Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Is It Hot in Here or Is It Just Me?

It’s August in southeast Georgia, which means 95+ degree weather and 90% plus humidity. This is, of course, when the air conditioning drops dead in my home. 

You’d think a sinkhole had just opened up under us. “The A/C is out! The A/C is out! I produced a drop of sweat!” Hubs and I run around in a panic. Kiddo just looks at us for a moment before returning to his trains. 

Okay, so we didn’t freak out right away. Minute one of noticing the temperature was rising and it wasn’t me having a hot flash was met with confusion. I stand directly beneath the vent and stare at it. Is it blowing cold or not? I’m not quite sure. 

“I think just the fan is blowing,” I tell my husband. I troop off to do what one does in this enlightened age of technological intelligence that we’ve all achieved: I turn off the air conditioner and turn it back on. I also squint quizzically at the thermostat. Is it really 75 degrees in here? Wow, it’s a veritable sauna already. 

Back to the vent. No, I’m quite sure it’s not blowing cool. I duly report, “It’s not blowing cool.” 

“Give it a minute,” Hubs says. Which means, I’m doing something right now. Leave me alone. 

I’m not happy about this. I go from mildly concerned to really concerned. I know my air conditioner. I know it doesn’t take it a minute to start blowing cold. I go to the breaker box. 

“I’m going to reset it,” I yell to my thus-far disinterested husband. 


I turn the breaker on and off. Back to the vent. It’s still not cool. Now I’m worried. The thermostat has climbed an entire degree. Things are starting to look bad. 

Two minutes later, my husband emerges from his Hubby Hole. “Is it hot in here?” he asks. 

I give him the Wife Look. You know the one. “What do you think I’ve been dealing with out here? It’s not blowing cold!” 

“Let me see what I can do.” So Hubs goes off to see what he can do. He turns the air conditioner off and turns it back on again. That’s the extent of what he can do.  

We’re up another degree. Alarm bells are now going off in my head. Panic and chaos ensue as we face Life With No Air Conditioning. 

I’ve thought a lot over the last couple of years about what a wuss I’ve become. When I was a kid, it didn’t matter how high the mercury rose in the summer. My butt was out in it, playing softball, jumping on the trampoline, tearing around the neighborhood...just being anywhere but inside. Heat was not a factor.  

Nowadays, I wilt the instant it gets above 72 degrees. I’m panting and soaked in sweat for all the wrong reasons. How did this happen? 

No matter how it happened. With the A/C kaput, all that concerns me right now is that it’s happening. My home is reaching the unheard-of temperature of 80, and the adults of the house are in mortal terror. 

My husband is nearly sobbing when he gets off the phone with the repair man. “He’s booked for two days. He says he’ll try to make it out tomorrow, but no promises.” 

I’m already on the floor, gasping for air. “Two – two days?  We have to live like this for TWO DAYS?” 

“Be strong, my love,” he moans, his eyes already rolling back in his head. “Hold on.  We must hold on.” 

Meanwhile our son, who never wears anything but underwear around the house anyway, wanders to the refrigerator, stepping lightly over my prone body with barely a glance. He grabs a popsicle and returns to his trains. The kid is not even sweating. 

Then the phone rings. My husband answers it. His voice, weakened by the climbing heat, gains a little strength as he talks to whomever has contacted us...someone, who no doubt, has air conditioning. 

“Ask them if we can spend the night at their place,” I cry, not caring who he’s talking to. 

He ignores me. “You can? You are? Oh, merciful God, thank you!” He hangs up and turns to me. “It’s the repair man. He had a cancellation. He’s on his way over now!” 

We are saved from the fiery jaws of southeast Georgia, which is only two degrees hotter than Hades. Our angel discovers the problem only seconds after arriving. 

“You had a hornet get caught in the coupling,” he says just before cleaning out our life’s savings along with the bug. “Have a nice day.” 

Thanks to him, I will have a nice day. A nice, cool, non-sweating day. Right below the vent.

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