Sunday, June 27, 2010

On becoming a hearty Midwesterner....

This weekend it was hot. It was Kentucky hot. As a matter of fact, it was Kentucky humid as hell. Saturday it was so incredibly humid that my glasses would fog up every time I stepped outside. I broke out in a sweat doing nothing more strenuous than sitting in a chair outside. It was miserable. Of course, Saturday was the day we had planned Sophie and Nicky’s 4th birthday party and our second annual Pride barbecue….both of which were outdoor events. All of our brave family and friends endured the heat to come celebrate with us. Everyone, that is, except my uncle who was going to do the grilling for me. Unfortunately for me, he wasn’t feeling well, so I ended up manning the grill….sweat pouring off of every inch of my body. QUITE attractive, I might add.

After everyone had left the party that evening, which had been cut unfortunately short by a thunderstorm, Ruanita and I noticed that the house was quite muggy. The thermostat was reading 80 degrees, but I didn’t think much about it because we had had the back door open and people running in and out all afternoon and evening. We shut the back door and went to bed, assuming that the air conditioner would eventually catch up and start cooling the house during the night. At about 5:00am...maybe a little earlier...I was awakened by Ruanita hovering over me whispering my name. She looked rather exasperated and announced, "The air conditioner is broken. I am going downstairs because I am sweating like crazy. Don't get up. Go back to sleep." Ok...first and foremost...if you really wanted me to continue sleeping and not worry about the air conditioner, then why oh WHY did you wake me up? At 5:00 in the morning, no less?! I had been having no trouble sleeping. As a matter of fact, I was not hot. I was not sweating. I was peacefully dreaming in the early morning. Of course, once Ruanita woke me up, I could not go back to sleep. I got up and went down to look at the air conditioner. Working at a heating and cooling company, one would think I would have garnered a few gems of knowledge regarding the workings of an air conditioner. However, I have not. I have managed through the last four years to maintain the complete ignorance regarding all things mechanical that I proudly displayed on my first day on the job. So...after confirming that the AC was, indeed, not working (and confirming that I, indeed, knew nothing about how to fix it), I sat down in the living room to watch Ruanita toss and turn and moan and complain about the heat while laying on the couch covered up with a fleece blanket. No, it made no sense to me either. Eventually, Ruanita decided that there was no way she was going back to sleep (yea...welcome to my world) and decided to watch a movie. All of the children were still peacefully snoozing, obviously as oblivious to the heat as I had been a few short minutes before. She popped the Netflix disc into the Wii to see what we had that we could watch instantly. She settled on Michael Jackson: This Is It. I watched it with her for a while. Regardless of what you think about MJ, he was extremely talented and made some amazing music. That being said, 5:00 in the morning was a little too early for moon-walking and crotch-grabbing, as far as I was concerned. I eventually went back upstairs to snuggle in my bed with Sophie, who had come to our bed at some point during the night (of course).

Sunday, the weather had cooled off a bit. However, it was still warm enough that the temperature never dropped below 80 degrees in my house the entire day. Once I got out of bed and started moving around, the heat hit me full force. I learned a valuable lesson about myself yesterday. I am one cranky woman when I get hot. When you combine the heat with the PMS that is creeping up on me, I was hell on wheels yesterday! My poor children. Ruanita was sweating constantly all day. Of course, she wouldn't sit down to cool off because she had too many "chores" that apparently could not wait until the AC was fixed. I, however, had no problem sitting down in the living room most of the day. Regardless, I was still hot and sweaty and cranky. If I were a tiny bit braver, I would have just sat around in my underwear all day like my children did. Unfortunately, the windows and door were open and I really couldn't justify subjecting my innocent neighbors to that sight no matter how hot I was. Finally, after taking the kids to see How to Train Your Dragon at the cheapy theater (ahhhhh...air conditioning), we went to Wal-mart and spent $26 on a tall oscillating fan. It was the best $26 I think I've ever spent in my life. We sat the fan up in the living room and spent the evening sitting right in front of it. At bedtime, it came upstairs with us and sat smack-dab at the foot of our bed. I actually got chilly sleeping last night, between the oscillating fan at the foot of the bed,the ceiling fan, and the box fan Ruanita had placed in our bedroom window. Today, our AC will be fixed.

Yes, I am weak. I spent the first 25 years of my life in Kentucky. There are few places on this Earth more sticky, humid, and just plain unpleasant in the summer. However, I don't remember the heat being an issue growing up. I hardly noticed it back then. Now, I go to Kentucky to visit and I can barely catch my breath. At some point during the twelve years I have been in Minnesota, I have become soft. I have become a weakling. I have become....gulp...a hearty Midwesterner. I can handle subzero temperatures and four feet of snow. I can live with icicles taller than I am dangling from the side of my house. I have become an expert at dressing in layers. I have learned to speak like a true Minnesotan, using terms such as "broomball," "ice dams," and "wind chill factor." Terms that were foreign to me a little over a decade ago. I have come to the point that I can appreciate hockey and ice fishing. Ok...perhaps "appreciate" is a bit strong. Let's just say that I no longer think hockey players and people who ice fish are raving lunatics. I even briefly considered naming my son Sven....though I eventually thought better of even suggesting it to Ruanita. So see....I can do winter. However, throw a little heat my way and I crumble. I melt. I dissolve into a puddle of curse words and sweat.

I have to face the facts. I have to admit what I have become. My name is Shannon and I am a hearty Midwesterner. I suppose there are worse things in life than being a Minnesotan. I could be a Hoosier. ;)


Jennifer said...

Its Freakin HOT In Kentucky! I'm pretty sure I got sun poisoning last Monday... it still with me.

heatherw said...

OK - take back the comment about being a Hoosier! You're a wimp, the summers in Nashville are even worse than KY. It's just the damned humidity - it pulls every ounce of energy out of human body and makes you into a blob on the floor.

Sorry MN is so KY-like lately. Hope your AC is fixed today! At least you can bump yourself up in the list, right?

Shannon Ralph said...

Heather--My Hoosier comment was just for you, baby! ;)

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