When Nice and Hot Turns Into Cranky Hot
I can’t remember ever being this cranky hot. I know, last week I was feeling all nostalgic about hot summer days, fishing with Grampy Gilbert, but this is too much! We’re in Maine, for God sakes! It’s not supposed to be this hot for this long. We’re not equipped to handle it. It’s like when some place down south gets an inch of snow, and it puts a monkey wrench in everything. That’s what it feels like here in Mahoosuc Mills. Everybody’s discombobulated.
Charlie and me have air-conditioning in our bedroom, of course, but the rest of the house never really cools down. And humid! Try putting on makeup in this weather. It just slides around on your face. And my poor hair! I need some height in my crown area, but lately, by the time I get to work, I’m looking like a deflated soufflé.
So on Friday, I was ringing out “Miss Contrary-about-everything” herself, Claudia Peavey, and of course she was going on about the heat.
“It’s wretched out there, Ida!”
“You got to admit, though, it ain’t bad in here,” I says.
Thank goodness the A&P is air-conditioned. What a difference it makes! You can almost see it on people’s faces when they walk in. They perk up. I know I do. All of a sudden, my brain starts working again (though my hair is still hopeless). That said, all this heat makes folks feel skanky, and that makes them cranky.
So work has been wearing me out, because let’s face it: it takes a lot of energy to be nice to people who aren’t being nice to you. When I get home, I am niced-out. I mean, I have nothing left. I try not to take it out on Charlie, but it’s hard. He’s such a handy target! He gets home from the mill to find me collapsed on the bed, fully dressed, legs hanging off the end with the air-conditioning cranking, and he looks at me and asks, “Any thoughts on dinner?”
Heck, the last thing I feel like doing in the heat is cooking. I don’t really feel like eating, either, (which is a minor miracle). Now, with that combination, you’d think I’d be losing weight, but trouble is, I’m totally unmotivated to exercise. Worse, I’ve been “self-medicating” with Peanut Buster Parfaits. They help my morale, but I’m starting to feel kind of jiggly.
“Charlie,” I tell him. “How ‘bout we get something down to the Brew-ha-ha?”
That works for us, but it doesn’t much help poor Scamp. I just haven’t been walking him as much as he’s used to. What with him panting all the time, I don’t have the heart. Sometimes I wet him down in the kiddy pool we have for that purpose, and he perks up a bit, but the humidity’s got him cranky, too. He actually nipped at the washing machine repair guy yesterday. That went over the line. I zipped him into his crate, pronto, but a couple of minutes later I look, and his nose is sticking out where he’d managed to undo the stitching on the zipper. That little bugger!
So as I say, I was ringing out Claudia Peavey who, despite having spent a good half-hour shopping in the air-conditioned splendor of the A&P, was still complaining about the heat. “Oh, It won’t last forever,” I says, “and it’s nice to have a break from it in here.”
To which she replies, “Yeah, but it just makes it feel hotter when you go back outside.”
“You know what, Claudia? You’re right!”
First, we didn’t have a winter. Then we had monsoon rains in the spring, followed by a mind-numbing heat wave this summer. As if that weren’t strange enough, I found myself actually agreeing with Claudia Peavey! What’s next? Locusts?
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
(Listen to the podcast of Ida's column here.)