dragonI sure do talk a lot about women’s hormones. That’s because the female cycle is kind of complex: It lasts a whole month. And we’ve got estrogen going up, then down, then up and down again. We’ve got progesterone that only makes a big splash in the second half of our cycle. And then there’s tricky testosterone, which rises in the middle of our cycle, but actually affects us all month long.

Men have a hormone cycle, too, but the male hormone cycle is far simpler: It lasts just 24 hours and involves only testosterone, which starts out high in the morning and gradually decreases as the day wears on. Boom–that’s their whole hormone cycle.

I’m reminded of the male hormone cycle today because of something I did that turned my husband into a fire-breathing dragon. And I fully expected it.

Remember yesterday when I told you I’ve been on this spring cleaning jag. Well, this morning while Douglas slept, I reorganized the kitchen. I knew this would tick him off because, as the primary cook in the house, he considers the kitchen his domain. Unfortunately, his domain was a cluttered, disorganized mess that I’d gotten entirely tired of looking at day in and day out.

Even more unfortunately, because I’m most inspired to clean early in the morning I knew this also meant that once Douglas awoke, his high morning testosterone would have him incensed that I changed everything around in the kitchen. That’s because, among other things, high testosterone in men makes them more easily angered, less flexible and more stubborn.

And, hoo boy, Douglas’s high testosterone reaction to my kitchen changes did not disappoint! What a temper flare! I hadn’t seen sparks like that since the great accidental apartment lock-out debacle of ’07! (That’s when we had finally finished loading up the car to make our big move from NYC to Florida when one of us–which one is still up for debate–accidentally locked both our dog and our front door key in the apartment we were leaving and the super didn’t have the spare.)

But, I also knew if I just gritted my teeth and got through Douglas’s hormone-fueled freak-out, he would finally settle down and chill out and accept the new changes. It took a little longer–and louder–than I’d hoped, but eventually he did see things my way. Or at least stop insisting I see them his.

In hindsight, however, I do wish I’d waited for the evening to make this big change. That’s when Douglas’s testosterone level would have naturally been lower–and lower testosterone makes men more flexible, relaxed and open to change. And that meant there would have been a lot less resistance to the re-organization I wanted. And both our days would have started off on a much quieter and far less stressed note.

So, that’s the Hormonology lesson for today, ladies: When planning something that a guy in your life (your partner, co-worker, supervisor, friend, brother, etc.) may not particularly like, keep in mind he’s likely to be more resistant to it in the morning hours when his testosterone is peaking and more open to it in the evening when his testosterone is petering out. And it’s probably wise to plan accordingly.

UPDATE: At around 1:30 pm, Douglas walked up to me and said, “I think maybe the kitchen does look nice the way you changed it.” Oh, testosterone–so predictable!