Monday, October 4, 2010

Climate Control

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.

48 comments:

The Savage said...

Though I am built for sub-arctic conditions do to some twisted fate of genetics passed down from my Germanic ice loving ancestors, I do prefer to be sweating like a dancing mule to freezing like a snow-man...

Simply Suthern said...

Sounds about right. Same thing goes on here.

We call it it cold enuff to hang meat.

the walking man said...

You can come spend the winter with us in the D. We haven't turned our furnace above 62 degrees in over five years.

And just in case you didn't know living in the northwest your blood was thicker and the cooler temps did not affect you. In the south it thins and the opposite happens. All you have to do though JennyM is wait on the climate change and it will all seem right again.

That One Mom said...

Hahaha! I remember when I first bought my home. My dad, in an attempt to be helpful, said to me, "To keep your heating costs reasonable in the winter, never allow your thermostat above 67 degress."

Bwhahahahaha! That's so not warm enough for me. Especially in the middle of a Minnesota winter!

Snuggle Wasteland said...

My husband never wears a coat either. For some strange reason his mother buys him one for every birthday and usually for Christmas, too. His closet looks like Burlington Coat factory as he refuses to get rid of them.

Herding Cats said...

My boyfriend is EXACTLY like your husband. He loves to be freezing because if he isn't, he gets extremely overheated and starts sweating. We joke that we need one of those cars that has dual climate control. It's really no joke. We NEED one!

A Year on the Grill said...

We've been there before... The Snuggy is the second greatest invention of our time.

Once you go snuggy, you never go back

Susan Erickson said...

I'm with him....just move about when cold.....you'll warm up! I hate a hot house. I keep a window open over our bed all year round. In the winter my water glass freezes but that suits me fine too. My relatives call me the, 'ice queen' and my son grew up with a blanket wrapped around him....So?

Real Housewives of Oklahoma said...

Similar argument over here. My husband finally agreed not to turn on the fan in the winter (huge victory) but I have to sleep with the house a lot colder.
For Christmas, my husband gave me a Snuggie. I use it as a blanket and refuse to put my arms in the sleeves.

Big Fat Gini said...

Mr. BFG loves the cold too. The nice thing is that I'm a big fan of it as well. By the time fall rolls around, I've been roasted, toasted and burned to a crisp by the ridiculous south Texas temperatures.

Our rule for the bedroom at night is that it must be cold, dark and windy. Air turned down (or windows open), no light, and the ceiling fan on high. I think you'd probably freeze to death!

Eva Gallant said...

Hubby and I have constant go-arounds about the internal climate as well. In the summer, he wants the temp much cooler than I do, and in the winter, he wants to turn the heat up higher than I do. Very strange!

Kristina P. said...

You really shouldn't knock the Snuggie until you try it. Many a people have been overcome by it's magical charms. I have my leopard print one on right now!

Blondie said...

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Cathi said...

Same thing is happening at our house too - my daughter and I are always bundled up and like you, I slowly inch the climate gauge to a more comfortable tempature.

Have a great week, JennyMac! :) xxoo

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

I so relate to this....only I am your husband, always have been.
I called my sisters weather wussies. Whining all the time about it's cold. But then I realize I do the same thing when it's over 80. I hate over 80. Wah, it's hot.

first time I slept at my future husbands house it was snowing. His water bed (yep I'm that old) was so damn hot I was miserable. I was 27 yrs old and woke up in a sweat wondering if menopause started 25 yrs too early. I got up and opened the window a few inches. Climbed back in bed. He got up and closed it. This went on for awhile. Finally at 5am I got up and got dressed. He asked where the hell I was going. I told him it was too hot to sleep in here I had to go home. He of course made a joke about he being so hot. ha ha. Nope you can spend the night at my house because I can't do this, it's way too hot for anything but orchids.

Here we are 23 yrs later and he has learned to sleep in a meat locker!

I moved south and didn't wear a coat for years. Now I need a coat. So maybe when your hubby gets as old as me he'll wear a coat.
:-)

Mommy Lisa said...

brrr. my office is cold too. AND when I worked in radio the three guys before me kept the room at 55 - I would sneak in about 1hour prior to my shift and bump up the temp a bit so it was livable when I got in there. shudder with chills just thinking about that meat locker.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

I feel your pain. My hubby loves the air conditioning too. I have an extra down comforter for my side of the bed.

Kristy said...

