Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Return of She Said/He Said

SHE SAID: It is 58 degrees inside the home from which my husband and I are working today. I am sitting next to him at the large desk in our den. I look him up and down for signs of hypothermia, but I see none. His lips are ruddy. There are no visible goosebumps. If his quick and accurate two-finger typing is any indication, he is not too numb to feel the keys.

I, on the other hand, am losing blood pressure by the second as my body fights to preserve heat. My sweater drawer is just out of reach upstairs. If I go up there, the baby will wake up from her nap. My only option is to sit here in the ice cold lap of indignation as I try to understand why my husband won't let me turn the heat on.

HE SAID: Here's an idea. Go outside, grab a shovel and start digging until you find oil. Either we'll be able to afford all the heat you want, or, you'll be nice and toasty from the effort. It's a win-win.

58 degrees is only cold if you think it is. Spend 4 years in a 100 year old stone fraternity house with leaky windows and it's not so bad by comparison. The temp never got over 60 degrees there. And we had to walk uphill to school in the snow. Both ways.

SHE SAID: Maybe if I was drunk all the time and/or spooning with a student from the all girl's college down the street, 58 degrees wouldn't seem so bad. But I'm stone cold sober and the only living, breathing animal willing to climb into bed with me right now is the dog. Which, actually, wouldn't be so bad, except that you'd start complaining about why I'm in bed with the hot dog when I should be doing laundry.

And do you expect me to believe that you actually walked uphill to school? Yes, I know you lived downtown. I know you needed to climb a steep incline to access the education for which you braved the upstate New York winters in the first place. But you did not hoof it. You drove. In a car with heat. So don't tell me about round-trip trudging in the snow.

Our baby sleeps in a snow suit, for God's sake, and it's only October!

HE SAID: If you want to bring a girl over and spoon with her, that's fine with me. That'll get things hot enough.

And for your information, I did actually walked uphill to the main campus--many times, at 3:30 in the morning. And one of the times my car was out of commission because I crashed it, I had to hoof it for about 3 weeks. As opposed to you, at school down in Virginia, where 40 degrees is cause for panic and 1" of snow is a State of Emergency.

Anyways, this is the role I am resigned to. I don't like being the bad guy but as the one who has to pay the oil bill for a drafty 200 year old house, I get to be the proverbial Dictator of the Thermostat. Put on a sweater, throw some Jimmy Buffett in the CD player and fire up the vacuum cleaner. You'll be sweating in no time.

SHE SAID: Sigh. I'm the one who's resigned, honey. To living with an idiosyncratic modern-day Dickens character who counts degrees Fahrenheit like Scrooge counted pennies. But for now, you've won.* I haven't racked up almost ten years as your significant other without realizing that picking my battles is the only way I can hope to stay competitive in the war that is our life together. A war that requires arctic camo.

*Until tomorrow, when you leave for work and I hike that baby up to a balmy 62.



Lauren said...

Oooh Chris! Can I be that girl spooning your wife?!!!

Jerri Ann said...

up hill both ways..yep maybe, but with a half-empty syrup bucket and a half-eaten biscuit..hell no, turn up the heat dude!

Kate said...

I'm LMAO - except that once again the roles are reversed in this house :)
Oh, and I just have to ask - do you clean to Jimmy Buffet? No joke, that is my cleaning music - you always know if I am doing a thorough cleaning if you can hear Buffett blasting.
Have you put plastic on the windows yet? That's a project for next month...

Anonymous said...

It is the opposite of our house. Channing turns it up, I turn it down.

By the way, your baby steps post was gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous.

Binkytown said...

You're married to the Heat Mizer! Poor thing. I hope you have a pair of cuddleduds. And no, that doesn't include a co-ed.

Mrs. Chicky said...

I'm sorry but I can't get the picture of your child sleeping in a snowsuit out of my head. For some reason I picture a kid like the one in "A Christmas Story", one who is so heavily layered that their arms won't lower to their sides.

T. said...

Must stop laughing, hard to type.

What you have here, is a post straight out of the walls of my home.

Except substitute the line "Go outside, grab a shovel and start digging until you find oil" with "Go outside and start chopping wood."

I keep telling my darling miser that I will, only if he volunteers to hold the log while I swing the axe.

He has yet to take me up on the challenge.

Jene said...

my thoughts -

start drinking (to keep warm).

get a job (to pay for heat to keep warm).

i think you guys should come down here for christmastime rather than me going up there. i don't like the cold.


Amy said...

Yager is a drink that will warm you right up. And if we can get me that pink snow suit I will come spoon with you.

Sarah said...

I have two words for you - Heat Dish - this certainly saved my freezing ass from my cheap husband!

If you can't go to Costco and by one of these suckers for yourself I'll give you one for Christmas - Perhaps this will be incentive not to forget about the rest of us this year!

Mlwooten said...

I love it!

On another note, my husband nixed the electric blanket because we have a bab y and he felt it was cruel to have us toasty warm and her in her crib. However on any given night she is sweating in the swaddler despite being pretty much naked. Now we cuddle more.. I wonder if it was a sex ploy all along.