I was greeted yesterday morning by brisk Atlanta temperatures. Coming downstairs before going to the park to run, my husband looks at me and smiles. But not a be still my heart kind of smile. More like a smile indicating smart ass comment on its way. "Where are you going?" he asks. "Running," I respond although he already knew the answer. "Are you running the Iditarod?" he asks with more than a splash of sarcasm. I responded, "Have we met? I like to remain warm." And he then laughs out loud because I am dressed in a long sleeve fleece, down vest, and hat. It was 52 degrees out.
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, 52 degrees would like be a terrific fall day. And when the sun would heat things up to say a balmy 80, no one batted an eye about lack of air conditioning. "We have fans for the purpose of cooling off the house," claimed my Father. Having been spoiled by the heat for over a decade in the south, 52 degrees requires preparation. In fact, right up with being trapped in an elevator, being cold is one of my least favorite things. I would probably pick elevator entrapment over being cold because I would not be cold IN the elevator.
Why my disdain for cold? Perhaps I have developed thinner skin as I age. More likely, it is because of years of
torture conditioning by my husband.
In our house, my husband likes two temperatures: Cold. And a temperature some of you may know that I refer to as meat-locker. I recall buying JohnnyMac a gorgeous Kenneth Cole suede jacket when we first began dating. He looked at it like it was a foreign antibody he could not identify. "It is a jacket," I told him. As if I needed to explain this piece of clothing to a grown man. "I know, baby. But I don't really wear jackets." Guess what? He was right. I have seen my husband wear a jacket one time in the past five years. Apparently, his blood pumps just fine at subhuman temperatures. Ironically, he does not like cold weather. Which I am fine with because I love coats. And hats. And gloves. But that is for external use ONLY. Inside the home, I like warmth.
We have three separate points in our home for controlling the temperature. This has become a battle of wills and wits. For years. We used to openly discuss the temperature. Now we simply rely on subterfuge and recon. There is about a 10 degree delta between our preferences on temp. It begins with slowly inching the gauge up one or two degrees at a time. Until I have it set to turn the AC on when it is is actually hot and not accumulating snow outside. Once discovered, my husband resets it, without telling me. I learn this when I wake up with icicles growing in between my eyelashes. Even in December.
We have a pile of blankets I rely on in order to stay warm when the red wine alone won't do it. I would cut 3 holes in a sleeping bag, invert it, and wear it around with a belt cinched at the waist if I could. (And no, a Snuggie is not an option.) We finally reached an agreement the temp would be 1 degree higher than he wants it. And 9 degrees lower than I want it. Until I secretly change the registers. Again. Climate control? O climate control freak? How can someone be comfortable when the internal temp of our house is 52? Hard to say. But I better bundle up. It is not even winter yet.