I live in a refrigerator. Actually, I live in a house with five men -- four of them are my grown sons and one is my husband. We do have two cats, one male and one female, but they don't count because they wear fur coats all the time and would side with the men if they could. I am outnumbered and outvoted.
It's early autumn in LA and the weather is beautiful. We are enjoying breezy days and cool nights. But breezy and cool are not sufficient for my clan. They are hot. They are big, strapping men. They need air conditioning -- and they need it blowing hard. The thermostat has to be set very low. When we got our last electric bill, I called Southern California Electric to complain that there must be a mistake with our bill. I had never seen numbers like that before. Either the five-story building that sits behind us was siphoning off electricity from our home or the electric meter was broken. The company sent out a meter reader the following day to double check the accuracy of the meter and informed me that the meter was working just fine. Perhaps it is the computers that stay on all night because the vampires with whom I live get energized in the dark and work best then. Or perhaps it is the porch light that the last person in is supposed to turn off, and doesn't, and it too, stays on all night. Or perhaps it is the refrigerator that invisible munchkins open at night. And how do I know that munchkins eat at night and leave the refrigerator empty? Because when I query my family about items that are no longer in the refrigerator, like the milk for my one cup of coffee a day, no one has any knowledge of it. It must be the munchkins.
Last year we installed a new central air unit upstairs. The old one was not working well and so we decided to replace it. The new unit does not reach the back bedrooms, so my sons have fans working all night long in their bedrooms. The electric company informed us that fans use a lot of kilowatts. Could that be the reason for our enormous bill?
And the battle of the thermostat continues. Anyone familiar with the body temperature of men and women would realize that men are always hot and women are always cold. My sons walk around half-naked because they are hot and I bundle up in fleece and flannel because I am cold. For many years that was the situation, and finally one day I decided to stop fighting and to concede that they won. The house was going to be a refrigerator. Not because it was hot, but because they didn't have much more to take off, and I could continue to layer.
Recently though, the situation has changed. I am finally comfortable in my own refrigerated house. With the onset of menopause, I agree that it is too damn hot and now I enjoy the freezer-like temperatures we've agreed upon. Living in a refrigerator is perfect for me now.
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