ve become disillusioned with the job you always wanted to do? Do you grit your teeth and stick it out until retirement? Do you find an alternative and redefine yourself? How do you find something as fulfilling as cracking skulls for the good of society and still receive good health care and a retirement package? Can you get a job doing Mixed Martial Arts in retirement communities? Become a professional surfer and shark wrestler? Maybe a rodeo clown?

They don't like my suggestions. I can tell.

These are some of the questions Hubs is asking himself and frankly I don’t blame him for feeling down about it. Crossroads typically aren’t fun road trips in a Britney Spears movie, though they can be as painful to watch. More often they feel like bald-headed Britney taking an umbrella to a SUV.

"You're parked in the middle of my crossroads!" (image via Hollywood Grind)

But you always come out the other side. And if you play your cards right, you come out a better person with a cute butt. Okay, again the cute butt is not required to be a better person, but Hubs does have one and I feel compelled to point it out.  I just wouldn’t feel right if I wrote a whole blog post about him and didn’t objectify him a little. He’d do the same for me.

Inappropriate? Maybe, but I felt the need to prove that my posts are factually correct. His butt is indeed cute.