The Suitcase Lady


July 19, 2011, 9:10 pm

I’ve only wanted to attack my husband once in 47 years. Forty years ago on a summer day that was 98 degrees with 2 million per cent humidity, he came home from his air-conditioned office and said, “Isn’t it a wonderful temperature?”

I was near death from heat exhaustion with two young children in a non-air-conditioned house. My brain reeled: how could my best friend say this to me?

Fortunately, I didn’t throw anything or start yelling. I just said, “You have to be kidding, no one can possibly like being smothered in a steaming blanket”.

Thanks to the fact that we know how to communicate with each other, it turns out he wasn’t kidding at all. Impossible as it seems to me, my guy truly loves high heat and humidity. Put him in New Orleans on an August day and he would be a happy camper. I would expire.

I agree with Georgia Bottoms in that wonderful book by Mark Childress of that name. She says, “The only way to survive summer in Alabama is to sit down sometime in April and hold still until October. Or get out of Alabama entirely. Or follow the rest of the south into the embrace of the one true religion-A/C …”.

Wisconsin isn’t Alabama, but we do get several disabling heat spells every summer. The only thing I can do is not move. For someone who usually can outlast the Energizer Bunny, I find this difficult. But it’s more difficult to try to push my body through a wall of wet, hot air.

So I get to be a Southerner for about ten days each summer. Porches, immobility, wine coolers, cold boiled shrimp and a great book aren’t all that bad.

Marilyn Monroe in “The Seven Year Itch” gave some excellent heat wave advice as well.  …keep your undies and champagne in the refrigerator.

Click here to see the original movie scene “Undies in the Icebox”.

3 Comments for this entry

  • evie

    Mary–Ha! I agree with your sentiments & observations! It’s sort of nice doing as little as
    possible, isn’t it? yours, calmly & cooly–evie

  • John T

    Warm thoughts…

    In February it seemed like a good idea to plan a camping trip in the barrier islands of Virginia on July 21, 22 and 23. Only problem is that the camping is actually along the interior waterways that amount to wetlands (aka swampy areas) that are entirely void of any breeze. Humidity and mosquitos seem to really appreciate this….

    Shana had a moment of insight about 2 weeks ago and summarily cancelled this trip in favor of visiting a local waterpark and lazy strolls in the Baltimore harbor (which is usually very breezy)….

    I watched the weather forecast today….101+ expected….

    She had a truly cool inspiration…..

  • Mary

    Bravo to Shana…101 in a swamp is not a delight !