Hormones. Who'd have 'em?
If you're a bloke reading this then you can either go and check some sporting results instead or read on, smug in the knowledge that you will never have to experience first hand the affliction that is female hormone swings.
So there I am merrily getting on with my life. I'm busy. I'm happy and, apart from shouting at the kids occasionally I'm reasonably even tempered. Life is sweet.
It starts with the need for chocolate. Not a little "I fancy a bit of chocolate if there's any in the cupboard" kind of need but a "If I don't get chocolate in the next thirty seconds I may be forced to tear the arms off anyone that gets in the way of my pursuit for it" kind of way. It's a tell tale and fairly consistent sign of a rush of hormones but I regularly fail to spot it and recognise it for what it is. I indulge myself with something sweet and continue with my life.
Next I get a bit cross. This is nothing unusual. As already confessed, I am wont to shout at the children if they don't do as they're asked. Again, no alarm bells ring. Then I explode for no easily identifiable reason. The girls metaphorically dive for cover, exchange knowing glances at each other and try to steer their brother, who can't yet spot the warning signs, from impending disaster with frantic hand and facial gestures that they think I can't see.
Now, it's starting to register. I have not turned over night into a confectionery guzzling ogre. Well, I have as it goes but there is a rational explanation. Hormones.
Sometimes the prevailing mood is not anger but melancholy. Suddenly life is all too difficult. I don't have the energy to shout and I slink off into dark corners and feel self indulgently sorry for myself. And again, despite the fairly consistent effect on me for the greater part of my life, my hormone wobble always takes me by surprise. I feel hard done to and uncherished despite knowing neither to be the case.
I imagine that it could be challenging living with a woman who is a martyr to her hormones. But just consider for a moment what it must be like to be the woman. One day you're skipping along, happy as Larry and the next. Kaboom. Straight into a brick wall of unexplained emotion.
They come. They go. It passes. We move on. But if I had been in charge of blowing life into that spare rib, I think I would have given greater thought to precisely how the side effects of a reproductive system that most off us only use a handful of times in a lifetime might impact on the human race's daily lives.
Now, where's that Terry's Chocolate Orange?