As my unofficial big brother Ian has already noted, we are in the midst of a heat wave here on the Left Coast of Canada. And we are SO not used to this! We prefer complaining about the rain in winter, not the heat in summer. This is quite the shift for us poor Westerners.
My house isn’t too hot, despite the fact that many of my windows face south. I try to remember to keep those shutters and blinds closed during the day, and when evening rolls around, I can get a pretty good crossbreeze going upstairs because I also have windows that face north, so I can open everything up and let ‘er rip. I have a large and shady north-facing balcony on which to sit and sip a cool beverage in the heat of the afternoon, and a lovely cool basement in which to hang out and watch TV – or nap – if I’m so inclined. Speaking of napping, I have a ceiling fan in my south-facing bedroom, so I’m generally able to sleep okay (other than the usual wee-hours-of-the-morning pee breaks or three-a.m.-menopausal insomnia).
Now, PG lives on the third floor of an apartment building that was constructed in the seventies. His single-paned windows face west. His place is HOT AS HELL (or thereabouts. I can only guess, having never actually experienced the temperatures in Hell. But maybe Egypt in July would be close. THAT I have experienced.)
PG has a ceiling fan in his bedroom, as well as blackout curtains, but up on the third floor of an older, west-facing apartment, that’s not really enough. So he bought himself an air conditioning unit and installed it in his bedroom window on Saturday.
On Saturday night, we had a social function to attend (wow, that sounds like a snooty black-tie charity cocktail party or something! Actually, it was a birthday bbq in a friend’s backyard. Much more to my taste.). The friend lives not too far from PG’s, so it made more sense for me to spend the weekend at his place rather than him to come to my place (my laundry facilities notwithstanding). And I thought this would be wonderful, with his new air con!
And it truly was! His bedroom was wonderfully cool, and he had a floor fan set up to waft some of that coolth (as opposed to “warmth”, get it?) into the living room. It was actually nice in his apartment, considering that it was just over 30 degrees outside.
So we went to the bbq, and got back to PG’s apartment around midnight. It was amazing in there! What a difference 150$ for the air con plus four hours of sweat and labour for the installation makes! I just KNEW I’d sleep well!
PG said he felt quite comfortable, temperature-wise, so he turned off the air con. I was dubious, but since the room was already fairly cool, I figured I’d fall asleep easily and then I wouldn’t notice whether it was on or off.
And that’s exactly what happened. Till I woke up, drenched in a pool of my own sweat, at three a.m. (Yep, the menopausal insomnia, right on time.) I got up, went to the bathroom, then realized that I could just switch the ceiling fan on and all would be well.
And it was. I drifted back to sleep, the gentle breeze of the ceiling fan drying the perspiration off my body.
Till I woke up again, two hours later, drenched in sweat again. Again, I got up and went to the bathroom. When I got back to the bedroom, I realized that the ceiling fan was now off. WTF?!? I turned it back on, and fell back asleep for a couple more hours.
This time the ceiling fan was still on, but I still glared at PG. “Seems to me,” I said slowly, “that if you bought yourself an air conditioner, that you would at least use it.”
He smiled and said something about not using it ALL the time because it’s a “little noisy to sleep with”.
I sat up and looked down at him. “Then,” I hissed, “you should use your ceiling fan. It’s quieter. If you use nothing, it gets VERY EFFING HOT in here. Also, if someone else – LIKE ME! – turns on the ceiling fan in the middle of the night because it’s VERY EFFING HOT in here, you should NOT turn it off!”
He actually laughed. He did. He LAUGHED.
Then I remembered. This turning-off-of-the-air-con has happened before, when we were in Philadelphia three summers ago. This is a pattern with him. This is what he DOES!
I should have taken him out then. I really should have.