It's not about the house.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I Turned the Heat On. So?

I used to pretend to try not to touch the thermostat until Thanksgiving, but I never once managed to make it. So I finally admitted the whole thing was a big fat lie, and a couple years ago moved the official cutoff date up to November 1st.

Still, we’re usually the last people I know to put it on. If we go over to other people’s houses, they’re all snuggy warm in October, like a twenty-first century person ought to be. Even my parents, the ones who taught me this whole New England Thrift thing in the first place, had their heat going this week when I was there. But then again, my parent’s never paid three bucks a gallon for heating oil (neither did I – I'm exaggerating for effect. Have we not met?).

But when I say “we’re usually the last people,” I really should say “I’m the last person.” Because Johnny does not subscribe. The minute I leave the house, if he’s home, that sucker goes up to 67 and stays there till I get back.

And I’m lucky if he only cranks it up to 67. Johnny is of the belief that the colder it is in the house to begin with, the hotter you have to set the thermostat for it to do any good. If he wakes up shivering, he’s liable to crank the damn thing up to 95. And then go out. When I get home six hours later I’ve been known to open windows in January just to cool the damn place down. And thank god we don’t have a tankless water heater anymore – which also, in Johnny World, required cranking the thermostat up to 95 just to get a decent shower. Always worked just fine for me, though. Go figure.

So I program the thermostat to all these random hours staggered throughout the day, set specifically to turn the heat back down if (when) he cranks it up. Most people have theirs set to go on in the morning and off at night – maybe one extra boost before they get home from work. Me, I’ve got mine set for 60 degrees at 4:30 a.m., 8:00, 1:45 p.m., 4:15, 7:45 and 10:00. Johnny’s usually asleep by 10:00. Or else not paying attention anymore.

Except I haven’t admitted that we’re using heat this year yet, so I haven’t programmed any of it in. And I went away last weekend. I left at 3:00 on Saturday and got back at 8:30 Sunday night. Heat was on the entire time.

Monday, I worked but Johnny didn’t. Ditto.

When I woke up this morning the thermostat said 59, and the sweatshirt I was wearing was not cutting the mustard. I reached for a second sweatshirt and then thought to myself: What am I waiting for?

November first is the day after tomorrow. Johnny’s been using the heat for the past three days. It makes no difference whatsoever if I go ahead and use it, too – and without that extra sweatshirt I might just be able to move my arms. Besides, it’s 59 degrees in here, for crying out loud! There ought to be a rider on the rule that says all bets are off if it drops below what the thermostat gets set for.

So I spent ten minutes and programmed the whole shebang, then I took a breath and clicked the little knob over to “Run.”

Ahhhh. Toasty. That one extra degree makes all the difference in the world.

What? You didn’t think I cranked it all the way to 67? That would be madness, I tell you. Madness!

Actually, Prudence tried. But Goody wouldn't let her.


Mom Pom said...

It just reached the point that I decided I had been cold long enough and could go without a lot of other things if the need arose but with god as my witness I would never be cold again!
Pru, what movie is that from?

EGE said...

I don't know. Ask Tara...

Khurston said...

yea, chris will sit there in shorts and a t shirt and say 'gee it's cold, i'll turn up the heat'
um, big guy? try a sweatshirt!

Anonymous said...

I think the movie with that "I will never be ____ again" is Gone with the Wind. I believe Scarlett O'Hara said it.

Anonymous said...

Thus the reference to Tara!!!!!!

EGE said...

I don't know if you two are the same anonymouses, or if you are anonymi, but you're right both times. Or you're both right once.

(PS MP -- I assumed this was a rhetorical question and I was making a funny. If you were really asking, then all I can say is: three cheers for anonymi!)

MP said...

I was joshing and I did get the reference to Tara which was the mansion correct?

Leslie said...

I try making it to 11/1 every year and this year I was even more determined since we had the AC on just a couple of weeks ago. But when I'm stressed I get cold, and yesterday I was super-stressed and it was only 58 in the house while the sun was still up. So when V asked if we could turn the heat on (see how well I have V trained? "honey, may I...?"), I sighed a drawn-out resigned sigh and said "oh, all right" while inside was going "YES! YES!! HEEEEEEAT!!"

Of course I would only set it to 64, and I only turned on the downstairs system (the bedroom was still over 60) but at least it was something.

So since you're like me, imagine having to endure a winter in an 800 sq ft house with four adults and two kids, including two young "adults" (V's daughter and niece) who were cranking the heat up to 80+ every time I turned my back so that they could lounge around in their spaghetti-strap t-shirts, thin cotton pants, and bare feet, and who copped a ferocious attitude even when I nicely asked them to keep their freakin' hands off the thermostat. Oy.