Fall is here; the signs are everywhere. Leaves are turning, pumpkin spice has taken over the world, and I’m wrapped up in sweaters and blankets. Actually, to be fair, that last one isn’t really specific to fall, because one of my spiritual gifts is my ability to be cold in any season and any temperature.
The nice thing about fall, though, is that everyone else is finally starting to acknowledge that it’s actually a little chilly. During the summer, I shiver alone, always carrying a sweater in preparation for the deep freeze of cranked-up AC units and ignoring the weird looks from sweaty passers-by. I mean, I get warm, too, but it takes me about two seconds to get cooled off again, and then I don’t need the AC anymore. When I drive in the summer alone, I turn the AC on in two-second intervals, which, while probably terrible for the car, is perfect for me.
I’m not so lucky when I drive with others, though, especially with certain siblings of mine who are ridiculously warm-blooded (because apparently no one in my family has the ability to properly regulate their body temperature). There was one specific summer road trip with my brother that revealed beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are not compatible driving partners. He had the AC on full blast while I covered myself in sweaters and fleeces and tried to turn the AC off when he wasn’t paying attention. I’m grateful that my husband is more normal and more lenient when it comes to the temperature in the car, or we probably wouldn’t be married.
Dave also is more willing to turn up the thermostat in the house than my dad was growing up. (If we said we were cold, his response was some variation of, “Well, how many pairs of socks do you have on?”). The result is that even though I always need a sweater and my slippers, I don’t wear quite as many coats (as in, my winter coat) and robes around the house as I used to. You’ll probably find me wearing a coat at church or at work, though. Honestly, I could probably wear the same outfit to church every Sunday all winter and no one would know because I never take off my jacket.
There is one time of day where my body actually functions and warms me up, and that’s overnight. This is unfortunate because as it gets colder, I pile on blankets on top of my bed before I go to sleep because I’m freezing. But then I wake up sweaty and gross because, what do you know, I actually got warm, and then too warm. So I kick off all of the blankets. And THEN I get the chills from being sweaty, and so I put all the blankets back on again. Repeat ad nauseum.
There are some good things about always being cold, I guess. For one thing, I have an extensive sweater, blanket, and mug collection (the better to drink warm beverages with). Also, it gives me a built-in excuse to cuddle with Dave (in fact, the first time he ever put his arm around me was to try to warm me up -- how convenient!). Plus, I feel like shivering has to burn at least some calories; I have a built-in workout every day! I can take that along with the bad, like the fact that I’d like to blame my bad posture on always being hunched over to try to get warm. But whether it’s good or bad, it is a fact of my existence. So if you see me next summer wearing a sweater on a 90-degree day, please withhold your judgment. It’s not you; it’s me.