I live in Southern California. We are lucky most of the time – we live in one of the very few regions in these here United States that has a Mediterranean climate. Besides the Mediterranean, that is. In fact, although I said “one of the very few” what I meant to say is “THE ONLY”. I’m pretty sure it is the only one but it might be one of the few. So sue me.
Almost every single day all year long we get a nice breeze off the Pacific Ocean in the afternoon which cuts the heat. Plus, we have no humidity to speak of, so it’s all in all very pleasant.
See, we don’t need air conditioning – except when we do. Like several weeks ago and this week.
Now a few years back after my gentle and sweet prodding (bitching and unending complaining is more like it), we bought a portable air conditioner for the bedroom, so at least I can sleep in a cool room. The reason was practical – our bedroom has only one functioning window which is east facing – there are two north-south windows but they are just decorative, not functional. So we get no cross breeze in the room and some nights the ceiling fan just doesn’t cut it.
Now in our family, I’m the one who runs hot, and my husband runs cool. Which means – I complain during the summer and he’s fine. And during the winter months, he’s too cold and I’m just putting on a sweater at most.
But the difference is that when you’re cold, you can just put on another layer. And another layer. And one more. You can completely bundle up just like Nanook of the North if you want and then tumble outside and roll yourself down the street. But if you’re too hot? You are outta luck, as the kids say. Well, they usually say “shit outta luck” but I’m not that crude.
I can strip off a layer or two but let’s face it, nudity gets you to baseline. I’m not stripping off anymore at that point.
So the best I can do is dress lightly (or not at all) and try and find the coolness wherever it may be. Since there’s no air conditioning in the rest of the house and I don’t want to spend my day entirely in my bedroom, I run the fans that I have, drink plenty of water, and try and move to where the coolness is.
Yesterday when it was 94 in our little beachy burg, the ‘Publican and I went to the movies at 2 in the afternoon. That’s the advantage of being retired. We can do wacky and crazy things like go to the movies in the middle of the afternoon on a work day. And nobody else is there. Except for other overheated retired folks.
Today, I finally gave in and toddled over to my local Starbucks. Which is one of the best ones in our area, bar none. Not to give them too much of an advertisement, but this one has a fancy Clover machine which is an automated french press thingy – makes coffee amazingly well. One cup at a time. I’m sucking down a decaf made in the Clover right now. Decaf is my sop to age – I have loved coffee since my teens but now in my 50’s, one cup of full strength caffeine per day is all I can handle. If I want the flavor with a whole lot less of the bad stuff, it’s decaf. (And yes, I know that decaf is a bit of a misnomer as it should be title ‘less caf’ since they don’t get rid of all of it, just most of it.)
Besides the cool Clover machine (I’ve only seen one of them in Seattle before now), this Starbucks is twice the size as it once was and in the renovations, they gave a lot of thought to how real people use them. I’m sitting at a long trestle style table with about 50 plugs underneath. Now that’s thinking about the customer.
So I’m comfortable.
Of course right before I took off I had words with the ‘Publican. As it may be evident, I’m no fan of the hot weather and, as the title of this post suggests, I go from nice to bitch in about .02 seconds. So he’s looking at me and I’m preparing to leave and he innocently asks, “Are you going somewhere?”
No. I’m just dressing up and washing my face because I think the dog prefers it when I’m more presentable.
Although that may have been an unfortunate answer, what popped out of my mouth was another unfortunate answer, “What does it LOOK like I’m doing? It’s 20,000 degrees in this house?*!”
I’m pretty sure my fangs were out.
He took umbrage.
“Hey, I’m just asking. You don’t have to act like I’m stupid.”
Followed by me saying, “You know I get . . .” “cranky” “yeah, that, when it’s hot.”
Which is the go to explanation for my bitchiness. It’s hot, I’m cranky, I’m miserable, I’m a terrible person because I’m hot, miserable and cranky. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
But let’s examine the concept of stupidity, shall we? We all say stupid stuff, all day long. I’m sorry – I know I do, and so do you, too. Uh huh, even you, Mr. Smarty Pants. Usually, in life, I let the dopey remarks just float on by because why make a big deal out of them? Right? Hey, I don’t want you to make a big deal out of my stupid questions, comments or remarks, either.
But when I’m hot, miserable and cranky, well, let’s say my tolerance for the ridiculous remark plunges to depths only seen in the Mariana Trenches.
Now, to recap – my husband is not stupid. However, we’ve established that under these circumstances I AM a bitch.
Even so . . . I so wanted to just say . . . respond . . . remark . . . reply . . . okay, snarl, “But that IS a stupid question.”
Because, no matter what you were told in school, dear readers, there ARE many stupid questions. In fact, since you don’t know the answer, even if you want to split hairs and say you are ignorant, c’mon, you are usually asking a dumb question. What you are hoping for is to not remain dumb, stupid or ignorant with the answer, but to imply that your question is anything but stupid is . . . well, stupid.
So yes, if we’re not getting our panties in a wad, there are stupid questions and you, dear husband, just asked one of them.
And since you asked, here’s the incredibly smart (ass) answer:
Yes, I’m going somewhere. I’m going out. I’m going to drink less caf but allow myself to be lied to that it is really decaf, and hope that I’m not up at 3 am, and I might even eat a cookie. I’m going to stare at the blank screen on my computer and try and put words together into sentences and paragraphs. I’m going to try and write something fairly witty, but baring that, at least not too horribly obnoxious. See, it’s Friday and I’m supposed to be frolicking, but it’s so gosh darned (no, goddamned) HOT, I’m tired of having the sweat drip down into my eyes and fog my glasses. I’m tired of swiping my hand on my forehead to forestall the drip, only to have sweat all over my hand, too. Ick. I don’t like sweating all that much.
So for the moment, I’m not feeling grateful, or happy, or loving, or any of a multitude of positive emotions. I hate my life right now and I hate everything and everybody in it.
There. Are you satisfied? Now you know.
Of course you know I didn’t say any of those things.
I’m just not that kind of wife.