BY MADISON FREDERICK
As we get deeper into our cold weather, a familiar conflict arises at my house. It goes something like this:
“Aren’t you cold?”
“Did you turn the heat up?”
“I am burning up in here!”
“Why is the AC on in November?”
Get the picture? Truly, it is a constant battle.
I hear from my friends that many of them have the same issues. But the interesting thing is that it doesn’t seem to be gender-specific. I mean past a “certain developmental” stage, of course. Sometimes it is the husband; sometimes it is the wife. But usually in a partnership, one is cold-natured and one is hot-natured. Evidence for the opposites attract theory.
(One exception to this statement is a friend of mine whose husband maintains that she has a range of about 5 degrees when she is actually comfortable, not too hot or not too cold. Poor thing. )
Often it really tests the depth and commitment of a relationship because we all want to be comfortable in our own home. I really don’t think that it is an accident that most homes today have ceiling fans. These are most useful in keeping air stirring, resulting in a cooling effect without engaging in a thermostat battle. There have been times when I have had to use the argument that the fan is lulling a fussy baby to sleep in order to keep it on!
Don’t we just love it when our spouse is out of the house for a while and we can get the temperature just right? Ahh. Pure comfort. But reality crashes in as soon as the door opens and you hear:
“It’s freezing in here!”
“It’s an oven in here!”
Fortunately for me, at family gatherings I have an ally. One of my sons has obviously inherited my hot nature. In retrospect I should have seen this coming. He is the child who never kept up with his coat. I can remember one instance when it was literally snowing outside when he sauntered in coatless. When his dad asked, “Where is your coat? “ He replied, “Oh, it’s in the car.” To which my husband replied, “Well, I hope it is keeping the car warm!” Once we had to call the parent of an adorable eighth grade girl to locate his very expensive ski jacket that he had “loaned” to her.
However, now it is music to my ears when he walks into my house and says, “Gosh, Dad, it is hot in here!” while walking straight for the thermostat. I can barely contain my love for him.
Although I’ve never heard of incompatible temperature needs being a basis for divorce, I do wonder if irreconcilable differences might sometimes be another way of stating that very problem.
I consider myself one of the lucky ones. My hubby is truly committed to our relationship, even after 40 years. How do I know? I only have to look over at him in his easy chair wearing a flannel shirt, wool socks, and sweat pants while under an afghan to know that he truly loves me.