I am ever so slightly turning into my aunt, who would leave the heat turned low on even the most frigid of days. It’s not about saving money (though, with the Philly gas price hike, it should be) so much as it is about human endurance.
I can endure my house at 57 degrees in a light jacket and jeans and stay quite comfortable. Is my quality of life going to rise commeasurately with the temperature if i eek it up a mere 10 degrees to 67? Or, if i plunge myself into debt to attain a summery 70 or 71? Will i have acheived a perfect state of bliss if i can wonder around in shorts, eating ice cream without threatening to shiver myself off of the sofa?
Today Elise’s step-sister came through Philadelphia with a college friend from Oregon. The two of them snatched me up on my street as i arrived home from work, before i could get my key in the door. We did a sort of remedial tour of Philadelphia landmarks under Broad street, which included a trip to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.
I was hesitant to join them at first, being the jaded Philadelphia lifer that I am, but there was something special about being in those places so nearly empty – without the school kids that usually pack them full. Somehow it seemed more real to walk inside from the cold to these empty, echoing rooms wondering which of our founding fires got to sit the closest to the fireplace. Because, if the day was cold, the Continental Congress certainly would be – there’s not too much to those walls.
That thought sustained my negligence of our heater through the evening, but it hasn’t carried me through to fitful sleep. Our bedroom, an addition to the house, hangs precipitously over our back door, my side of the bed exposed to the bitter elements on five sides. Even at my most endurant iron-man moment my resolve to avoid using our heat evaporates upon entry into the bedroom – especially without Elise and her heating pad to huddle up against to osmose some warmth.
It is wooshing now, up from the basement and through snaking ducts, making its way into the frigid bedroom in a futile attempt to ward off the cold surrounding our bed from almost every side. Not futile because it won’t get warm, mind you, but futile because i am much more likely to fall asleep on the couch while watching a movie than to wait until the bedroom gets warm before going to sleep.
I’m sure Ben Franklin had much heavier pajamas than me, anyhow.