Monday, September 08, 2008

That Which Got Cold by Accident

Does anyone remember “The Iceman”?

People tell me I look young. And most do not believe me when I do tell them my real age. I suppose this sounds like a blessing. Truth be told, at times it is. Many others it is not. This bit of information is very important to this blog entry. I figured for a long time that I have some good genes in my family. I have come to find that genetic dispositions are not the case. I know many women who would give anything to find the fountain-of-youth. But, I believe my parents actually found the answer. Believe it or not, it's free.

Most of you may not know that I am from a state in the great white north. I wasn’t born in that state, but I essentially grew up there. This is not insignificant. Why? Because winters are freakishly cold. They are what I call “abnormally arctic.” No humans (or even animals for that matter) should have to sustain these sub-freezing temperatures.

For example, the state I grew up in has consecutive days of zero to subzero conditions. That is not normal. It’s just cruel and unusual. And, let me reiterate the crotchety coldness of the cold in this area of the US in case you underestimate: the average mean temperature for these winters is between 14 and 18 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius to -7.78 degrees Celsius) during the winter, which is 8 months long. This does not even factor in the wind-chill either. I can’t even begin to go there. . . .

I’ve been irrevocably damaged!

Where is the Texaconsin Diva going with this? Let me begin by telling you a story. I like being cold at night. I believe I sleep better. Also, I don't sweat. I'm too much the princess for that. Or this odd phenomenon could be reminiscent of my childhood, teen and young adult years in the great white north.

As I embark on this narrative, I need to tell you that my family moved when I was 11-years-old. What were traumatic about that specifically were the winters. Especially at night.

Each night during the months of cold, I slept with an electric blanket set to high, 4-goose down comforters and a 20-pound ancient; some might even classify it as antique, blanket made by my great grandmother's own hands. That blanket was a tank built to last and was one tough coverlet. Each winter morning I dreaded to push that first leg out from the covers. It was freakishly freezing in that room. For example, if I went to my room at night with a full glass of ice water, in the morning there would be the same amount of ice in my glass. The ice cubes did not change. The ice cubes did not melt. The ice cubes remained strong in number. There would also be frost growing up the insides of my windows every. single. morning. One might think this is absolutely horrifying. And also, that I am exaggerating. It is. And, I am not.

Read on.

Why, you ask, did I not do anything? I did. I told my parents each and every winter day that my room was a bit nippy. Their collective response was along the lines of, “your room is furthest from the furnace. It’s going to be the coldest.” Which did not make much sense of anything to me, because my brother's room was right next to mine - neck-in-neck - and his was always deliciously warm. But, for years and years and years I settled in to live this way each and every winter. Believing my parents words as if God Himself spoke to me.

.. . . . Shoish! I am not a drama-queen! . . . . .

A few years later, I moved out. A few more years later, I moved to a city south of our current Longhorn City. . . .

Four years after that, which was five years ago now, I found myself having a conversation with my father on the telephone. He had called me. He was laughing and asked, “Remember how you always said your room was cold in the winters?” I had some trepidation in answering, because I was not entirely sure where this might be going or even where it was coming from and I grudgingly said, “Yes . . .” My father continued, “Well, your mother and I were cleaning out the basement the other day and we found vents for each of the bedrooms. The vents are the one’s that provide the heat from the furnace to every room in the house . . . .”

I began to shudder as I understood what was about to befall me as my father continued ". . . . yours has been entirely shut since the day we moved in here when you were 11-years-old!” He started giggling uncontrollably once more as I heard my mother in the background, "I told you not to tell her."


You see, I’ve been pre-eternally preserved in growing up in the great white north winters by sleeping in a sub arctic sub zero temperature bedroom.

It has nothing to do with having good genes.


Princess of the Universe said...

I was about to make a comment about how you don't know ANYthing about cold winters until you've lived on the Canadian Prairies (well I guess I did make the comment just now didn't I?)

But the point is - well at least I had heat in my bedroom.
That is both awful and hilarious!
But you look great! :)

Jen said...

I figured Canadians would absolutely understand the pain that's been inflicted upon me growing up!

See? The cold preservation worked! I suppose my parents think they did me a favor? Hmpf. It was cold man, it was cold.

It's funny NOW. . .

Jason X said...

I spent a couple years of my youth in Alaska. Not only was I cold, but depressed because the sun didn't rise for 4 months. The good news is, a couple months in the summer the sun didn't set. I was no longer depressed, though I was sleep deprived... I feel your pain...

Psychgrad said...

I can really relate to this. I slept with flannel sheets, a heating blanket on high and a down cover or two. I thought I liked the weight, turns out - just don't like being cold.

Chief Rock Chef said...

Not sure that argument holds water - Eskimo women don't tend to look that hot ;-)

MissE said...

So it would be wrong that I'm reading about how cold it gets and thinking to myself how lovely that sounds?

Coz I love the cold.
LOVE it.

Admittedly, I also happen to love having a way of warming up a room while the cold stays outside... so I can totally understand why it would have sucked to have a freezing cold room growing up and peeved you more than a little to discover that there was a very specific reason for that little situation.

Jen said...

Jason x: Perspective is everything isn't it?! At least I can say, "I've never lived in Alaska" 'cos I know that would royally screw me up way worse.

psychgrad: I used to think it was the weight of the blankets too! Yeah, notsomuch. Boo to cold.

chief rock chef: but I like Eskimo kisses!

missE: I live where it's mostly warm now and I do have to say, I do like when it's cooler out - opening the house, sitting in the fresh air, etc.; however, it's not 30-below zero. In. My. Room.

Z said...

Ha! That might explain some things for me, too - except, well, I choose the cold. Well, now I do. As a child? I think my parents turned the heating system off to the kids bedrooms in case we "accidentally burned something" on the radiators - hmmm... Brainwashing? Perhaps...

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