It Must Be Summer Because I’m Freezing

Posted on June 24th, 2009

During summer, my family has an exciting and challenging game we play. This game is called “Keeping the House Cool During a Heat Wave While Not Using the Air Conditioner.” I hate this game with a passion equaled only by my love for shoes.

I’m not a hot weather wuss. I spent too much in Central California, where a cooling trend means the temperatures are only in the 90s. I know hot. I don’t really mind hot. I can, if pressed, embrace hot and deal with it. Hubby on the other hand, views hot weather as a challenge. An air conditioning challenge.

Of course, this is a challenge that’s simple for him. He spends most of his week in his air-conditioned office. I, on the other hand, spend most of the week adhering to hubby’s meticulously planned cooling control system. And by that I mean I spend most of the week convincing hubby that I have adhered to his anal-retentive plan for keeping the PG&E costs to a minimum while in fact I use the air conditioner incessantly and make sure that I’m the one to pick up the mail the day the electric bill arrives.

Look, it’s not that I’m mean. It’s just that I believe that we have air conditioners for a reason – so that I don’t have to suffer through a heat wave without remaining delightfully cool in my own house. But of course, hubby has another plan. And I don’t mind telling you that it’s a doozy.

First, he studies the weather patterns for the evening, night and morning to plan the precise time when all the planets align, the earth cools and the wind blows and he can open the windows, thus exposing everything we own to burglars at 3 AM when normal people are sleeping in their air conditioned homes. Then, he calculates the precise time of the morning when the whole house fan must be run. Included in hubby’s calculations are the number of windows that must be opened, the position of said windows and then, the closing and opening of other windows.

In fact, a typical morning conversation between us goes something like this.

Me: “ARGH! Who opened the shutters? A sleeping person could go blind if awakened to that much sunlight.”
Hubby: “I’m positioning the shutters and windows for their 6:30 AM opening.”
Me: “It’s 6:30? You woke me at 6:30? In the #$%^ summer?”
Hubby: “No, it’s not 6:30. I’m just getting the house ready for 6:30. I think it’s a bit earlier. Like maybe 6:00. You know, sunrise.”

At this point, I usually throw my pillow over my head and pray that hubby leaves for work soon. This is much better than the alternative, which involves my cousin Guido, a favor, and possibly a river located near the New Jersey turnpike.

You might think that once hubby finishes the 6:30 AM airing of the house, he’d be done. Unfortunately, hubby usually calls me on his way to work so that I can spend most of my morning like this:

Hubby: “Did you turn the whole house fan on yet?”
Me: “No, I’m trying to make the coffee maker work faster because someone woke me up at sunrise.”
Hubby: “Turn the fan on. But before you do, make sure the dining room window is closed, the window in the kitchen is open 3/4 of the way and Junior’s bedroom window is open, but the shutters are tilted slightly. Oh, and the shutters in the family room should all be turned up to 25 degrees, except the west-facing ones, which should be turned down completely.”

Dutifully, I shuffle through the house and open and shut and turn on. About 15 minutes later, I get another call.

Hubby: “Okay, your temperature should have dropped 1 degree. Now, open the windows in our bedroom, but not the bathroom, close Junior’s window, open the playroom and den windows, the living room window and close the kitchen and dining room windows.”
Me: “ What? You’re breaking up. Bshhh. Bshshsh. I can’t hear…”

Then I hang up on him, walk through the house, turn off the whole house fan, close all the windows and turn on the A/C. After all, as long as I can get to the mailbox before hubby, I’m cool as a cucumber.

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16 Responses to “It Must Be Summer Because I’m Freezing”

  1. Ashley Says:

    Sounds a lot like how my dad is. Very anal about the cooling of the house. Same with heating in the winter. Arg

  2. Laurie Says:

    Hi Ashley,

    Yes, heating in winter is also a problem. Sigh. But you know, my system of ignoring hubby and then hiding the gas bill is working out very well ;)

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  15. fkbloona Says:

    LOL…i love this post…in our 8 years of marriage hubby and i still fight over the a/c. he knows that i get angry when i come home to a hot house esp in the summer, but he’ll pretend he forgot to turn down the thermostat b/4 i get home. I like keeping my house at around 70 degrees…i even threatened to break the thermostat unit at ‘cool’ setting so he can’t mess with it anymore. I agree with you, why have central air if you’re not going to use it when it’s 113 outside…arrrgghhhh

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