Friday, January 07, 2005

Love in a cold climate

When we're all done rocking around the Christmas tree, when we've removed our gay apparel and the boughs of holly are wilting over the mantelpiece, when we've cleaned up the last vestiges of empty champagne bottles and party hats, what are we left with? I'll tell you what.

Winter. Winter, in her grim glory. She has us now, wrapping her harsh wooly mitted fingers right around our necks, squeezing intermittenty, for the next few months.

You know that expression, "it's not the heat, it's the humidity"? Well, in this country, in winter, it's not the cold that gets to me most- even though that cold is a particularly nasty, wet, raw, seeping into the bones sort of chill. No. It's the dark. We wake up in the dark, go to work in the dark, come home in the dark. Once in awhile, on a brisk sunny day, we might get the odd pale ray of sunshine, but for the most part, it's like being in a cave. And after all the holiday lights come down, it's bleak.

I'm a fanatic about energy conservation-admittedly not because I have any aspirations to save the environment as such, although that would be nice, too. It's because our electric bills are so astronomically high. Especially when I am home alone, I feel compelled to turn off every light behind me, apart for one little bulb burning in the room. This is fine, except when I suddenly need to go to, say, the bathroom, down the darkened hall. Then I must make my way, groping for the lightswitch on the side of the wall. Unless I miss, and walk into the door as I did the other night. Great.

Of course, our home is also heated by electricity. E. and I wage a constant stealthy war at the thermostat. It's the battle between Heat Miser and Cold Miser. He likes to bask in his t-shirt in a balmy room, where I am firmly of the school that one should "Put a sweater on if you're chilly"! I spent all the winters of my childhood shivering by a great hulk of the old coal stove in the basement of my parents' house, since they didn't believe in using the electric heaters, either.

All of this cold and dark is something of a passion-killer, to say the least. Forget about rolling around like greased naked seal pups on a sheepskin rug in front of roaring fire. I want to put on my warmest pajamas, grab a hot water bottle, and crawl under the covers. To sleep until spring. Hibernation, not procreation.

That of course, is directly at odds with the Plan. For those of you just tuning in, a swift recap- we're going to shag like bunnies for the next three months, hope that this last ditch effort at getting pregnant works, failing which we go straight to IUI, do not pass Go, and certainly do not collect two hundred dollars (quite the opposite). However, the bunnies part of the equation hadn't reckoned on the factors like how offputting it is when your beloved hops into bed with feet that are LIKE ICE BLOCKS, dear God, get those away from me this instant. The bunnies part of it overlooked the fact that I am simply not at my alluring best when bundled up in enough layers to pass as a body double for the Michelin Man.

And still, we can but try. I can just about bear it, as long as I can keep my fuzzy socks on. I know it's not sexy, but then again, neither is hypothermia.


At 1:08 PM, Blogger Dee said...

Oh, Mare, the winter sucks! I hate it regardless, but I know I'd hate it more if it were so dark and damp on top of the season. And you're right, fuzzy socks are much sexier than hypothermia. Good luck as you soldier forth with the plan--think eskimos! Be warm in the meantime...I'm sending you some south Florida rays--they should be there in a few months' time (what with crossing the pond and all). Hang in there!

At 2:02 PM, Blogger Soper said...

OMIGOD, D and I had the EXACT same discussion the other day, although now the "bunny" part is out and "terror of an adoption pregnancy" is now the ruling party at our house.

Wouldn't those old-fashioned bloomer panties come in handy? You could stay all covered and warm and still procreate....

At 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You could always turn up the heat and think of the larger heating bill as one of the costs of ART. Putting the x-mas lights back up in the bedroom would give it a festive bordello-like atmosphere, too. In any case, your electric bill cannot be as much as the one months supply of the damn injectable I have just been proscribed. And lets face it, heat will be way more fun than shots. Hee Hee.


At 3:36 PM, Blogger E. said...

Ugh -- I know what you's been dark and bleak here, too. I keep wondering who skipped the January (normally cold but partly sunny) and ordered up some February (cold, rainy and grey, mixed with grey sprinkled with grey).

Maybe you need a pair of those head-to-toe jammies with feet and a flap in the front? :) Good luck bunnying -- I hope that sun comes back soon.

At 4:47 PM, Blogger amyesq said...

hahaha. You need head to toe PJs with cut-outs in the right places! I do know what you mean, though. Believe it or not, it has been super cold and rainy here in SD and I just want to shiver under the covers and not move. Generally August is the most passion-killing month here, where it is so hot the idea of even touching ANY PART of your body against someone else is awful.

Maybe try some wine a one evening of heating. At least around O time. Good luck!

At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The weather here is like London -- cold and dreary in the winter, lots of rain and dark when you get up and dark by 5:00. We have beautiful summer though and it stays light till 10:00 then, so the winters are almost worth it ;)

I'm always cold (sluggish thyroid) and hubby is also from the miserly school of "A room temperature of 62 degrees is perfectly acceptable." Instead of telling me to put a sweater on, he tells me to put a hat on -- no, I'm not kidding -- and even bought me one for xmas (joke of course). I turn the heat up to a much more acceptable 72 degrees. Hey, if I can live with his 'quirk' of never putting the dishes in the dishwasher when it's six inches below where he left the dishes, he can live with this ;)


At 10:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to live in St. Andrews when I was a kid. I remember walking to school in the dark, then walking HOME from school in the dark. And totally FUCKING cold. I think we had some weird coal burning heater, too. Jesus. Hang in there.
hugs, Jen/VintageUterus

At 10:32 PM, Blogger Suz said...

I spent a year in Aberdeen, Scotland and can remember walking home in the winter dark .... at 3pm. We made jokes about having never squinting in Scotland because the sun never, ever shined. But I did like the beer.

At 1:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate being cold. It's definitely an ardor-killer for me. To combat Cold Feet Syndrome I now place a heating pad in by bed prior to climbing in. I realize that this solution requires electricity, but it is fairly minimal and only for a short period of time. you might want to think about it.


At 3:41 PM, Blogger sweetisu said...

I so hear you on the cold.

Here where we live, the sun (ha ha the sun..) rises around 7:45am and sets around 4:30pm. It's been below freezing for *several* weeks now. And this weekend we will have a high of 7F. Yay. Don't ask what the low is. Combine that with wine chill... ugh.

But, I do have a suggestion regarding the icicle feet.

Put a few cups of uncooked rice into a cotton bag (or birdfeeder corn), sew it up, and microwave for 2-5 minutes, per your liking of warmness. It serves as a great heating pad and it retains heat for quite long. And it never leaks, like gel pads.

Or bunny'ing in the shower - turn up the hot water.



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