Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I Wish I Were A Camel......

So, as most of you may or may not know, I live with my Grandpa. We're roommates. And it's a trip.

Most days we have a great time. I do the laundry and the dishes and I make sure he eats more than cream horns for a full meal, he takes the trash out and deals with mice and spiders for me, and we watch Lawrence Welk together every Sunday. Except for when they decide to replace Lawrence with some stupid special like "Folk Favorites" and then Bullet is not impressed. But don't worry, he's got Lawrence on video so on those weeks, we just watch those. Any other night of the week you can find us watching the Dean Martin specials. He also owns every one on VHS or DVD, which is about 57 different tapes, but if you thought he watched more than just two of them over and over again, well then you've never been to Bob Ford's....because if you stop by, it's guaranteed you'll catch the episode roasting the Merchant of Venom, what's his name, Morgan Lea? Don Rickles. And that drunk....I laugh every time, Morgan Lea. What is his name, I'm having a stupidity attack (fist to forehead). Foster Brooks.

We go through this routine at least two or three times a week.

Like I said, most days he is my best buddy. But there are a few things we don't necessarily see eye to eye on. Molly Margaret would be #1. #2 and #3 would be the air conditioner and food. Wasting either of the two are severe infractions in Bullet Bob's eyes.

Today we are going to start with the air conditioner. 

At the age of 89.5, Bullet is somewhat cold natured.  It can be 110 in the shade outside and he'll have on a long sleeve shirt and his ear muffs while he's mowing. At night, in the summer or winter, he sleeps with a regular sheet, a heated blanket, a plush blanket, his comforter, AND a fitted heated blanket. There are only about 3 or 4 weeks out of any given year that at least one heated blanket isn't turned on. That's probably why Buddy loves him so much, he likes to cover up more than any other dog I've ever met.

At the tender age of 24, I'm not so cold natured. And there are times when I'm confident that I am hitting menopause early because I have raging hot flashes. I would rather be cold than hot. I love the summer best out of all the seasons, but body temperature wise, I would always rather set it at too chilly, because you can always add layers. Plus, I've never really found it to be a pleasurable past time to feel like I was hiking through the desert on a camel wearing a parka and moon boots with only three sips of water from one side of the Sahara to the other.

So basically, if the temperature reaches 75 degrees outside and the air quits moving, you can bet my air conditioner is getting turned on. This actually pains me to a certain degree, because I love having the windows open and opening up the house with all the fresh air. I do not however enjoy sweating my skin off. So the air conditioner wins. However, there are days when even the doors open are too much. The front porch is screened in and one of my favorite things about spring, summer and fall are the days where it's nice enough to have the front porch door open so we can go out and sit on the swing or have the fresh air through the house.  Any more than much of a breeze though and he'll lock that up and throw away the key, too. Homeboy is NOT a fan of being cold.

If there was ever a time I thought we might not make it as roommates, it was when summer rolled around.  We had a nice and rainy spring, so we did well for months because we were able to have the house open.  Even into the first few weeks of summer it wasn't able to get too miserable because it rained so much and it always kept a nice breeze. But then the heat set in. For about two weeks straight it was no less than 100 degrees outside.

At that point, he did turn on the air, so you might think the problems were over, but think again. Bullet runs the philosophy that if you aren't in the area that the air conditioner is cooling, then you really don't need the air conditioner to be on. So, during the day, the air in the bedrooms would be turned off. And at night, the downstairs unit would be turned off until morning. Or, if you left for the day you turned off the air before you walked out the door. But Bullet is used to living with my Grandma. She wasn't near as cold natured as him, but the heat didn't bother her as much when he'd get to flipping switches. 

Me, on the other hand, I am certain I now know what the depths of Hell must feel like. Sometimes he'll turn off the air when he leaves to go out and work for the day and not really think about it and I'm still home. So, all of the sudden I will feel like my skin is melting off and I can't figure out why. He's just turned off the unit. 

