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The ongoing thermostat ‘discussions’

November 11, 2012
By JANICE R. KIASKI - Herald-Star community editor ( , The Herald-Star

I've been thinking a lot about what kind of a winter it's going to be this year, and I'm pretty sure it's going to be a l-o-n-g one.

It's going to be too dark too soon to suit me.

I'm going to be hot, courtesy of menopause.

I'm going to be cold, courtesy of menopause.

I'll want windows up one minute.

Doors opened, too.

Air conditioning on the next.

Then I'll need a blanket. Maybe some thermal socks.

Nope, time for shorts and a tank top.

And Better Half and I, rest assured, will keep having these ongoing thermostat "discussions."

One of them unfolded the other evening.

I was sitting in the love seat, the lamp next to me turned on, this because I was reading and prefer not to do that sort of thing in the dark.

This light in all its 60-watt semi-brilliance is maybe 2 feet from the living room thermostat.

Better Half gives me that look and feigns a shiver.

"It's getting cold in here," he announced as he looked my way, offering a little "brrr" for emphasis.

"You should turn that light off," he adds, his head motioning toward the thermostat above my head.

Then he expands upon the reason why - that the heat from this light bulb 2 feet away from the thermostat is a bad thing.

It keeps the furnace from kicking over, he says.

Hence the "brrr' noises.

I guess this is the same light bulb that could throw a heat so intense it could cook up one heck of a Thanksgiving feast in an Easy Bake Oven.

I dab the beads of sweat from my forehead as I digest his words and try to respect the reasoning.

I'm thinking maybe it's my body heat that's responsible for keeping the thermostat at a standstill, not my reading lamp.

Then I respond sweetly - as sweetly as a gal in the throes of the change of life can.

"No," I said, fanning myself with a hand. "I'm not reading in the dark. Besides, it's warm enough in here already."

Better Half frowns, shrugs his shoulders and reaches for a throw.

So one spouse's chill is another spouse's inferno in the framework that is winter.

"Maybe I should grow a winter coat like your horse," he suggests more to himself than me.

I'm thinking that's not such a bad idea.

I don't know whether the winter will be short or long, but I'm pretty sure our thermostat "discussions" are bound to be pretty "heated."

(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist and features writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at

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