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Fish Out of Water

There are some exotic breeds of tropical fish that have to live in an environment where the temperature cannot fluctuate more than one or two degrees or they will die. I’m kind of like those fish.

There are some exotic breeds of tropical fish that have to live in an environment where the temperature cannot fluctuate more than one or two degrees or they will die.


I’m kind of like those fish.

While I am not likely to go belly up and float to the top of our tank, I will become extremely cranky and whiney if I get too cold, or if even my fingers and toes are cold, or even, sometimes, just the tip of my nose.

My husband is the exact opposite. He’s a hot rock. He likes the house to be just a little bit nippy and is happiest if he can see his breath when he sleeps. Because of this, we have nightly bedroom wars. He opens the window wide. I slam it shut. I pile on the blankets. He throws them all on the floor. I crank up the thermostat and he drops it down to freezing.

“You should live in an igloo,” I barked at him as I shivered. “You’re a freakin’ Eskimo.”

“Well you’re the Heat Miser,” he shot back. “It’s like the Amazon in here. We could grow Orchids in this room.”

I gave him an icy stare… the only kind of stare I could give him in a sub-zero bedroom.

You would think that after 17 years together, we would have come to some kind of thermal compromise, but that’s not the case. I should have seen the writing on the wall when we first started dating. When the subject of a vacation came up, I suggested the Bahamas. He wanted to go to Iceland. When I let him pick the destination for our honeymoon, we ended up in the Canadian Rockies. In our marriage vows, he asked me to love and honor him, and teach our kids to ski. I soon realized I didn’t marry a man: I married a polar bear.

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In my defense, I did follow him to the Canadian Rockies and I did teach our kids to ski. I even learned how to ski myself, although I wear so many layers and have so many heated accessories that I leave a trail of slush behind me when I ski down the slopes.

Willing though I am to vacation in the arctic, I prefer my own home to be more tropical. Especially in the bedroom.

So there we were, glaring at each other… him in his shorts and me in my flannel pajamas.

“Look,” he said. “It is healthier to keep the room a little cooler when you sleep, AND it save us money to turn the thermostat down. Can you try it for a night?”

“Fine!” I agreed reluctantly. I added two more blankets to my heap of comforters and prayed for a peri-menopausal hot flash.

I got into bed and lay there shivering. My husband immediately dropped off to sleep, or maybe it was a state of frozen suspended animation, I’m not sure.

Even with my sixteen blankets and three layers of pajamas I was cold and I could not get my toes to warm up. They were like ten little piggy ice cubes. Tossing and turning, I finally figured out the only way to warm them up was to put them on something hot.

So I stuck them on my husband’s back.

©2009, Beckerman. All rights reserved. For more Lost in Suburbia, visit Tracy Beckerman at, and check out her hilarious new book “Rebel without a Minivan” at Amazon and



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