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The Great Thermostat Battle of 2012

While it’s not yet official, it’s safe to say that spring has arrived in the south.  With a mean streak.  We’re in the midst of a spell of days in the mid-eighties here in Southern Virginia.  It was nice the first day, and even the second day.  But now, my house is getting uncomfortably warm.  And so it begins… the Great Thermostat Battle, volume Sixteen.

Every single, solitary year, my husband and I resume this war when the weather beats the calendar to summer.  You see, I believe in creature comforts.  I believe that if I were interested in braving the elements, I would live in a cave.  I believe that I should not ever, ever sweat while in the comfort of my own home.  I have central air conditioning, and, by God, I’m going to use it.  My husband, on the other hand, believes that the correct day to turn on the air conditioning is June 1st.  Period.  Not open for discussion.

Well obviously, anything that’s not open for discussion is going to be discussed.  Frequently, loudly and often ridiculously.  During our inaugural thermostat discussion of the year, which, incidentally, ended with a threat to disconnect the thermostat and a counter-threat to move my father in with us to re-connect the damn wires as often as necessary, it occurred to me to wonder (not for the first time), what is wrong with us?

Well, it’s very simple.  He’s a southern boy and I’m a Yankee girl.  I need to divulge that I have lived in the south since I was a toddler, but I’m told that it doesn’t matter, if you’re not born here, it doesn’t count.  Whatever.  I can make biscuits and sweet tea to beat the band, so any haters can suck on that.  But I’m digressing into an ugly place, so I’ll get back on topic.

My parents are from the north and I can only imagine the humidity shock they experienced upon moving to this brave new sticky world.  Enter the air conditioning.  Like any normal people with common sense, when they were hot, they turned on the trusty old A/C.  All my life, when we were hot, we turned on the air conditioning.  It was a non-issue.  On the opposite side of the coin, hubs grew up in a southern family (oddly, his mother hailed from Michigan, but adapted to the southern ways unlike anything I’ve seen before or since).  Apparently, “true” southerners thrive on hot, sticky misery.  Not only are they accustomed to it, but they seem to like it.  What other possible explanation could there be?  Clearly no sane, reasonable person would insist that “it’s not hot” when it’s eighty degrees in your house, but they’re perfectly content to open windows and turn on a fan until the mercury hits the mid-nineties.

Still, even with all this careful analysis, I’m no closer to convincing the man I love that turning on the air conditioner does not require a contract or a long-term commitment.  We’re perfectly free to turn it on for a few days, or a week, or ten months, however long it takes for the heat wave to pass, then turn it off again.  It’s not June yet, and so my options are to suffer, complain or secretly turn on the A/C while he’s asleep and hope he doesn’t notice.  I could withhold biscuits and tea until my house reaches a reasonable temperature again, but we also have Bojangles right down the road, so that’s a pretty weak play.  At some point, I’m going to have to put my sweaty, Ohio-born foot down and learn how to wire a thermostat by myself.


Photo credit: www.arizonaheatingandair.com.  People who know where I’m coming from, I’ll bet.

  1. April 1, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    When I first moved to North Carolina (from Seattle), it was August. It was 99 degrees out with 100% humidity. I didn’t even know you could HAVE 100% humidity without it raining!! I would’ve keeled over and died if our first apartment didn’t have AC… Bless your heart! 😉

    • April 1, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      I still haven’t figured out the 100% humidity, myself. It’s not even logical. I’m impressed that you stayed in NC if August was your first impression!

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