One of the benefits of my job is that I get to take college courses for free, so I’ll often take an undergrad course here or there as they strike my fancy: History of Hollywood, Queer Theory, Philosophy of Sex, etc. Some meet in person, while others are online. I’m taking two film courses this term, both of which meet at night, meaning I don’t usually get home until around 10:00pm on the days I have class (this isn’t a problem, since I live about a 20-minute walk from the university.)
This past Tuesday, after a long day of work and class, I opened the door to our apartment to find it pitch-black. Ripley sniffed me and licked the sweat off my legs.
“Honey?” I called. No response. I though maybe Lance had gone to the gym, though if Ripley’s roaming freely in the apartment, it usually means Lance is home.
I went to the kitchen to pour myself a glass of water. It was hot and humid outside, the first long stretch of muggy summer days we’ve had this year in Philadelphia. It was hot in our apartment too; unfortunately, our unit is so new, the landlord still hasn’t finished installing the central air conditioner yet, so several hot days in a row had turned our apartment into a sweatbox.
I opened the refrigerator to grab the Brita pitcher, only to find a dirty plate and silverware on the middle shelf. There was a dirty baking sheet on the stove as well.
“Are you kidding me?” I asked aloud. As much as I hate cooking (due to lack of skill), Lance hates doing the dishes (as discussed before), and usually just leaves them in the sink for me to take care of later…though, something about going so far as to put them in the refrigerator (for what purpose?) really irked me.
The light was on in the bedroom, so I went down the hall, Ripley sniffing behind me. I opened the door to find Lance sprawled out on the top of the bed, down to nearly his underwear, a low-grade, painful moan escaping his lips.
“Uhhh…” Lance sighed, his eyes glased, half-open.
I put my hands on my hips. “Did you seriously put your dishes in the fridge instead of the dishwasher?”
“It…it’s too hot…to empty the dishwasher…uh…” Lance whispered, and then practically fainted from heat exhaustion.
“Ugh,” I responded, throwing my hands in the air and leaving the room.
The dishes in the dishwasher were clean, true, so it would’ve required five more minutes of effort to put those dishes away before reloading the dishwasher with the ONE dirty dish and TWO pieces of silverware. I did this myself, banging around in the kitchen just loud enough to signify my frustration with my beautifully dramatic husband.
“If you’re trying to make a point,” Lance shouted from the bedroom, “I don’t care!”
Okay, okay, so let me get this straight. It wasn’t too hot to turn on the oven and heat up some Purdue chicken fingers, but it was too hot to empty the dishwasher?
Y’see, Lance hates feeling hot. He completely shuts down, system failure, like an overheated computer. He ceases to function when it gets above 80 degrees, turning instead into the world’s laziest zombie.
He must have an internal body temperature some 5-10 degrees higher than mine–he gets warm and starts sweating profusely while I’m still wrapped up in a sweatshirt, shivering. The fact we haven’t gotten divorced over the thermostat already is something of a miracle.
Our current lack of air conditioning has made him (and Lance would admit) an irritable grouch, to the point where I’ve encouraged him to stay with friends as it will make everybody’s lives a little easier. He stays cool and in better spirits, and I won’t have to experience his grumpy, perspiring wrath.
That’s the key to a successful relationship, friends: knowing when your husband needs to sleep elsewhere to keep cool…and keep the peace!