Sunday, January 27, 2008


I'm not kidding when I say I've been cold for about a week now, and I'm beginning to get a little tired of it. It seems that I spend a lot of my days lately piling on sweaters, drinking tea and huddling. It has always been thus; my parents have been known to say that it was a good thing we immigrated when I was just an infant, because I never would have survived living in place where there was no central heating. (Nice, huh? Lots of sympathy when I was growing up.) Despite the luxury of owning a furnace, I seem to spent a great deal of the winter with popsicle toes and an icy nose. And it has been particularly cold the past two weeks; last Sunday it was -21°C, (6 below 0, for those of you who still understand Fahrenheit), which is pretty damn cold, no matter how you measure it.
Thing 1 shares my reptilian blood, but Himself and Thing 2 seem oblivious to the cold.

Today we went to my in-laws to pick up Thing 2, who had spent the weekend there. My mother-in-law, who is a perfectly lovely woman with many admirable attributes, keeps her house at roughly the temperature of a meat locker. One time we were there for the afternoon, and the kids and I sat around wearing our winter coats and mittens. She got a bit annoyed at us, thinking we were just making fun of her, until the Mister pointed out that the thermostat said it was 57°F, which is 14°C. If I was outside and it was 14°C, I'd be wearing a coat then, too. Turns out she had set the thermostat without wearing her glasses, but still didn't notice that the house was barely fit for human habitation. Tonight wasn't quite that bad, but despite putting on extra layers to visit, I still came home shivering.

Taking an shower is about the only way I can warm up quickly, and so I end up taking one in the morning and one in the evening these days. (The one in the morning is because I need to take some sort of action with my appearance, because I wake up with what my daughters so lovingly call "monkey hair".) Toby is very happy with this new routine, because in his walnut-sized brain he has made the connection between "large female gets out of water-spewing torture box = tuna for me". (And he will not let up until he gets that tuna, damn it. ) If I won the lottery, one of the first things I would install is a jaccuzzi tub, inside, so I wouldn't have to go out in the snow to get to it.

As I mentioned, Thing 1 is frequently cold, and even in the hottest of summers, still sleeps with the sheets pulled right up to her head. Thing 2 lives on an island somewhere. She rarely sleeps in pajamas, because she gets too hot in the night, and frequently goes around wearing only a t-shirt and light pants. I don't know how she does it, but it seems to work for her. The Mister has a metabolism that goes about a hundred miles an hour, and I've nicknamed him "The BTU Man" for a reason; he radiates enormous amounts of heat, and I'd have married him for that alone. He is very handy to have around this time of year. The only thing is, his feet seem to have declared independence completely from his circulatory system, and they remain creepily chilly, like, they are dead while the rest of him lives. It's not at all normal.

Hibernation seems like a particularly appealing idea when I get this cold. I would love to crawl into bed with a book, a cup of tea and a steady supply of carbohydrates, and stay there until spring. I get all woozy with delight just thinking about it. But as that is not feasible, I will put on another sweater after I have another shower, and dream of the day, which I KNOW will come eventually, when it won't be painful to leave the house.

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