Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Thermostat Wars

Well, it’s furnace season already, and the gender wars are starting up again in full force. He wants the house cold enough to hang meat in, and I want to survive without seeing my breath in the living room.

Readers, grab your thermostats!

I'm like a reptile, cold all the time once the thermometer drops below 70 degrees. My internal thermostat doesn’t work very well, so I have a narrow temperature range in which I’m actually, well, comfortable. A few degrees lower and I’m reaching for socks and a sweater, and a few degrees higher and I’m flushed and fanning myself. It’s crazy.

Of course I share living quarters with a man whose thermogenic (yes, I made that up) needs are far different from mine. Just don’t tell my husband. Kidding. Of course, I’m talking about the hubster, the Center of the Universe (CoTU.)

He’s actually far more normal than I am in this regard, but ONLY in this regard.

The temp is always a problem for me; I can't seem to muster up any metabolic function at all... It's sad, really. And the CoTU doesn't get it-- he's never cold. How do couples like us end up together? Different religions are a piece of cake compared to this issue. Multiple blankets on my side of the bed, none on his. If I understand anything at all from the weather reports I’ve watched over the years, I think that where the warm front meets the cold front right in the middle of our bed, it should actually be snowing...

Remember in January when I had my deviated septum fixed? Well, before the surgery, the nurses kept offering to put warm blankets on me. I accepted each and every time, and by the time they took me into the operating room I was under so many layers that the surgeon had to bill extra time to unearth me. (Try the veal—tip your servers, I’ll be here all week.)

Today I was at the dermatologist’s office, which I decided I like better than all other doctor’s visits because it’s the only place where they don’t make you get on the freaking scale just because you came in for a check-up. Anyway, as the doctor’s assistant showed me into the exam room, she asked me if I needed anything. “A parka would be nice,” I said. She agreed that the office is pretty darn cold, but I noticed that she was in short sleeves. Bummer. I’m beginning to think it’s just me…

The other thing about furnace weather is that I’m drinking a lot more coffee. I’m not necessarily thirsty, I just use it to elevate my body temperature. It’s also very effective at keeping my hands warm. Of course with coffee beans selling at $9-$10/pound, this is going to be an expensive season. At least in the hot weather, I’m just drinking tons of cold water. Cost: pretty much $0.00/pound. We will either have to adjust the budget, or I’ll have to make it up somehow. Maybe I’ll take in ironing—that generates a pleasant heat…

So we don’t have a dog to throw on our laps for warmth, (remember the “Three-Dog Night”?) but we’ve got each other. CoTU generates enough heat to warm the tip of my nose and take the blue out of my fingernails. I’m pretty good at layering up the socks and the sweaters, and trying not to be a wimp about the cold. Now if I could just get him to hang that side of beef somewhere else…


  1. Geez, Leah, we could be twins. This battle has begun at our house, too. I call my husband the blast furnace (though he steals all the covers). I think we have both just given up on compromise and whenever we walk by the thermostat we change the temperature to whatever we want. Then we pray the other doesn't notice for a while.

    It won't be long before I'm wearing long johns under my work slacks and replacing bras with support tank tops to keep an extra layer of clothing on my freezing frame. I've got six white turtlenecks already. I'm getting to be an expert at layering and a huge fan of thermal, fleece or flannel anything.

    You might look into women's Under Armour shirts - specifically made for an under layer to provide or keep in heat. Shop at Cabelas, they have camping clothing for women that isn't hideous and is made for keeping in that heat.

    Or just set the temp to what you want and disable the thermostat. Oops.

  2. We have the same problem at my house. I'm always cold. Husband always hot.

  3. My husband gets cold faster than I do these days. Ever since he came home from Iraq he has a harder time tolerating the cold. I'm so thankful for our new car and the dual climate control. No more sweating my makeup off.

  4. In the midst of menopause (omg, did I just say that OUT LOUD?!) I'm my own enemy in my own therostat war. I turn the furnace on, and then off as I turn on the air. Then the air goes off and the furnace goes back on. It's crazy.

    Thank God my daughters room is controlled by a completely different furnace.

  5. Definitely familiar with the thermostat wars. We never seem to be in the same climate zone for some reason. Although he's always the hot one, he has this charming little "tuck and roll" routine he has patented. I've finally resorted to technology. I have a heated throw and a small tower heater that keeps me from turning into a block of ice.