Or Rules for Cools
How could I have forgotten about this? This thing? This heat? As in living in it. As in the bulk of my waking hours, and some of my sleeping hours, being focused on it? Actually, focused on staying cool. Avoiding sweat. How can sweat surprise me?
Perhaps I did not remember this potentially all-consuming life style after having lived in Flagstaff, Arizona at 7200 feet for 17 years. Where the focus of my days was quite often getting warm. Bringing every ounce of sunshine into my house. Relishing a sun-warmed car, which I had purposely parked so the windshield faced the brightest direction, so at the end of my errand or visit or day I was welcomed by warmth. I loved warmth.
Now it is all turned around. I am not welcomed by nor do I welcome warmth. It is confounding me. This thing. This heat thing.
Once upon a time, many years ago I lived in the desert and I knew heat. For 12 years. Las Cruces, New Mexico. Where it was hot. Really really hot. Just about as hot as it is here in my new little town. Cottonwood. Arizona. High desert. 3300 feet. Where at least two months of the year are spent running from heat. Hiding from it. Deterring it. Redirecting. I had forgotten it.
Perhaps on purpose.
Grocery stores are crowded in the morning. Streets are empty in the afternoon. The rec center is packed all the time. I do more laundry. I drink more fluids. The dog is under the bed. The cat is under a different bed. I cannot touch the outside of my own house. It will hurt my hand. I complain.
Wait. Stop. Don’t.
Aha! The memories are returning. That thing. That thing that I survived. Yes! I remember now!
I survived the heat of summers in southern New Mexico by following rules. The first one? No complaining. Absolutely none. It does nothing to keep you cool. In fact, inevitably, it makes you hotter. In fact, it makes the room hotter. I see a person’s cheeks flush when they say, “Damn it’s hot.” Perspiration grows on their lip when they say, “Sure is hot out!”
It could be that they are standing in 103 degree sunshine. Or it could just be complaining. Stop it. Refraining from complaining will keep you cool. And there’s more.
Rules for Cools
- Check on the ice. Make sure it is frozen. Check on it often.
- Grab a popsicle while you are there.
- DON’T cut your hair short. Nope. Wrong! Keep it long. You can’t get short hair off your neck or forehead or away from your ears.
- Avoid looking at a thermometer between 8am and 8pm Don’t look at your phone, your computer, don’t ask anyone, and turn off the radio! Numbers make you sweat profusely when they soar towards triple digits. Stop it.
- Remember Patagonia. Remember the Arctic. Remember them when you are checking on the ice. Grab another popsicle.
- Ahhhhhh. Just stare at images of the arctic. I’m feeling cooler already.
- If you have to wear a bra, choose one that separates your boobs and holds them up. Little pockets of pooling salt water are bad. Bad. Lift and separate, girls.
- Guys, I don’t know what you can do to lift ’em, but if there is a way, get them out of the way.
- Or simply do as Joey Tribbiani from Friends always did. Go commando.
- Do outdoor things before 8 am. Or after 8 pm. Otherwise, stay indoors. Duh, right? Do you know how many people I see running? Walking their dog? At 103????
- Offer your stupid neighbors ice.
- Forget efficiency. The environment. It’s okay. LOVE your AC or swamp cooler.
- Remember single digit utility bills from last winter. When the rest of the country was paying hundreds of dollars for heat, and you were sitting on your patio drinking coffee at 68 degrees. Turn on the AC and afford it!
- Do not take your dog for a walk no matter how eagerly and sad he looks at you. Don’t buy it. He can wait until after 8pm like everyone else. Or everyone else who has a brain.
- Check on your dog. If you’re not walking him, he’s under the bed. Consider joining him. Bring ice.
- Remember Michigan. Remember the frozen boogers of walking to school at 7 am in the winter. Wind chills. Frozen snot. Ahhhhhh.
- Get rid of your high-end, silky, 800 thread ct, stick-to-your-skin-when-you’re-hot sheets. Really? Go for Percale. 250 ct. Cool crisp and just like Grandma’s fresh off the line.
- Compare your life to people who live in Phoenix. Or Las Vegas. Baton Rouge. Bullhead City. Feel blessed. Laugh. Ha! At least it’s not 120. Repeat often.
- Imagine THEIR utility bills, and crank that AC!
- Eat cold chocolate. Keep it in the fridge. Or the freezer. Then, when you check on the ice, you can grab some chocolate. Eat it often.
- Chocolate makes you ‘be’ whatever you need to be. Be smarter? Chocolate! Be Prettier? Chocolate. COOLER? Chocolate!!!!
- Remember the ice caves of Flagstaff. Hold that image in your brain. Close your eyes. Stay there for a bit. Yes.
- Ice cream is allowed on all diets when it’s 103. Even 93. Or 83. 73 could be pushing it. But definitely 103. Have multiple flavors on hand. Check on them often. And the ice. Make sure it is frozen.
- Get out of those stupid stretch pants. Good God, women. Linen. Baggy loose fitting lovely, lovely linen. Wrinkles? What wrinkles? Quit adding more skin to the skin you want to shed. Linen. Yards and yards of linen.
- Or cotton. Or nudity. Yards and yards of it.
- Linen sheets. They’re expensive. So what? Shop smart. Shop for cool.
- Drink everything cold. Water. Wine. Whatever. If you can’t handle it cold, sensitive teeth? (Really? Whatever). Don’t drink it. Don’t like iced coffee? Eat frozen chocolate. Don’t like cold red? Don’t be stupid. Drink it or switch to white. IT’S 103!!!!
- Eat cold foods. Strawberry soup. Avocado soup. Gazpacho soup. Ice soup. Check on the ice.
- Popsicles. Popsicles. Popsicles. Do I need to say it again?
- Any sicle. Fudgsicle. Icicle. Freeze Pops.
- Freeze blueberries. Grapes. Raspberries. Chocolate chips. Cheerios. Grab a handful when …. you ….
- Check on the ice!
- Wear cold jewelry. Keep your pearls in the freezer. Refreeze throughout the day.
- Keep your shoes in the freezer. Socks. Bras. Refreeze throughout the day. (Probably don’t do this at work.)
- Check on the ice.
- Don’t look. You’re tempted. But, don’t. No matter how much you think you are dying to know. You do not need to know. Knowledge is not power. 103 usually looks the same. 103. But sometimes it looks worse. 105. 107. Don’t look until after 8 pm. Then you can look.
- Get it out of your system, when it says 71, feast your eyes. Then look away. It will change soon enough.
- Stay cool, my friends.
- Be cool.
Photos from unsplash; southbendtribune.com; http://blog.espares.co.uk/espares; https://www.storyblocks.com/s
It does get better…you get used to it. I never thought I would say that, but here we go.