And so it begins. The age old battle between thermometer and thermostat. As we enter the dog days of summer the struggle starts anew.
First of all, disregard what our thermometer appears to be indicating. It's a bit of a drama queen and tends to exaggeration. Don't get me wrong. It is hot indeed. But it's Florida and it's the end of July. My expectation is for high temperatures. Of course the temperature alone doesn't tell the entire story. It's the combination of high humidity and high temperatures that'll get ya.
I was outside washing the cars yesterday. I tend to be thorough. If I'm going to do a job, I'm going to do it right. So it's takes awhile. I don't mind. I kind of like washing the cars. If I'm totally honest with myself, it's just an excuse to play in the water. The point is, that while I wasn't aware of it, I was getting overheated. By the time I finished Tim's car, I was gasping for air and felt oddly weak and I knew that I needed to stop. By the time I had everything picked up and put away and had gone back in the house, I definitely had to rest. I laid down on the nice cool tile floor for a bit, had a couple of glasses of cool water and then I was fine. But it can sneak up on a person.
I'm not usually bothered by the heat. I quite like it in fact. And I'm sure that is why I didn't notice. I'm one of those people who is always too cold. Being too hot for me just doesn't come up very often.
So naturally, I married a man who is always too hot. Isn't that just always the way? Dead of winter, that man is outside in shorts and a tee-shirt. Meanwhile, middle of summer and I'm so cold from the air conditioner that I'm wearing a sweater. We are just ridiculous.
But this is nothing new for us. I was aware of this gaping abyss in our comfort levels from the start. And actually this has been a lifelong issue, not just a marriage-long one. In the workplace for example, I was never the person in charge of the thermostat and the person who was, always needed the temperature to be much cooler than is comfortable for me. So I always had a sweater nearby just in case. Eventually, I came to realize that it's far easier for me to put on a sweater if I'm too cool than for the other person to shed more clothing if they are too hot. When you think about it, there is a limit to what you can take off.
Shel Silverstein wrote a wonderful poem about being too hot which ends with the person taking off their skin and sitting around in their bones. On really hot days, it probably wouldn't help anyway. I bet they would still be too hot.
When we had the new upgraded, larger, better air conditioner put in this house, shortly after moving in, the AC guy explained that you cannot lower the temperature below a certain point because it will just kill the machine. Tim was very disappointed. If he could, he would have the air in this house more like a meat locker. That's the kind of "cool" he likes. I, however, do not. So we have come to a kind of a compromise. It's always cooler than I'd like it to be in the house, but warmer than Tim would prefer.
Of course, we also have ceiling fans in nearly every room, which helps I believe. And during the day, I'm usually fine. In the evening, I'm apt to put on a sweater and snuggle under a throw blanket while relaxing and watching TV or reading. Tim meanwhile, is still too hot and, although he doesn't say so, I'm sure he thinks I'm just crazy when I emerge from the bedroom wearing socks and carrying my favourite blanket.
And don't even get me started on being in the car in summer with Tim driving. The poor man is just so uncomfortably warm that he has the AC cranked up about as high as it will go. I always bring a sweater or jacket with me for the car as well as over-air conditioned stores and restaurants. Everyone looks so oddly at me when I walk into a restaurant in August carrying a sweater. I don't care, think what you like, at least I'm comfortable. Pssst! I also have a blanket in the backseat of the car too. Just in case.
Actually, so far Arizona was the worst offender of the too cold air conditioning issue. We were in Scottsdale in August many years ago. Not the best time for showing off that beautiful state. While Tim was at his meetings, I would spend my time in the hotel, whose AC thermostat must have been set on "Arctic" until I thought I would become a peoplesicle and then I would go outside to thaw out and stay until I was afraid I would melt. No humidity true but 120 degrees is not just hot but freakin' hot.
So far, we have never seen those sorts of numbers on our thermometer here. Right now the highs are upper 80's or lower 90's every day, again coupled with humidity, some days more, some less. But our saving grace is, here on the island, there is almost always a lovely breeze. And the closer you are to the water, the more benefit you get from it. And it won't get a lot hotter. There may be an occasional high 90's day, but it's an aberration, not the average. And it's not like I cannot go outside, I just need to be smarter about it.
Once mid to late September rolls around things will start to ease back down and it will be the paradise everyone talks about once again until the next July. But don't tell anyone because it will be nice to have the island for just the full time year 'round residents for just a little while before we are discovered again.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.