“It’s too cold in here,” I said to my husband as we got ready to go to bed.
“It’s the same temperature it always is,” he replied.
“I don’t think so,” I said indignantly. “I’m going to check the thermostat.”
I went downstairs and looked through the tiny window. “Aha! It’s ONE degree cooler than it’s supposed to be!” I bellowed back up the stairs.
I couldn’t see him, but I was sure he was rolling his eyes and Googling, “How to Smother Your Wife.”
I like to think of myself as a pretty flexible person, however, when it comes to temperature fluctuations, even I have to admit, I have a very small window of comfort. It’s somewhere between 70 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. For this reason, we usually keep the thermostat set at 71 which is just right as far as I’m concerned, but dangerously close to sub-tropical for my husband. He definitely prefers it a little cooler, especially while he sleeps. This presents something of a problem because he’s happiest when he can see his breath when he exhales whereas I prefer the room to be more like the perimeter of a recently erupted volcano. If the temperature is down by even a degree, I won’t be able to sleep unless I’m buried beneath a sheet, a blanket, a down comforter, and the pelt of a wooly mammoth.
Truth be told, my husband has his own window of comfort. Unfortunately, it is about 32 degrees lower than mine. If he had his way, he would sleep outside in the middle of winter and then have to cross a fjord to get to his igloo. I often suspected that he would sneak downstairs and turn down the thermostat when I was getting ready for bed and then turn it back up before I got up in the morning. I had little proof of this save for the layer of frost on my blankets when I woke up.
I knew some sort of compromise needed to made, but I was having trouble thawing my brain from the one-degree difference in the temperature to think about what it was. At one point I had thought about packing him in ice while he slept, which would have the added benefit of reducing inflammation in my bad knee if I rolled over to his side of the bed. The problem with this was the heated blanket on my side would melt the ice on his side and we’d wake up to a swimming pool in our kitchen. Since we didn’t have flood insurance, I nixed this idea and decided we would have to come up with something else to meet both of our temperature needs.
“Okay,” I said to him when I returned to the bedroom. “I’m willing to compromise on this temperature thing.”
“What do you suggest?” he wondered.
“You can have the temperature in the bedroom set to 70 degrees.”
“That’s great honey,” he replied. “What do you get in return?”
“I’m going to sleep in a hotel.”