cold comfort



As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m pretty obsessed with my air conditioner. I like to turn it up really high, so that the room is freezing cold, and then do things like drink coffee and wear sweaters. Don’t judge.

For years, I resisted. We never had air conditioning when I was growing up, we used fans and screened in porches for relief, so when I lived on my own, I continued the pattern to the shock and sometimes peril of my loved ones. I bought the first air conditioner when I was living in Oberlin, and spent spring and summer in mad delight.

Today in my cold, cold bedroom, I thought about how I’ve been willing to put up with the weather that I hate the most for so long, when other people just air conditioned and didn’t talk about it. My mother always claimed we didn’t “need” air conditioning, but looking back at my life then and my electric bill now, I know it was because we couldn’t afford it. It’s strange to realize the way that classism impacts the world, even when it seems like minutae, something you don’t ever think about. It’s peculiar to feel a revelation like that rising to the surface.

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One thought on “cold comfort

  1. Kim says:

    This is part of what started “mall walker” programs for senior citizens — they couldn’t afford AC on their own, so get them to go to the malls where there is plenty of AC (and it’s free unless you engage in some retail therapy).

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