The notion I am about to share with you came to me by free association while driving.
Many of you know of my music addiction. In the car, I listen to random playlists of my wildly eclectic collection of songs. In this case the number was “December 1963” by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons:
The phrase that started me thinking was “…I didn’t even know her name…” The singer remembers that it was “late December back in ’63,” and other vivid recollections of his experience with the lady who “walked in the room.” But not one detail about her as a person. This is how men think about willing women, I guess.
Only a few hours before I took that motor trip, I had read—on the blog Crime Writers Chronicle—a piece by Mike Welch called “Sex and the Hard-Boiled Private Eye,” in which he opines about the female characters of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammet. Mike describes those women as “scheming, untrustworthy, manipulative and dangerous. And they are all smoking hot, too…female sexuality in these writers’ hands becomes perhaps the most polluted and corrupt thing in a polluted and corrupt world.”
Also swimming around in my hyperactive consciousness as I negotiated the Lincoln Tunnel were sights I had seen during my recent trip to Kenya: Lions mating, the courtship and mating of ostriches. And there in the wilderness where mankind had evolved I also heard about lions killing lion cubs in order that their mothers would come more quickly into heat and give the new guy a chance to reproduce his own genes.
Without my really knowing it, my brain started to wonder how all these ideas fit together when it came to the sexual behavior of us—the supposed “higher animals.” And then it occurred to me. That once human intelligence began to emerge, if the genes of brighter, more cerebral men were going to be reproduced, they were going to have to show the ladies something more than their muscles. And if anyone was going to guard the tollgate on the evolutionary turnpike, it would have to be the women. And so I came to the conclusion that deep in our species’ past, perhaps it was late December 1,963,000 years ago, at the dawn of human intelligence, there came a time when if a Neanderthal lass was approached by a lad in heat, she wanted to know more about him than that he was the toughest guy on the rock. The females developed a preference for males with brainpower as well as biceps. And they readily mated only with males who could figure out how to woo the lady.
Or maybe I could be full of baloney.
Annamaria - Monday