I think in his head, he thinks he's saving money. I've tried to explain to him that it's actually more efficient to turn on the air and leave it at a consistent temperature than to continually turn it on and off because it's constantly having to work to cool everything down again.  He either doesn't care or doesn't listen. Either way this is not good for me. I could fry an egg off my left thigh in the middle of some summer days. Meanwhile, Grandpa is in his chair with his heated blanket over his legs. No. Lie.

There are two things I can't do and be friendly about it when I am that hot and that is get ready to go somewhere or try to sleep. Even if I take a shower first, it doesn't do me any good by the time I actually get ready to go because you need a shower again and all my make up is melting off my face like I'm Mrs. Doubtfire or something. My hair sticks to my forehead like a whore in church, my eye shadow gloops together, and my arm pits smell like Muddy Waters' feet. Nothing puts me in a worse mood. It generally ends up in me having a complete emotional breakdown because I'm so frustrated and I'm basically sweating my balls off.  If I had any.

Sleeping is no different. Although the make up isn't an issue, the sweating is. I can't be comfortable when I'm sweating, especially when I'm trying to sleep, which means I don't sleep. I actually thought I had this problem solved though because I got my own window unit for my room. I thought it was a brilliant solution because he could control his room and I could control mine. No. He just goes and shuts mine off when I'm not paying attention. One day he actually shut it off while I was still in bed. He came in my room to let the dogs out and found it to be a bit chilly so he shut it off. Never mind the fact that he immediately walked back out of the room and shut the door so it being chilly no longer affected him.  Don't let him fool you, he's a sneaky little devil.

At one point this was also an issue for the animals. I have never had fur, so I can't say for sure, but I would think that being stuck inside a closed up house with no air flow is less than ideal. Poor Lola would pant and breathe like she'd just tackled a line backer. Molly would start heaving and having reverse sneezes....which she only gets when she gets too hot. Buttercup and Buffy just dealt with it, almost like they were used to it. But I knew it was bad when they were all but knocking me down to get OUTSIDE because it was cooler out in the sun than it was on the couch.

Most of you are probably thinking there are other alternatives, like a fan. Well, that would be a novel idea. Except any fans in the house get turned off once he realizes they are on. He doesn't so much have a beef with the air flow as much as he does the fact that they blow his papers off his desk or his newpaper off the kitchen table. And let me just clarify that his newspapers...let's just say, like many other things, he doesn't like throwing them away, so if I didn't do it on the sly, there would be newspapers from 1903 hanging out around the house. And his looks like an atomic bomb hit it on any given day of the week.....a piece of paper being blown on the floor would not affect his organization system, I can assure you.

The good part about all of this is that I tend to keep a later schedule than Bullet. He goes to bed at a pretty decent hour.  Even though he doesn't go straight to sleep, he goes and lays upstairs and watches tv, which leaves the downstairs unattended and he usually doesn't know until the next morning that I've turned it back on to keep things tolerable. But, that is a double edged sword for me, too.  He is always up before me and by the time I'm up and moving he's already mowed two yards and caught something on fire, so he's had plenty of time to turn off the air conditioner and let the house get to sweltering temperatures. 

After a few weeks he figured out my game anyway. I came home one night and couldn't figure out why the air wouldn't turn on. I pushed every button I could find. I eventually went to another window unit and tried that one. It didn't work either. No coincidence. Sly had unplugged them. By golly, if I was going to get that air back on, he was going to make me work for it!

Throughout the last few months, I can say I think we've gotten on a better routine. He doesn't mess with air in my bedroom anymore. He only makes quick comments on how cold it is in there, but doesn't touch any buttons. I don't mess with the air in his and as far as downstairs.....well we just constantly chase each other to turn it on or off.  I actually came home today and he'd turned it on himself!

Plus, I dug out my cool portable air conditioner named Larry that you can just take with you from room to room. It's genius. And if you're wondering, his name is Larry after my boss from my waterpark days.

And just like Larry.....I like to keep it cool when it's hot.

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