Saturday, January 9, 2016
The Chief is a hotblooded Native American.
That sounds nice. Chiefly.
But it is not.
He is hot when it is not hot. He is hot the minute the heat pump kicks on in the morning and takes the merest edge off the nighttime freeze. Just when I notice a bit of thaw to the air about me he begins the Martyr's Mutter, "I was looking forward to a cup of coffee, but I'll be sweating in no time at this rate."
I nobly stand over the register and attempt to capture as much warmth as possible with my skirt to spare his fevered person from undo exposure. It is useless. He goes past the thermostat and surreptitiously knocks it down a notch.
Why do opposites have to attract?
I am not fond of extra clothes; I wear them for survival. My fleece jacket. My hot pink socks. I wrap my furry throw (The Chief calls it a blanket) around my legs and huddle bravely in the cold, feeling virtuous in my efforts to keep from succumbing to the harsh elements. I hold my own in this martyrs' match.
The Chief comes in from the wintry wet weather, and exclaims, "It's stuffy in here! Someone bumped that thermometer up. How can y'all stand it?" in incredulous disbelief.
"It's not hot! I'm freezing!" I protest, cradling my cup of hot chocolate, trying to warm my icy fingers.
"I declare! There is no oxygen in here."
And so it goes. Every winter.
I go to bed at night, and tuck myself in very comfortably. And he comes later and says, "Are you sure we're going to need this cover?" Every time I assure him I am sure. So he gets in and sticks a leg out the side for ventilation.
If I had $10 for every time he said, "Are you sure we're going to need this cover?" I could cruise the Caribbean on blue seas under smiling skies. I would take him with me, of course. We would cruise together. And we would both be comfortable, because it is only inside heat that makes him hot. Not outside heat. And frankly, I am happy for that, because if that were not the case he'd be trying to haul me off the Maine or some such, without doubt.
As it is I get to stay here in the South, where winter really only lasts for 7 or 8 weeks, maybe, and seldom or never includes ice or snow or sleet, or chains on tires or salt on roads, or frozen pipes, or frostbitten extremities.
Still, they dutifully post signs before the bridges that say, "Bridge ices before road" The natives look at me blankly when I try to explain what it's talking about, which, speaking of signs, is a very good sign.
Now please excuse me while I go warm my coffee.