I am a hot-weather wimp.
Before you say, “I am, too,” be advised: I’m the woman who once developed prickly heat when it was 65 degrees outside. Top that, if you can. Now the temps are hovering near 90 degrees day after endless day, and I’m doing the only thing I can do. I’m hiding.
That’s not easy to do when you don’t have central air in your home. Nor is it when your six-hour-a-week part-time job is in a building with no air (in our part, anyway) and no windows. I’ve learned to tie a bandana around my forehead and turn “sweat rag” into a fashion statement.
It’s also not easy when you have a beagle who insists on being walked in order to do her business. I’ve persuaded her that on days like this, short walks are best, and somehow we’ve convinced her bowels to cooperate. I think they got the message the first time she stopped mid-walk, plunked herself down in the shade in a neighbor’s yard, and refused to go any further. I freely admit it didn’t take me long to follow suit, so there we sat, sucking up whatever breeze we could from the overhead tree, subscribing to my new maxim that anyone’s shade is everyone’s shade when it’s hot.
Hot-time-in-the-city is the only time I don’t mind grocery shopping, where they keep the temps cold enough to crisp lettuce. It’s when I don’t mind spending the gas to go for a long, air-conditioned ride to nowhere. It’s when I don’t give a moment’s thought to the electricity spent by our laboring and overworked window air-conditioner.
That little AC unit keeps the living room comfortable, and the kitchen only minorly less so. The bedroom is on its own and so is the office, but since they both have ceiling fans, they’re doable–for short periods of time, or during the night when, if we’re lucky, the temps drop to the 60s. Usually. Living by the bay does have its perks.
I do my housework in short spurts, have become addicted to ice cubes in cold water, and shake my head in utter amazement when bicyclists, sun-browned bodies glistening with sweat, go sailing past our house, apparently unaware that YOU STUPID PEOPLE IT’S TOO HOT TO MOVE!! The same goes for the joggers. No matter how hot, there they go, wobbling down the
street, fists clenched in what has to be determination, pained looks on their faces, without the sense that God gave a beagle.
I wake every morning and peak out the window first thing and assess the game plan for the day. No sun? Halleluiah! Tree branches moving? That’s cause for rejoicing. Check the temps, decide whether to leave the fan in or shut everything up and turn on the AC, marshal every heat-seeking-and-destroying missile I can find. This is war.
And anyone who dares to suggest that there’s no such thing as global warming can just march on over here in the sun and mow my lawn. I’ll be inside, hiding.