Uh-oh. There's a certain way that a woman can shout her husband's name across a house. The way she stretches it into two syllables, that's not good. It tells you you've done something wrong and need to address it the most accomodating "yes, dear" way you can. Or else. Guys, you know exactly what I'm talking about. So it is in this manner that I was summoned by my wife the other morning.
I'm at the coffee pot, barefoot, in a pair of boxers and a ratty old Skynard t-shirt. She comes out of the bedroom wearing three pairs of socks, a hooded sweater, and mittens. She's wrapped in an electric blanket that is still plugged in. She's trailing the extention cord.
"Did you turn off the heat?"
Of course I had turned off the heat. It was like 85 degrees of that dry, stagnant heat that is generated from a central system. She had the ceiling fan turned off. My throat was dry. So I adjusted the thermostat before I went to bed. Slightly. 62 degrees. Much better. Naturally, she didn't appreciate the fact that she woke up to frost on the countertops. Or that she could see her breath.
We seem to do this every fall. She turns the heat up, I turn it down. It always begins the same way. The first day of the first cold snap that always happens during this odd season that passes for fall in North Georgia. I dread that little blip of cold in our generally mild indian summers. I know what it means for me.
Let that tempeature dip below 60 measly degrees, and out comes the extra blanket. It's one of those heat-conserving deals. Hoo boy, does it ever. You could wrap a turkey and bake it in the one on our bed. And that's before she puts it under the down comforter.
She's snug as a bug in a rug underneath all that. I feel like I'm wearing a wool parka to a sauna. So I do what every red-blooded guy in this country would do, given a similar situation. I put my foot down. Sorta. If untucking the blanket(s) from the bottom of the bed on my side and sleeping with my feet sticking out counts as putting my foot down, then yes, I put my foot down.
Hey, I do value her comfort. Really. So I make do and try to deal with it. Besides, It's not like I'm gonna win this battle. Ever.
Take the thermostat. She likes to set it around 73. I would prefer it around 68. Every year, we reach the same compromise: 73. She is content; I make snide remarks about frying eggs on the floor.
Then one night, she drifts off before I go to bed. I chance a teeny tiny adjustment to the temperature before I hit the hay. Then I turn on the ceiling fan, the little fan on my nightstand, the box fan at the foot of my bed, and (just for the heck of it) the little vent fan in the bathroom.
I know I'm going to catch grief in the morning, but for the moment...
Well, I did catch plenty of grief for that little stunt. Soon enough the heater is set back at 73. I am certain there is some kind of mathmatical formula that adjusts that tempature to what it actually feels like instead of what it actually is. Kind of like the heat index, which in this case would be about 104.
Alas, t'was but a fleeting moment of crisp, cool air. I enjoyed every second of it, and look forward to the next time. Of course there will be a next time. Just as soon as I figure out how to get past the booby traps she set on the control knob.