Tuesday, July 12, 2011


If there's anywhere in the U.S. that you ought to be able to live without air conditioning, it's Wisconsin. So I am against air conditioning in our house in principle, although of course there's a lot of things I oppose on principle that in real life I take advantage of to the fullest extent possible. Diet Dr. Pepper falls squarely into this category, as do chocolate covered pretzels.

In our house, we have a tie vote
as to whether these are disgusting
or delicious. 
(Recently, I was munching away on a bag of chocolate covered pretzels, when David took one and popped it in his mouth. "Bleah," he said. "I really regret eating that." "I regret you eating it too," I said, because of course then I had ONE FEWER PRETZEL.)

We do have air conditioning in one room in our house on the upper floor, a room we refer to as the "master bedroom," because "room where the whole family sleeps and is therefore wall-to-wall mattresses" doesn't sound as fancy. And you know, I went to a private college, so it's important that I sound fancy.

It gets pretty hot upstairs in the "master bedroom," but my rule of thumb is that we only turn on the air conditioner when it gets above 90 degrees in there. This is the flip side of my rule that during the winter we must keep the house at a temperature that allows icicles to grow at the end of our noses.

Me in a bikini. (Are you laughing?
You better not be laughing.)
The success to being able to sleep in a 89-degree bedroom is to reframe how you think about the temperature. For instance, think of it not as a bedroom but as a Native American sweat lodge! It's not that we're getting sticky with sweat while we sleep, it's that we're purifying our spirits and communing with our ancestors! Perhaps the next time we have a really hot night, I'll wear a bikini to bed and pretend the room is a Swedish sauna.

The primary reason I try to avoid using air conditioning is because it uses a lot of energy. The second reason is because our wall unit air conditioner is quite loud. The sound it makes is similar to that of a jet engine, if you were standing two millimeters from the actual engine: BOWR BOWR BOWR BOWR BOWR. The ear-splitting noise makes it difficult to sleep. Not to mention it totally wrecks the Swedish sauna vibe.

Despite the heat, and despite the BOWR BOWR BOWR from the air conditioner on the one night on alternate leap years when we actually turn it on, I actually manage to sleep quite soundly. Proof of this is that many nights, as Baby W is nursing to sleep, I think to myself, "I'll just lie down for a minute while the baby is nursing and then when he falls asleep I'll get up." Then four hours later I jerk awake, still in my work clothes. This happens every time and yet for some reason I still believe my internal voice that tells me that I'm capable of lying down at 8:30 PM and not immediately falling asleep. I'm so gullible! So gullible that I am capable of even being fooled by myself, apparently.

It's been pretty hot the last few days, so one of these nights it might get above 90 degrees upstairs. I will admit that it is nice to sleep in air conditioned comfort (BOWR BOWR BOWR), in part because the air conditioning takes the humidity down a notch. But if we decide to forgo using the air conditioner once again and sleep in hot and sticky room, I'm ready for that too: I have my bikini all ready.

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