Fire and Ice: Marriage and Menopause

5 years ago

I noticed something the other day. Something that my husband has been saying for a handful of years, but I dismissed because I thought he was either exaggerating or is a big sissy. He wasn’t and he’s not.

It’s freaking freezing in here.

When I was a kid, I was oddly intrigued by stories of people who spontaneously combusted. I was mesmerized and horrified by the phenomenon, and ate up tales of little old ladies who were sitting in rocking chairs one minute and reduced to piles of ash the next. As I approached 45, I wondered if maybe my childhood obsession with spontaneous combustion was nature’s way of preparing me for my destiny.

What? That surprises you? C’mon, you people know me. Do you really think there’s any possibility that I started out super-cool and then morphed into this? Nope. Not a chance. This level of dorkdom takes years and years to cultivate.

Anyway, it’s been freezing in my house for five years. The furnace works perfectly, but from about my forty-fifth birthday to the one where I crossed the half-century mark, I had the thermostat set to coldish during the day and just above where the pipes might freeze for nighttime. And for a good chunk of those years, I was still broiling. Light cotton shorts and spaghetti-strap camis while everyone else grabbed heavy sweaters kind of broiling.

We have a fairly regular bedtime routine here at Casa de Nerd. I snag the bathroom first and then set the alarm and crawl into bed, with the hubs following close behind. Again, until recently (seeing a pattern here?), I felt like Arizona in August while he shivered like an elderly Eskimo on an ice floe. He’d snuggle in close, probably just for the body heat, and I was always a little taken aback by the temperature of his skin when he draped a frozen arm across my torso. On more than one occasion, I mentioned that I thought he might have a circulation disorder. Sometimes, this observation amused him. Sometimes, not so much.

About a year ago, I started wearing seasonally appropriate clothing again. Last fall, I wore a jacket outside on the same days that normal people did. And then a few weeks ago, I grabbed a blanket to snuggle up with when the hubs and I settled in to watch Modern Family and Revenge.


Just the other day, I put a sweater on. An honest to goodness sweater. On. My. Body. Then, still a little chilled, I clicked the heat up a few degrees. I saw the look on my husband’s face: disbelief mixed with joy. My hubby is happy. The folks at the gas company will definitely be happy. And me? I’m happy, too.

It’s freaking freezing in here. How great is that?

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