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My Wife is Killing Me with the Thermostat

December 14, 2011

Much like a wounded mullet learns of his inevitable demise once the shark begins to circle, so too do I know how I will punch out of this life and into the next. The home thermostat. I had no idea that something as ordinary as the thermostat would create not only marital friction, but it would also act as the ghost of Christmas future.

My wife has a very limited comfort range when it comes to room temperature. I estimate this range to be 69 degrees Fahrenheit to 71 degrees Fahrenheit. One tick below this range on the low end, and she notes that she is in the early stages of hypothermia. A notch above 71 degrees, and she complains of heat exhaustion. The simple answer would be to keep the thermostat set at 70 degrees Fahrenheit and never touch it again. However, that would be too easy and require my wife to believe MY explanation of how the thermostat and the air conditioning unit actually work. My wife chooses to use the device much differently than the manufacturer intended believing that if she sets the thermostat to say 80 degrees the unit will know to blow HOTTER air and warm the room faster because she is cold. Or, if she is hot, turning the temperature setting down to 60 degrees will somehow cool the room down faster. Note that we still arrive at an average ambient temperature of 70 degrees albeit with much more temperature variation which exacerbates the problem and will lead to my inevitable death by phenomena.

Because my wife is in the midst of her tender middle years, she will sometimes feel her body temperature rise rather quickly. The first sign this is happening is her query, “Does it feel hot in here to you?” Before I can respond with, “No Buttercup. It does not.” I see her frantically punching thermostat buttons like she is a 9-year-old on an elevator. Now, some might suggest turning on the ceiling fan, and this is where another problem arises – she doesn’t like the air to touch her skin. So, when she is hot she wants the air temperature cooler but does not want any air to come into contact with her skin. This is tricky. When I point out that God made our bodies with a natural cooling mechanism that allows our core temperature to cool when sweat meets with air moving across our skin it is not well received. This problem peaks in the summer when driving. She turns the air conditioner as cold as possible because it’s 112 degrees outside, but points all vents at me so the cold air doesn’t touch her skin. So, I end up driving down the interstate with blue lips while she comfortably basks in the sun on her side of the car.

This issue is especially problematic when it comes to sleeping. If she feels the room is too cold at bedtime, then the temperature is turned up to a balmy 80 degrees and I fall asleep on top of the sheets sweating like a missionary battling malaria in the Amazon River Basin. After she feels it has gotten too hot, the thermostat is then turned WAY down and I wake up shivering like a Yukon Territory gold prospector sleeping underneath the January Aurora Borealis.

I am still able to recover from the frequent colds and flu-like symptoms, but I am waiting for the day when I no longer recover and I am living out my last days in a room where the temperature still fluctuates between 60 and 80 degrees knowing the thermostat did me in.

© Johnny Hea – 2011 All Rights Reserved


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  1. Lee Ann Delahunt permalink

    I read this to Paul because I do the exact same thing!

    • Hilarious!!!! After I posted this one, I had a lot of people tell me they or their wives do the same thing! Tell Paul hello for me!

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