Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thermostat Wars

I now remember what I hate most about winter.

Oh, I hate the cold and the snow and ice to be sure. I despise dressing in layers and wrapping up so much I look the kid in “A Christmas Story.” And I don’t like stuffing a hat or ear wraps onto my head. (Though I’m more likely to go out without a coat than with my ears bare. They’d get me sick faster than anything.)

I hate all of that. Give me a beach and a palm tree to decorate any year. But what I hate the most revolves around that little digital box in the hallway. And she who rules it, rules the house.

Yes, I’m talking about the thermostat – and the wars with the mother than ensue because of it. This seems to happen at the start of every season, but at no time like during cold weather.

We got into the 20s last night, but even before the temperature dipped, I came home to find the thermostat kicked up a degree. I quietly turned it back down. When I went to take a shower (it’s right outside the bathroom door), I discovered that it had been kicked up again. I turned it back down.

This happened at least one more time before I went to bed. The mother slept on the sofa which meant Toby said not one word last night. Ah, almost six consecutive hours of uninterrupted sleep. (Turns out Toby had eaten part of a ribbon he was playing with Sunday night. He had deposited it both on the livingroom floor and in his litter box shortly before I got home last night.)

I still woke up before the alarm though. Why? Ozzie was pacing because he was hot, I imagine. I was even a little too toasty myself. And that doesn’t happen much, especially when it’s cold outside. She’s been at it again, I muttered and got out of bed.

Sure enough, the thermostat had been jacked up not one, but two degrees. Never mind how much that’s adding to the power bill. (Clearly this is the Young Tom gene -- the energy miser gene -- that I got that she didn’t.)

I couldn’t stand it. Are you crazy? I asked the mother. It’s not even that cold yet. What are you going to do when it really gets cold?

"It is really cold," came the answer from she who refuses to use a blanket.

I shudder to think about what she will do. I shudder to think about what the thermostat is on now, right now, now that I’ve left the house. I shudder even more to think about what the next power bill will look like.

Winter’s not even officially here yet, but it’s going to be a long one.


Karen Anne said...

No blanket? What's with that... I can keep my thermostat lower just by wearing a robe at night.

Plus, it's more comfortable because the heat doesn't dry out the nasal passages.

What's your Mom's thinking about the blanket?

Vicki said...

She can come live with me this winter. Two against one might convince Du to turn it up.

Katie @ makingthishome.com said...

Oh my gosh! My husband and I have the exact same battle! Well except I'm the one in favor of the warmer space.
The way you tell this story cracks me up. (But I don't want my husband to see it so he can point and say SEE)

Kristy said...

I on the other hand have the exact opposite problem. My sister lives with me and while I don't mind it a little chilly (blankets, sweatshirts, slippers, etc)...she would rather freeze then let me know she's cold.
Since we work different schedules, I've told her time and again if it is too chilly, turn it up a few degrees (the electronic thermostat will reset itself in an hour)but does she...No.

CD said...

We're having the same problem here, but it makes no sense. During the summer, my husband can't make the house cold enough. Both boys wear long sleeve pj's all year long. Even the dog is cold in July. Now that it's cold, he wants it on 70-72. I keep moving it back to 66.

CD said...
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Anonymous said...

Um...our air conditioner is still kicking on once in a while. But I assure you, when it does get colder, my husband and I will be doing the same thing! :)

MonkeyGirl said...

My problem isn't the Mr but the kid - he seems to think that once the temperature drops below 60 outside that you need to crank up the heat and build a fire to keep warm. He really needs to get out of the house once in awhile!

NV said...

karen anne -- She just doesn't like blankets. Yeah. I know. Preachin' to the choir. :-)

V -- You have no idea what you've just opened yourself up for. You also have no idea how obscene a thermostat setting we're talking about. Even so, DU TURN UP THE HEAT!

Katie -- Glad you enjoyed it and hope he doesn't see it!

Kristy -- Isn't it crazy, the level of extremes?!

CD -- Yeah, she freezes me out in the summer and roasts me alive in the winter. But 66? Brrrr. I gotta go with the hubs on this one. :-)

kspin -- A/C? Wow! I'm jealous.

MG -- Poor Skaterboy. Ask him to pay the utility bill -- once. I guarantee it will never happen again.

Karen Anne said...

Maybe the blankets are uncomfortable? Too heavy? I like two of those insulating blankets, the ones that look like a loosely woven knit instead of a rather inflexible and somewhat scratchy wool blanket.

But my favorite is a nice thinnish quilt, not the thick ones. Looks great, too. You used to be able to buy those for $50 or so off the web.

I am now recalling thermostat wars when I was in college, lo, many years ago :-) In that case, my roommate had the upper bunk, and there was an astonishing difference in temp, we finally realized. We solved that one by disassembling the bunk bed into two beds on the same level.

Anonymous said...