This post is based on a 13-year-long fight over the thermostat. Not a fight, really, as much as a sneaky contest to see who can keep the heat at their desired temperature the longest.
Kenny is always turning the heat up. He gets cold very easily, and because he’s diabetic, his circulation is poor. His feet are always like ice, and he is never without socks and slippers. (He refers to them as “foot mittens”. I’m not sure if it’s a German thing or what, but it’s annoyingly endearing. Most days.) He’d love to see the heat set at around 71 degrees, but the thrifty side of him can handle the heat being a little bit lower. (In the summer, however, he wants to set the air conditioner to 67 degrees, which causes the A/C unit to run for 18 hours nonstop. While it feels heavenly to be greeted by an arctic blast on a hot summer day, we can hardly afford the $300/month electical bill to make it so, and thus the temperature is set to 72.)
I think the reason he’s always cold is that he putters around the house in next-to-nothing. I mean, dress for the season! (Or at all.) I have to laugh when he sits on the couch bundled up in blanket after blanket, shivering and freezing to death– in his foot mittens, of course– and complaining of the cold, when he’s only wearing a thin layer of some white polyester blend undergarments and it’s snowing outside.
*Hi, Honey! I love you! Go back to work!*
I, on the other hand, wear pajamas to bed, wear real clothes during the day (or sometimes pajamas, but don’t tell anyone…), I have some extra, well, let’s just call it “insulation”, and I am almost always hot. I have set the thermostat to 66 over the past few days, and I’ve been comfortable. Cold at times, but nothing a sweater can’t help with. It’s deliciously cozy, and it actually feels like fall. I sleep better at night, too, because I stay burrowed under the covers and I don’t wake up all sweaty and hot. If it were up to me, I’d keep the thermostat set at 64 degrees through the winter.
My family knows when they come to my house, they bring sweaters. (I think they’re being silly, but whatever.) We know that when we go to theirs, we dress lightly, as their thermostat is always set to at least 73, and it feels sweltering. My kids never complain of being too cold or too hot, so I’m going to assume that they are usually comfortable with whatever the temperature is, or they don’t notice, or they’re too– gasp!– polite to comment.
[Heat-related flashback: I had a roommate in college who would set the heat to 85 degrees. It felt like an OVEN, especially since Rexburg hovered between -15 and 10 degrees that winter. It got so bad we used to flip the heat circuit breakers to off, but unfortunately after two or three times, she caught on. Ah, good times. Six 19-year-olds in a three bedroom apartment is always a risk.]
So, Kenny and I have worked out a heat compromise where we keep it at 68 during the day, and 66 at night. He can’t complain about the cold unless he’s actually dressed in real, substantial clothing, and the back of our couch now hosts five (FIVE!) blankets, three of which can be claimed by him at any given time.
What I’m curious about is, what do you keep your thermostat set to? Do you have similar fights over the internal temperature of your home? Are you usually too cold or too hot?
While you’re answering, I’m going to go grab a sweater. And some chamois socks. 😀