My husband and I are opposites on the temperature thing (I'm always freakin hot and he's always freakin cold). The AC is always an issue. But I must win. Always!

Hookin It With Mr. Lick Lick said...

I'm like you, I dislike the cold. My cool temp doesn't go below 77 and my warm temp doesn't go above 69. Perfect for me....BUT I don't have to go back and forth with a man on that either. I win...all the time! :o)

Babes Mami said...

When I first moved to the lovely state of South Carolina I giggled at the winters and only needed a sweater, maybe a cardigan to make it through winters. Now I have been here for 8 years and I recall the day you are speaking of, I was in jeans, a tee, a cardigan and brought my hoodie for backup and had Babe in jeans, a long sleeve and a plaid with a back up hoodie. Hubs you ask? Shorts and a tee shirt. When we switched to hoodies he remarked 'I suppose it is a bit chillier then usual'

We battle the temp too, if he had it his way it would be 60 in here all the time. He is more then happy to pay the higher electric bill while Babe and I have year round winter clothes. I like it on 72ish we compromise with 65 when he is home and 70 when I'm home.

You should see the reaction if he comes home to 70 degrees on the themometer! He takes off all of his clothes and rants about how hot he is.

SoccerMom said...

Really all that for running at 52 degrees? The reason I ask is I am a hater of the cold!
I have had my winter blankets on all summer long.
But I am still running in short shorts and sleeveless tank in the 450am run.

We keep our house heater set at a wamr 74 during the winter. Old ppl do have thin skin. which makes me freakin cold all the time.

KaelaQLC said...

Reading this made me cold. I now have my "office sweater" on.

Oh man, I don't know how I would handle all that coldness. I'm all for keeping the temp low enough that a blanket and sweater (and my red snowflake slipper boots) are necessary, because that's all comfy. But if my nose and hands are too cold to hold a book, I'm cranking that thermostat. Luckily Dizzle is pretty flexible about the temperature, but we both like it cold for bedtime when we snuggle under our down comforter.

Good luck with your neverending battle, and just be grateful you don't live in Vermont!

AmyLK said...

I like to be warm during the day but I like it cold to sleep. Snuggling under the blankets is lovely!

Scraps said...

After over a decade in the Deep South, my Midwestern boyfriend *still* considers cold relative. Meanwhile, I am queen of the lizards (and monkeys, of course) looking for a rock to sun myself on. Or a heat lamp.

My office is set at meat-locker year round (because the thermostat is in a hot equipment room) so I've been known to run my space heater in the middle of Summer. And I have no real change of wardrobe--it's sweaters pretty much year round.

M-Cat said...

I'm with you - give me the heat.
At our house, I don't give Splenda an option. Either I am comfortable and happy and thus, he can be too - of if I am grouchy because I am cold - his life will suck as well.

Not a problem at all

Caty said...

I've implanted myself from the north into the south as well. And I get cold even in the summer with the air conditioner blasting. my blood has definitely thinned out after all these years down here.

HalfAsstic.com said...

Oh honey, I feel your pain! Er, cold feet... whatev!
Well, I guess I should say, I used to. John and I lived like this for many, many years. I can tell you that you need to get your own John some stylish looking fans, (Is there such a thing?), point one at him where ever he sleeps, and sits in the house, and then wait.
Menopause will be here before you know it!
I will be hearing from you saying something like, "What was that stuff you were taking to stop the hot flashes? QUICK, TELL ME!"
Enjoy the cold while you can... it seems the temp is never gonna be right again... ;-)

J.J. in L.A. said...

I love this topic because I've been dying to tell someone this...

It was 113 degrees in L.A. exactly one week ago. Today, it's raining and 58 degrees! I'd rather have the heat (maybe not 113, but still). ; )

Maria said...

I like to run our AC cooler than hubby likes it, but I can't stand to be cold. Makes perfect sense, doesn't it.

While I was pregnant, in the FLA summer heat, it was a constant battle. He swore I was trying to kill him. And I alwas countered that, obviously, I wasn't doing a very good job!

Hang in there! And bundle up!

Leah Rubin said...

Yeah, I so totally relate to this. I'm like a reptile, cold all the time. The temp is always a problem for me, can't seem to muster up any metabolic function at all... It's sad, really. And the hub doesn't get it-- he's never cold. How do couples like us end up together? Multiple blankets on my side of the bed, none on his. Funny-- I think the warm front meets the cold front and it should actually be snowing over our bed...

Vodka and Ground Beef said...

