The Politics of Freezing

According to the Aged P, when I was a toddler my crib was in front of a window, so when I kicked off all my blankets in my sleep I would get all the benefits of an NYC winter drafting in from the glass. And ever since, I’ve hated to be hot. Like, hated it a lot. Where my sledding compatriots bundled up in long johns and ski pants and undershirts and sweaters and overcoats….if I put on more than basic sweat pants, t-shirt, scarf and a jacket, as soon as we hit the Big Hill I would be roasting and have to pull over to peel off some layers.

This predilection followed me into adulthood. While I like to be toasty and warm under my covers, right now my room is chilly thanks to the gently revolving window fan I still have going despite the October chill (btw, October chill? O HAI. How I missed you). I like to wear a nice coat and scarf to go outside, but as soon as I get inside an office, I almost always have to get down to short sleeves and sit there sweltering for a few minutes with a fan on me until things cool down. See, I’m off writing that hit song "Alone in my Principles" when it comes to office climate.

At my old company, the office would stupidly, stuffily warm with that dry, crackling, staticky heat that made me cranky and obstinate. At the new company, everybody in the office but me (and one other sensible soul) resents having the AC on, ever, and is content to swim in the roasting heat from the radiator. Part of the problem, of course, is that I work in the front part of the office farthest from the window and the AC unit that drops air directly on those who sit beneath it, and I’m in an enclosed space with two computers that tend to overheat.

Cut to these changeable weather days, where I’m sucking back water, blasting the tiny desk fan at my face and trying to ease the sweat-soaked blouse off my lower back. My coworkers are wearing arctic fleece, pashmina shawls and fingerless gloves. *sigh* I’m outnumbered and the most junior office worker, so for today the solution was working from home in the morning. Unfortunately for our new working-from-home roommate, K-Cup and I both prefer the house a little chillier as well.

A similarly hot-blooded friend pointed out that hospitals, courts, lecture halls…they’re all kept freezing so you stay alert and functioning! Drop me in a sauna and I melt into an ill-tempered, extremely irascible puddle. But let me feel a crisp breeze on my face and I’m sitting up straight ready to change the world and generally be awesome.

Upstate NY should have been perfect in that respect – except for all the rain. I don’t enjoy being damp.

Unless it’s hot out.

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