Testosterone poisoning…that’s what my husband, Jeff, calls it whenever anyone with XY chromosomes does something stupid related to trying to be macho. Yesterday I was in the grocery store and going through the self-checkout area. There were four areas where customers could check out; two on each side with a line forming behind them in the middle. Apparently one man who walked up to the area figured that he would get directly behind me as he could see I was almost done. Instantly, the man who was at the front of the line hollered out, “Hey buddy, what do you think you’re doing?” The man behind me turned around and said, “I’m in line. You got a problem with that?” “Yeah, I do,” the first one replied. “The line is back here!…or are you too stupid to realize that?”
This of course escalated into an exchange of words that ended with the first man who was by now checking his groceries saying, “I’ll be done here in a minute, buddy, and we can take this outside.” All I could think of was “testosterone poisoning!” I can’t imagine too many women saying, “You want to take this outside?” Instead, the above scenario would have more likely resembled this:
“Excuse me, but I was next in line. The line is over here, not behind each individual check-out area.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that. ”
Yeah, I know there are exceptions to every situation, and there are some amazingly rude women out there, but I doubt that most women would be inclined to lean toward a fist fight over who was next in line.
As I thought about this scenario, I’m glad I have a husband who for the most part doesn’t have testosterone poisoning! 🙂 Sure, he has his “guy” moments where he has to race the car next to him to get ahead when two lanes are merging into one, but overall, he doesn’t find a need to express himself as more “manly” than the next guy. As a result, the boys in our home have learned that trying to act tough is not important and have picked up on Jeff’s gentle demeanor.
Chivalry is definitely not dead when he is around. If there is a woman pulled over onto the side of the road trying to change a tire, Jeff will be the first one to pull off and assist, even if he is wearing a white shirt and tie. Taylor learned from a very early age that service to others was more important than only thinking of oneself, and is part of the reason that he was willing to serve his Heavenly Father as a missionary.
One of my favorite quotes is one I heard by a church leader who said (and I am paraphrasing), “People say ‘boys will be boys.’ That is not true. Boys will be men and we need to treat them accordingly.” Perhaps if more parents treated their children as the men they will need to become, and had more fathers modeling appropriate behaviors, we wouldn’t have men in grocery stores acting like childish boys.