I'm the opposite. I need it cold. When my friends come over, they borrow my jackets and hates just to hang out on my couch. I think they're being wussies, and they think I"m out of my mind.

Good post, and I would love to have a cocktail!

Little Ms J said...

Preach! Here I sit on my couch wrapped in a couture snuggie with a vent directly over my head producing snow. It is rarely above 68 degrees in my house. Year round. It used to make me very very angry. Now I just pile on the clothes because when hubby gets hot? He is such a bitch.

Slamdunk said...

From your post and some of the reader comments, you may have spotted a trend here.

I rarely wear a jacket (not counting rain or snowboarding). Though I don't feel cold as much as others, my excuse is that I'd likely lose the jacket when I took it off.

It appears to run in the family as well. Our youngest will go run through the snow shirtless before we catch him and force a sweatshirt on him.

Ed said...

I doubt there are many couples who don't have this argument.

I'm the one at our house who likes it warm. But I still get pissed off if the wife messes with the thermostats.

She gets around this by opening the windows and the doors, even in the middle of winter.

Allyson & Jere said...

I'm from Arizona, so there is no such thing as cold. Therefore, 52 degrees DOES require some extra layering for sure!

My husband would prefer the house to be at subarctic levels as well. Unfortunately for him, I have the stronger will AND I control all things money. So, I win! I do like it to be cool, but subarctic costs a lot more money.

Anywho, I'm SURE you could totally rock the sleeping bag dress.

My name is PJ. said...

We have two zones. My zone, in which my husband says one could hang meat, and the other zone which is a suffocating 72 degrees year round.

Give it a decade or two....menopause will teach you to appreciate the cool weather once more. I promise.

Meg said...

I seem to spend most of the winter explaining that we live with modern conveniences, and we can afford heat, so WHY CAN I SEE MY BREATH AGAIN?!?

Susan said...

I hate to break it to you, but we're married to the same dude. To prove it, I bet you bring a down blanket for the car ride on road trips. I do, too.

Amy in Atlanta said...

I keep a heating pad turned on at the bottom of my bed to keep my feet warm during sleep. YEAR ROUND.

Shanna said...

Hilarious. I am glad we are not the only couple with this dilemma.

secret agent woman said...

I've definitely grown to dislike being cold. I could live without Ac but not the heat pump.

Jen said...

I smiled and nodded my head through this entire post, JennyMac. You are not alone. My boyfriend is the same way. While I prefer to keep the house at 60 in the winter (58 at night), and we can agree to keep the AC between 68 and 70 in the summer... when we travel, or in the car, it's another story. The first thing boyfriend does upon entering a hotel room is march over to the thermostat and drop it to 60 degrees. Brrrrr!

Shop Girl* said...

Haha... I am exactly the same as you. I grew up in Northern Ontario where -40°C was a bit chilly, but it wasn't terrible. Then I moved south and I can bare handle it when it dips below zero.

I refer to my home as a "Sauna house". I like it warm. :)

Vivienne said...

I spent 10 years in PDX and knew it had warmed up to the low 50's when I'd see the kids wearing shorts to school. Now, back in So Cal, it is 68 degrees and raining. My kids left the house wearing jeans & sweatshirts and they got rides to school (since the rain might melt them).

I'd still prefer cold to heat. You can layer clothes and warm up, but you can be stark raving naked and still be too hot.

Intense Guy said...

It was 50F out this morning and I wore shorts to work...

Paul and Kerry said...

this is a battle that I am certain is the reason why we are still married. We both like the house toasty warm. In fact, hubs may be the one cranking the heat up to 75 more than me. We are Seattleites and so as you know, no A/C here. Your dad and my dad had the same mantra.

Also cracked up about dressing for a run. I will be outside freezing waiting with my son for his bus. Then come in and bundle up for my run only to regret the 2 shirts and long sleeves and pants. can't win.

Jenn@the loves of jenn said...

The hubs and I also have this battle but I am the one who likes it cold. The only reason I let him turn it up to 70 is so our girls don't freeze...I am always hot but I am still blaming it on post-baby hormones. Hot flashes at 35...who knew?

DaisyGal said...

I seriously got COLD just reading that post..I hate being COLD..hate it, hate it...and while my DH does in fact own coats and hats and wears them....he too would MUCH rather be cool...walk around in heavy sweaters and no coats etc...BRRRRRR...

I feel your pain my friend. 52...?? that's insane...and now my hands are cold. UGH

;)