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Columnist can't take the heat

By Gloria Diaz

Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!

Fort Wayne Reader


I usually look forward to the arrival of spring. I like it when the daylight lingers; when itís past six p.m. and itís still light out. Everything seems easier in the spring, and in the summer. Iím still like a kid; I still want my summers off. I want a swimming pool. I want to be able to move to Sandusky during the summer so Iím close to Cedar Point.

That being said, these past few weeks Iíve been feeling irritable. Iím irrationally angry. I want to punch someone outóassuming that I can make it out of bed. Iím so tired, and I donít know why. I gave up soda and chocolate for a month, and I didnít lose any weight at all. I should feel better because Iím eating better, but Iím not.

Iím wondering if Iíve grown intolerant of the heat. Dorothy Hamill has the same problem. As soon as summer rolls around, she gets depressed. Sheís not overweight like I am, so I donít think itís my fat thatís the problem. Itís probably part of the problem, but thatís not all of it. Iím past hot flashes. When I had them, they crept up on me, as if someone were turning up the flame on a gas stoveóit was a gradual heat, then it got turned back down. I wish I could do the same with the weather.

I take a sort of schadenfreude--like joy in reading people complaining about the cold on Facebook. Memes of snowmen being stabbed, of wanting to see other seasons clutter my Facebook feed while I wonder what the big deal is all about. I know I sound like a mom here, but there was a Saturday this past February where it was bitterly cold. The kind where the weather authorities predict frostbite and possible death. All I knew is that I had to go to work, and my car was in the shop. Not wanting to inconvenience anyone, I put on twice as many clothes as I usually do (except for bra and underpants) and trudged over ice, and 1/16 scale (or thereabouts) mountain ranges of snow for nearly three miles. When I finally arrived at work, at least three people were horrified that I walked to work, and told me to never, ever do it again.

But I was able to do it. I wasnít scared, because it wasnít like I was out in the wilderness or anything. It wasnít like a short story I read last semester, about a guy walking out in the middle of nowhere during super-cold weather who fell into a stream, and tried to build a fire only to have snow fall off a tree and put it out. Eventually he froze to death, and the dog who was hanging out with him and thought he was a dumbass for being out in weather like that, went back to camp. I was trudging along a main thoroughfare and didnít really worry, although I got a better workout that I expected from trying not to fall. (Mountain climbing, even over four foot tall mountains, is a workout.)

So now, Iím sitting in bed with my fan on full blast. I will probably invest in a portable air conditioner this summer. The window unit I have in the living room does a decent job of cooling down the whole house, but it can get expensive, especially since itís on the other side of the house from my room. The day I get central air, my house will probably stay at an average of 60 degrees from May to late September. I love a cold bedroom for sleeping. I love it when itís so cold outside, that when I turn on the taps in the house, the water is so cold, I expect ice cubes to come out. Then, I take a drink and itís almost as if Iíve been punched in the neck. Late spring and summer water is disappointing. It seems like itís almost room temperature coming out of the tap, and if I set a glass of water on the lamp table for ten minutes, it radiates a bath waterótype heat. Then I put it in the freezer and hope I can remember to take it out before it freezes solid.

Itís depressing. I look forward to summeróCedar Point, evenings of grilling out in the backyard wearing a t-shirt and shorts, swimming, the gardening, the extra daylight. Every year, summer seems to hold potential and hope. Right now, Iím not seeing it. Iím grumpy and irritated and I just want to stay in bed and get online and watch reruns of (God help me) Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. I know I said I had no interest in watching that show. But Iím disgusted with everything and everyone it seems, Iím about ready to snap, and watching a bunch of hillbillies with bad nutritional habits, weird nicknames, helps my self-righteous, ďeveryone sucks but meĒ mood.

I hope I feel better. I hope whatever is causing this blah-ness clears itself up. Until cooler weather shows up, I think Iíd better get a portable air conditioner and look at my snowstorm pictures to help calm me down. Everyone will be going on about how nice the weather is. Iíll try my best not to complain about how Iím dripping sweat even though Iím just sitting on the couch. And then, when fall turns to winter and everyone is sick of winter before Christmas rolls around, Iíll think about the snow, and how quiet it seems when thereís a blanket of white stuff on the ground and how something like weather, despite all of our technology, can still control us, kick our butts, make us miserable, and kill us.

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