I think my husband is a grizzly bear. And I’m not just talking about his snoring or the way he hibernates in his man cave for what seems like days on end. I’m talking about heat retention.
You can see the difference in our temperature preferences in many ways: I want to go on a Caribbean cruise; he wants to go on an Alaskan cruise. He likes the horrible feeling of a fan blowing cold wind in his face; I prefer to not live life with dried-out eyes and chapped cheeks. I own more fleece jackets; he owns more t-shirts. But the best way to measure this point of contention in our marriage?
I know I’m not alone here. Countless women across the nation head for bed as if they’re on an arctic camping trip. Long johns. Fuzzy socks. I even have one friend who sleeps in a thick, fleece robe – worn over a long sleeve shirt and pants. Thousands of wives find themselves sleeping under layers upon layers of comforters and quilts, like a reverse Princess and the Pea set up.
And don’t get me started on the next morning. My hygiene suffers on a regular basis because I can hardly find the will to emerge from my cocoon of covers, much less expose my naked body to the frigid temperatures of the tiled shower. Knowing that the water would eventually thaw me out doesn’t replace the fear that I will be just degrees away from one of those Bear Grylls’ episodes where he skinny-dips in places like Siberia.
So, why are we the ones made to suffer here? The ones spending precious dollars on heated blankets and space heaters? Why are we forced to take drastic measures, like sneaking back out of bed to change the temperature on the thermostat? As men who at some point probably gave up their coats to keep us warm on a date, why the sudden lack of concern for our unending goosebumps?
From a husband’s perspective, it probably really isn’t lack of concern. My own grizzly bear cites much more practical (albeit discreditable) reasons for the cold temperature of our home, and we’ll tackle them one at a time:
- “You can always put more clothes on if you’re cold. I can’t take them off if I’m hot.” Um, right. Because doing the dishes in my puffy winter coat is so easy. And bathing a toddler while wearing a scarf and mittens? Sure, sounds like a walk in the park.
- “Yes honey, I know the side by the window is colder, but I need to sleep between you and the door for security reasons.” OK, that does sound noble and all. But at this point, I think the adrenaline rush I would get from fighting off an intruder would actually warm me up, therefore making us both (at least for a few moments) comfortable. Well, from a temperature perspective, at least. Probably in no other way.
- “We will save so much money this way!” Uh, huh. OK Mr. Frugal, where is this reasoning during the summer months, when we crank the AC until it shudders under the pressure of trying to keep up with your cool temperature demands?
So, how do we combat this? Unfortunately, my advice is limited. But here’s what I’ve got:
- Get pregnant. You should probably have many other reasons for bringing a child into the world before attempting this, but I think it’s totally acceptable for this one to be on the list. And I know from experience – the thermostat battles were put on hold for those blissful nine months.
- Breastfeed as long as possible. OK, so yes, there are a billion other reasons to do this. But I’m almost positive I was warmer during the year+ that I nursed my son. Bonus!
- Use the baby. I really did have my baby’s best interest at heart when we purchased the Gro Egg for our newborn’s nursery. It was just icing on the cake when I realized it was a concrete way to guilt my husband into keeping the house a bit warmer! We settled on a temperature range that included the upper-end of the yellow and lower-end of the orange. The lower end of the “Recommended” range is a chilly 61 degrees, which we both thought was a bit ridiculous. My guess? The Gro Egg was designed by a grizzly bear man. (Disclaimer: Keeping a room too warm is a SIDS risk. Watch out for the red color on the Gro Egg.)
Shivering women of the world: How do you stay warm when your hubby wants to set the temperature to match that of the Frozen Realm of Arendelle?
The Next Installment in the Series… Window Battles: How one man’s stubbornness blinds him to the fact that Kansas City weather is NOT “windows open” weather just because the calendar date is in March.