This is one of those ancient adages that’s always been around because, well, because it’s so damn true. The blank space here is so you can fill in whoever or whatever fits. Could be “men,” “women,” “love,” “kids,” “rock,” even “taxes.”
Yeah, that too. It’s the hormone that helps give you gals such sensational features like curves and breasts. On the other hand, we guys prefer our testosterone. You know, that other hormone that helps give us muscle mass and beards . Which is precisely why the good old American spirit of enterprise has recently generated a brand new $2 billion a year industry which has mesmerized the male ego with Madison Avenue’s latest mantra: Don’t live with low-T!
I’m not here to start an argument with capitalism, or Madison Avenue, or the female breast. But as usual the mad-men have it wrong. Testosterone is not the sensational gift they and their pharmaceutical clients are telling us. In fact, people like me with prostate cancer should lower not raise their testosterone. [Listen real real close and you may hear this disclaimer in the T ads].
What you won’t hear is that men need both hormones. When it comes to testosterone, we can’t live with it and we can’t live without it. Alvin Matsumoto from the University of Washington explained this recently in the New York Times. His most compelling point was that unless men produce enough estrogen along with their testosterone, they are inclined to add body fat, lose muscle mass, and experience a decline in their sex drive.
In meditating on this latest medical fact, I couldn’t help but think how this old adage fits virtually every situation. We can’t live with our allies, but we can’t live without them. The same is true for: the Cubs, the Bears, Chicago weather, the City Council, O’Hare Field, our politicians, our cops, our in-laws……well, you get my drift.
So have another cup of chamomile tea, and settle into the reality that you really do need both your male and your female side. The rest of that list will just have to do the same.
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