Sometimes, something happens that makes you learn a lot about who you are as a person.
For me, that epiphany came late Friday afternoon, when our air conditioner was all like, "I'm tired of keeping your house at a comfortable seventy-two degrees. See how well you do without me, suckas!"
It was (of course) one of the hottest days we've had yet this summer, and I had just finished mowing. So at first I thought maybe it was just me thinking that the air coming out of the blower felt more like somebody's breath than an icy blast of Arctic air conditioning. But when I checked my thermostat, my fears were confirmed: it was eighty degrees in my house. My AC had said A-C-ya.
My husband has a background in this type of stuff and so he did some troubleshooting and determined that he can fix it himself. (Insert skeptical-wife raised eyebrow here.) The problem is, he needs a specific part, and it was after-hours on a weekend.
"I'll just wait until Monday," he said casually, as if my face melting off was no big deal. Apparently he is used to being without cool air at his job, and is also unfazed by anyone saying, "But my thighs are chafing!"
Long story short, we've been without air conditioning for the entire weekend. It is now Monday and if my husband does not get this show on the road with the "fixing the AC" thing, I am going to go off the deep end because y'all? I am NOT good at doing without my fancy machine-cooled air in the middle of July. I fantasize that I'm this tough, hardy chick from sturdy Midwestern stock, but THERE IS NO AIR CONDITIONING AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF.
It has definitely been a learning experience, though. Here are a few tidbits I've gleaned from spending a weekend in a normally-seventy-two-degree house that has gradually heated up to, at its highest point, ninety-two degrees:
Heat makes me lazy. You know what I did over the weekend? NOTHING. The most strenuous thing I did was rummage in a tote full of clothes to find a skirt so I could get more air circulating around my sweaty inner thighs. I slumped in a lawn chair in my driveway, sweaty, with a beer in my hand. Like a fat guy. I just could not muster up any motivation.
I desperately need new carpet, or fewer pets and children. As my house started to get warmer, my carpet started releasing its demons. Air conditioning apparently goes a long way in keeping things fresh, because once it got hot up in here, the Ghost of PeePee Past starting rising up from the fibers. And we just had it cleaned two weeks ago. So now my home is not only sweltering, but it smells like a barn. Which brings us to my next realization ...
Heat makes me cranky. If there's anything I can't stand, it's a stinky house. I am super-paranoid about this. So the fact that my house now smells like a barn, and no amount of Febreze will combat it, makes me more than a little irritable. Heat also makes my children cranky, and four cranky children make me even more cranky, so ... yeah. It's been a barrel of laughs* around here this weekend.
*More like "bucket of assholes."
A sock can do amazing things. I had this old knee-length sock in my drawer. Brown with gold polka-dots. (Don't be jealous of my fashion sense.) So I filled it up with rice, tied it in a tight knot at the open end, popped it in the freezer for a while, and voila - it's an all-purpose cooler-down-er.
I have used this thing a bazillion times in the past few days. The rice stays cool for a long time after you take it out of the freezer. I've draped it around my neck, across my panting dog, across the keyboard of my laptop when it sounded like the fan was running too hard, and threatened to beat my children with it (I said threatened).
Convenience creates heat. I am usually blissfully unaware of how much heat is generated by our various appliances and electronics. But try running your dishwasher - or your dryer - or using your stove - when your house is above ninety degrees, and you will quickly realize that holy hell, these things are hot. This is why we grilled out every night, and why yesterday's dishes are still piled in my sink, no doubt contributing to the lovely smell in here (because hand-washing would involve me immersing parts of myself in hot water, and no). The bright side: I could honestly tell my toddler it was "too hot to watch Caillou." TVs generate mad heat, too.
I'm a "fan" of my neighbors. Cheesy pun notwithstanding, our entire neighborhood is awesome. They loaned us box fans and window fans and oscillating fans and offered their air-conditioned homes and gave my kids popsicles and sat with us in our driveway as we tried to keep from melting (and/or killing each other).
All in all, it hasn't been an entirely terrible experience. We've been making the best of it ... like camping. But if my husband does not stay true to his word and get this air conditioner fixed today, the situation may turn ugly. Like my hair in this humidity.
Stay tuned. And please - stay cool. Do it for those of us who can't.