Hey guys! Did you know? Have you heard? IT’S FUCKING HOT!
And nowhere is it hotter than in my house. As I’ve mentioned before, we are one of the seven Americans left that doesn’t have air conditioning in their home. Every year since we’ve moved in, we’ve said that we would use part of the tax return money to install central air. And every year, by the time June rolls around and it’s hot as balls in our house, we realize that fuck, we forgot about central air and now the money’s all spent. Every goddamn year. The summers that I was pregnant were bad, and the summers with newborns in the house were exponentially worse. Unfortunately, we’ve only been in the house for seven years, so that pretty much covers every summer we’ve lived here. It’s tough being a breeder.
At any rate, for all you rich assholes enjoying your artificially cooled air, let me share with you a few of the unique challenges us backwards country folk deal with when living without air conditioning:
1. Babies hate the heat: Like I said, the summers with babies are the worst. While Surrey is still relatively good-natured, she’s probably the least appreciative of this heatwave. She is not a warm-weather person. Nursing and naps are probably the worst. Holding a sweaty naked baby up against your body for an hour or so while they nurse and nap is not good times. The back of her hair is damp from sweat all day long. She’s also the only baby I’ve ever seen that doesn’t mind sitting and playing about two feet in front of a fan. Since she was born in the summer, I feel like we’ve been unfairly punished this time around by having to deal with two summers in a row with babies.
2. One does not blindly reach into a sink full of dirty dishes: If it’s summertime, and you have every single window open, and the back door is being opened and closed 789796 times a day, bugs are going to enter your house. Furthermore, if you have a big-ass rip in the screen of your back door that doubles as a doggie/kid door, and at least two windows with the screens completely pushed out, you most definitely have bugs in your house. If you work full-time and don’t necessarily have the time to do the dishes every single day, the bugs that enter your house are most assuredly going to be flies. Flies, in case you’ve forgotten, enjoy warm, moist places, preferably with old food, to, um, reproduce. Meaning you better take a close look at that dirty bowl in the sink before you decide to pick it up and put it in the dishwasher.
3. The expiration date for food has been dramatically sped up: This goes hand-in-hand with #1. The window of time that you can allow food and drink to sit out in the open is now very small indeed. Food should only be left out while actually preparing and eating it, plus maybe a fifteen-minute “Wait! I wasn’t doneyet!” window. After that, uneaten food should be tossed and leftovers stored. Otherwise, you’re really just feeding the flies, which FUCK YOU, FLIES. I can’t explain to you how much I hate flies. Seriously, if someone offered me the choice of living in the same house as a colony of bees or one single fly that could live for years, I would double down on the bees. At least the bees serve a purpose besides being gross, pointing out what a terrible housekeeper you are, and terrorizing you with suddenly buzzing right next to your fucking ear.
On top of the constant threat of bugs, the temperature alone is going to spoil things pretty quickly. In the words of the great Ron Burgundy, milk is a bad choice. I gave one of my kids a glass of milk last summer at 10:00 am, trusting that they would drink it immediately, like a normal human being. I found the glass at 2:00 pm. It had barely been touched, but had already solidified. So, basically don’t let your kids walk away with any food item that you would be frightened to learn they had eaten eight hours later.
4. Cold showers: they’re not just for teenage boys in PG-13 movies anymore: A cold shower is your reward for surviving an entire sweaty, cranky day with your kids. When I’m at home with my kids in hot weather, I spend the entire day fantasizing about the cold shower I’m going to take once they go to bed. I get really jealous of their bath, and am incredulous when they tell me the bath water is too cold. Not possible. When the inside of your house is ninety degrees, it’s not physically possible to run a bath that is too cold.
5. Goodbye butter (and any other semi-solid substance): Did you know things melt in the heat, even if they’re not sitting outside? It’s true! Some of these things include the following: the stick of butter you have in the butter dish on the counter, that ice-filled glass of pop you poured ten seconds ago, and your daughter’s toothpaste. That last one was a nice bedtime surprise. We opened the top and it literally just poured onto her toothbrush. “Mom, it tastes like water.” Sorry, kid. Add it to your list of topics to discuss with your therapist in twenty years.
6. Clothes are optional: I’m not exaggerating when I say my kids have greeted me at the door naked every single day this week. When getting dressing on my days off, I ask myself, “What’s the minimum amount of clothing required in order to still feel comfortable answering the door to a neighbor or delivery person?” After dark, that question is replaced with, “What’s the minimum amount of clothing required to prevent essentials parts of my body from sticking to the furniture?”
7. You’ll probably lose weight by the time the temperatures cool off: This is actually a bonus, in my opinion. Since it’s so goddamn hot, and the last thing you want to do is stand in your hot kitchen and use that hot thing that makes food, the menu in your house is going to change. Yeah, you can get pizza, but if your budget looks anything like mine, you can’t really do that more than one night a week. It’s been hot all fucking week up in here. So, yeah. You either throw a bunch of food together, pop it in the oven and walk away until it’s finished, or start serving up PB&J and fruit several times a day. What you’ll also find is that very often, when you’re hungry yourself and feeding the kids isn’t necessarily a consideration, you’ll choose keeping your ass parked in front of that box fan over making yourself food. Being hot makes you hella thirsty for water, but doesn’t do much for your appetite. Hence, you lose weight with minimal effort. In fact, thanks to the Heatwave Diet, I’ve lost two pounds this week! GO HEAT!
8. You’ll find out exactly how much time you have left with your current refrigerator: This is crunch time for your fridge. The way it behaves under the stress of having to keep your food cold while operating inside the inferno that is now your kitchen will tell you how much time you have before it decides to quit on you. I’ve been saying for years that in terms of appliance death, my money is on our refrigerator. I just get a bad vibe from it. However, it’s proven me wrong time and again, as other appliances bite the dust while it keeps chugging along. This summer, though, may finally prove to be the refrigerator’s undoing. I have that fucker cranked up to the highest settings, and the ice cream is still kind of soft when I take it out of the freezer after bathtime. Not alarmingly soft; but soft enough to be disquieting to someone with exactly $-12 in their checking account.
So live it up, you bourgeois bastards, because when the zombie apocalypse or Superflu finally arrives and wipes out electricity, we’ll be the well-adapted, sweaty saviors of the human race.
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