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Published: Thursday, 8/9/2001

Cold air threatens relationship

Rumor is it's hot out there. This is what everyone's yammering about, anyway.

Heat indices! Record high temps! Soaring humidity levels! Ozone action declarations!


I wouldn't have actual personal knowledge of this, however, because my total time spent outside this week amounts to 6.429 seconds.

This is because I essentially dash from home to car to office to car to home.

Call it the Air Conditioning Sprint.

Summer? What summer?

I am constantly in air conditioning.

I am constantly cold.

At this very moment, for example, the Professional Weather types tell me it's 90 degrees out there - but I'm not out there.

I'm in here, in the office, and I'm looking around for someone with an extra sweater to lend and wishing with all my heart I hadn't worn open-toed sandals, because my tootsies are stubby little icicles.

People always say it's money that's the No. 1 cause of divorce.

How to spend it. How to save it. Who should earn it. Whose brother-in-law should or shouldn't be trusted to repay loans.

These issues, say the experts, drive couples apart.

So much for the "experts."

If I ever part ways with my husband, it will surely be during airconditioning season (formerly known as "summer").

It's as if someone handed us a script 15 years ago, and we've been performing annual seasonal readings ever since. The dialogue goes like this:

ME: "Doesn't it seem awfully chilly in here?"

HIM: "Nah. I'm hot."

ME: "Well, I'm cold."

HIM: "Do you want to turn the air conditioning down?"

ME: "`Down' as in colder? Or `down' as in warmer?"

HIM: "Warmer. Do you want it warmer in the house?"

ME: "Yes!"

HIM: "Well, all right. I guess. Or, maybe you could just put on some warmer clothes."

This would be a great compro-

mise, were it not for the fact that I am usually already in heavy-duty sweatpants, a fleece turtleneck, wool socks, and a pair of gloves.

There is another alternative, although I am the first to concede that Plan B is less than forthright. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and so it is that I have been known to jab my frozen little finger on the pushbutton thermastat to nudge the temp up a degree or two.

The trouble with such duplicity is that, when tampered with, the thermostat emits a telltale beep that can be heard several rooms away. I thought for awhile my fake cough provided deep cover, but soon enough I began to hear that beeping thermostat when I was nowhere near the bleeping thing.

Katherine Hepburn once suggested that men and women in love simply live next door to one another. While she never specified climatic incompatiablity, I'd bet my electric blanket it factored in.

Roberta de Boer's column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays,

and Saturdays. Email her at roberta@theblade.com or call 1-419-724-6086.

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