I am convinced that humanity’s obsession with the opposite sex is the driving force behind technological and cultural innovation. (I would also wager that humanity’s obsession with the opposite sex is the cause of most of the world’s ills.)
Once upon a time, a cro magnon chap was sitting in his humble abode wondering how he might impress the pretty female from the next cave system over when he hypothesized that charring mastodon in a flame might be pretty damn cool. That fellow that invented the wheel? Well, he was sitting in Ur or Carthage or Cairo considering what feats of greatness would help him to woo the ladies when he couldn’t begin to lift as many stones, blocks, or sheep as the dude next door. So, what did he do? He stuck the cargo on a flat surface, stuck some round things on the side, and rolled it down the street with a smile.
But, not all is great in the land of love and lust. The English Reformation, which caused death and disorder throughout out England and sent ripples throughout the Christian and Euro-centric world, came about because lusty Henry VIII fancied a younger lass over his aged wife. And, let’s not forget Odysseus, Paris, Helen and Menelaus! According to Greek mythology, the whole affair was caused by Paris absconding with Menelaus’ wife, Helen. ( Ha, get it? The whole affair? HarHar. . . )
On a more personal level and in my own microcosm, relationships and the opposite sex have caused great innovation and great tragedy. I’ve alienated close friends at the behest of a lady, spent thousands (literally) needlessly, given up things I enjoy, and had my heart-broken more times than I can count. Yet, these same relationships have also taught me more about myself than I might have ever learned otherwise. I’m more self-reliant, wiser, and a great deal more talented in the kitchen. At times, it’s hard to see past whatever mistake or mishap I’ve just waded through. A dog, shocked each time it climbs under the fence, learns to stay away from the fence. But for some reason, I keep trying; hell, sometimes I grasp the fence and don’t let go. I can only hope that, as history suggests, something good will come of the trials. At the very least, it might make for a good story.