More dispatches from quarantine.
This time, about temperature wars.
We begin with the good news, in which I tell you that I have conquered indoor meteorology. I say this because I’ve always thought that the secret to a good night’s sleep is having the correct temperature in the room.
Not being too cold or too hot, but just right.
If you’re lucky enough to sleep alone, like me, you can have it however you want it. Gone are the days when I had to crank an air conditioner to 65 degrees and freeze my butt off.
That’s what I get for marrying reptiles.
Now I have a window air conditioner in my room, and a fan, and a window, and after several weeks of experimentation, I can tell you the perfect climate for perfect sleep.
First off, you need an air conditioner set at 75 degrees. I know, that sounds like it’s not that cold, but it is perfectly cool, especially if you happen to be a 65-year-old woman who sleeps with four dogs.
I don’t know how many BTUs dogs give off, but I got a guess. 30,482,726,373,838.
Also, if the dogs are too hot, they pant, walk around the bed, or start looking at their phones, keeping you up. So you need a temperature that works for all of you.
Secondly, not only do you need the air conditioner, but you need a fan that’s right near your bed, on low.
On medium, it’s too high.
And on high, it’s sandblasted, especially if your bedroom is as dusty as mine.
But on low, it’s perfect. And not too noisy, also a factor. Otherwise, between the air conditioner and the fan, it sounds like a train station.
Now, for the secret sauce.
You need to leave a window open in your bedroom.
I know that goes against every fiber of your being, as a good person. I spent my entire adult life closing the windows when the air conditioner was on. I used to imagine my poor air conditioner, laboring mightily to keep cool when I was working at cross-purposes, betraying it with my fetish for open windows.
But now, I’ve gone crazy.
I don’t care anymore.
I’m in quarantine, and my air conditioner is on its own.
I’m here to give you permission to turn on your air-conditioning and leave a window open. I do it in the car now, too. I drive around with the windows open and the air-conditioning on.
Life in the fast lane.
If you follow my method, with the air conditioner, fan on low, and single open window, you are going to sleep like the sweet little baby you are.
Of course the temperature wars come to a head during the daytime, between Daughter Francesca and me.
She likes air-conditioning more than I do, and so she will want the central air on when it hits 90 degrees outside.
OK, perhaps she’s being reasonable.
But still, I don’t mind if the house is a little warm.
Maybe you’re having temperature wars, too, and if you are, you’re probably lining up on two sides — people who agree with me and those who like to live inside refrigerators.
I hate that feeling. I want to feel like a normal person, not a frozen hamburger. I want to be at one with the universe, not sealed off from it.
But quarantine is about compromise, and Francesca and I have finally come to terms. She works in a room in the back, and she has an air conditioner in the window there, which she can crank to a fare-thee-well. We agreed on no central air unless the dogs demand it, which at times, they do.
I work upstairs in my office, and I have a fan and a window.
Yes, it’s sweaty.
Yes, the dogs pant.
Yes, on occasion, I feel faint.
But do I turn on the central air, and admit I’m wrong?
And don’t even get me started on flies. The only problem with open windows and an occasionally open door is that flies come in.
Though I am an advocate of open windows, I hate flies. I hear Mother Mary coming out of my mouth when I say, “Close the door, you’ll let the flies in.”
Mother Mary ran around the house with a flyswatter in one hand and a back scratcher in the other. She was ambidextrous, which means she could kill flies with a back scratcher.
She could also wield a wooden spoon to excellent effect. She had an arsenal of kitchen utensils, but that’s another story.
I don’t kill flies.
I catch flies in a glass, cover the top with my hand, and throw them outside.
Of course, every time I do this, three more flies fly inside, and I stay pretty busy for the next hour, trying to catch them.
And then I start to sweat.
But I do not turn on the air conditioner.
Because I’m never ever wrong.