Reflecting on my growing up years, I not so fondly remember how my mother would keep the house at a frigid 65-ish degrees. In the dead of winter. There is nothing like waking up in the morning and having to check your extremities for frostbite. One night when I was staying there with my newborn daughter, I woke up in the middle of the night and was so cold, I actually started a fire in the fireplace and slept with my baby in front of it, feeling like one of those survivalists who cleverly escaped misfortune. There should be a reality series for people who have to survive their own mother’s menopausal catastrophe. I complained to her about it constantly.
Now, I owe my mom – may she rest in peace – one big apology. I have been in a relationship for several years, and we just got married – woot! I figured if we were ever to join the 50 percent of American couples who get divorced, it would be over putting the bowls on the wrong dishwasher shelf, or how to properly raise children or why someone spent money on something when there was no money to spend. But alas, if we are ever to part ways, it will be over temperature control.
I am in my 50’s, and I have somehow evolved into a diesel-fueled heat generator. There is enough sweat pouring off of me that my boobs are a veritable Slip N Slide. At night, I dream of fires and volcanoes, and sometimes, before I go to bed, my face turns a crazy dark reddish hue that makes it look like I’ve run a 24-hour marathon in 120-degree heat. I have put packaged popsicles on my face, dunked my feet in ice, and ordered probiotics from some TikTok ad that promises to make me whole again. All to no avail.
In this new and wretched Colorado heat, I feel like the Hansel and Gretel cookies in the oven. And the mean old witch is my wonderful husband, who is a toothpick of a thing who gets cold if anything is below 90 degrees. I sneak up in the middle of the night to turn the air conditioner on so I don’t feel like I am roasting alive. But I am followed closely by my nuptial partner, who then sneaks up and turns the air conditioner off. Oh sure, sleep is important, but not as important as the epic power battle we are now engaged in to claim our fame and correct temperature.
“I can’t cool down, but you can add a blanket,” I say. “There is no need to keep the house at 65 degrees, and it is a waste of money,” he responds. “I’m burning alive,” I say. “I’m going to freeze to death,” he claims with pursed lips while stomping off to the bathroom where he will then pout for 30 minutes. Unrelated, but really, why do men think the bathroom is their zen space? I mean, I’m envious of the alone time and all, but who wants to meditate with their drawers around their ankles?
Anyway, as much as I love my partner in life, I’m probably going to have to file for divorce citing irreconcilable temperatures. As a chick type on the older edge of things, I deal with swollen feet and mood swings and a belly that virtually overnight re-created what it looks like to be five months pregnant.
Seems to me that since I have given birth twice, breastfed so that my headlights have turned into low beams, and have dealt with the menopause demons with incredible flair, I should at least be given the temp control crown and be allowed to chill this casa up in grand fashion. Xcel would name me the customer of the year, I wouldn’t wake up googling how to curb hoo-hoo sweat, and world peace would be restored.
So mom, if you’re out there, I’m sorry. I should have just grabbed a sweater and called it good.
Gabrielle is a newlywed and the grateful mother of two kids who are learning the joys – and the sucky sides – of becoming adults. Her favorite things in life are beer, frogs, kind people and musical chairs, probably in that order.
Cooldown with These Denver Activities
Want to find a way to cool down? Don’t miss our Ultimate Denver Summer Activity Guide with 250+ ideas that include ideas for local waterparks, beaches, spray fountains and indoor fun.