Previously on A&A's Adventures in Marital Cohabitation - May crept out bleary eyed and slightly poisonous like an adorable little loris. Honeymoons ended in time for the Agavemoons and date nights to clickety-clack- into google calendar legitimacy. Insurance forms were thrown into the deep abyss with much ado and only a little burnt rice! Journeys were made into the mouth of chaos, from which silly-sizes of pants were retrieved and rescued from clearance limbo at great personal risk to life and limb. And Costco cards verified the DINKY status of our darling couple. Coming up: shopping begets shopping to both horror and hip-wiggles, heat creates new levels of cohabitational adjustment, and we call the weekend early!
Dance of the Grumbly PNW-er Unable to Fathom Warm Weather, But Liking this Weird Bright Object in the Sky - Well it's apparently now spring and/or summer and/or The Gobi Desert here. I know this because I appear to always have my sunglasses atop my head when I am indoors (yet have managed to voodoo them away by the time my blinking little mole-eyes start to sear in the soft sunlight). I am tipped off as well by the fact that we broke 80 degrees here yesterday (man, why didn't I buy that warranty??).
This is, shall we kvetch and/or luxuriate, somewhat uncommon for May in the Pacific Northwest. This would normally be the season of light-jackets and possibly an umbrella if you're kind of a wuss. But mostly May invites a coy mid-sixties sunniness and forestalls the more gregarious solarity of late. I - you may be shocked to hear - did my (W)right running excursion with only a tank top and short pants!! (and about twenty different hair apparatuses in a desperate attempt to quell a layered hair-cut into that boppy runner's ponytail that is at least as functional as it is eeezy-breezy-beautiful). Between my grey and aqua running outfit and Andrews pointedly spiffy black and orange ensemble together, his attack-face, my awesome sunglasses and increasingly impressive arms... I imagine we were a terrifying summery sight on the trail that day.
I also know about this spring thing because our house happens to face right towards the sunset and has a deep affinity for radiant heat. Beautiful, yes, but with effects akin to your average solarium. I realize that some people enjoy saunas, but few really need to live in them. Trust me on this.
When I was a wee little one, I did a lot of ballet and dance camps around the state. At one point we were in the San Juans to do a performance, and I decided it would be faster to go directly from the hotel poolside to the performance, dropping in by the sauna to costume myself. It took me about fifteen minutes of stumbling around, sweat so thickly hanging off my brow that no sight was feasible... tripping, rolling, casting salty tears into the ocean of sweat drowning my mien... eventually becoming glued into my spandex ensemble, which had most likely melted and fused to my body. Having struggled through the near death experience of attempting to roll on tights in the middle of an oven, I can attest that my ideal home-environment tends to stay a touch shy of the surface-of-the-sun mark.
This new season has required some additional marital adjustment, as our various strategies for dealing with heat crash like waves in the surf (which would be very refreshing about 5:00 p.m. most evenings). Like waves, they froth, they clash, and often they meld into a super rip tide ready to drag unsuspecting surfers to their dooms. Of course I have never done well with cold, as anyone who's seen my yeti boots and bedroom attire can attest. This is partially because my feet and hands are perpetually gelid (as any one who has ever shaken my hand or been privy to a late night affectionate goosing can attest), and partially because I tend to have a lower body temperature, and don't have a lot of insulation on me. I have been known to turn beautiful shades of purple and blue in forty degree weather, for instance.
Alack, I don't handle heat any better, really. During the day, I am constantly moving, and this means my body temperature is already moderately elevated compared to my sessile computer jockey companions. Also, I am cold blooded, so once I've been under covers with my little human radiator for any period of time, I'm pretty warm for at least four or five hours. I tend not to bother turning on the heat in the morning most places, for instance (heated slippers, absolutely, but I can wander around in yeti boots and a tank top without any vague hint of inconsistency). I also need fresh air. Stale air makes me nauseous and gives me headaches faster than the cheap cologne in an elevator. And warmth tends to make my digestive tract indolent and intransigent about its digestive functions. That's not ideal for somebody trying very hard to eat more calories than she's burning in some madcap quest to be a healthier weight despite my body's obdurate preference for being in survival mode at all times.
My ideal situation is a warmth that is more fresh than balmy and constantly supplemented by a moderate breeze. Because I have a weird inverted hyperbolic discounting function, I am happy to be uncomfortable in the present for the benefit of the future. In order to prevent the awful stuffiness of late evening and bedtime, I'd just as soon open every window in the house, turn on all the fans, and sit in my bathrobe in the middle of arctic winds for the morning, if necessary.
Andrew, (1) easily tolerates warmer weather when he's being active, (2) gets hot at night, but is cold by morning, (3) prefers to live in the moment, and (4) finds the direct gales of the fan both to be uncomfortable and to apparently to drown out what's left of his auditory capacity.
These contrasts don't always gel well, but we come to our detentes on the matter. The weekdays are easier, since we spend a brief period of the morning there and are usually only home after the sun-bake is well underway. I leave first in the morning, usually sneaking around and opening windows, turning up the fan, and pulling blinds like a mad woman until the home is as tomb-like as humanly possible. Andrew leaves about a half hour after me, often closing windows, pulling up the blinds, and banishing fans to their nether corners. Later, I come home and reverse his reversals until he gets home and... the cycle continues. I suppose it averages things out to some form of unspoken compromise that way. We are both a little baffled to confront this new arena in which I am the one who is too warm and Andrew gets too cold, but it has happened before... we just get less warm weather out here. I warned him about the whole highly-sensitive-person thing. I sent him articles. He knew what he was getting into! And at least it keeps us both active!
My visceral aversion to heat is always a bit surprising to me, as I survived just fine on the East Coast without air conditioning. Much of that time I lived in the living room of a corner apartment that directly faced the sun. I certainly made regular use of cold showers, I suppose. And again, I worked sixty hour weeks, splitting my time between two different jobs that required significant amounts of time spent in industrial coolers and freezers (fruit market lackey and Salsa/hummus factory Jacqueline of all condimentary trades).
... OOOOH That's what we need! We already have a huge pantry, but what we really absolutely need is a walk in freezer! I love standing in front of the fridge staring in plaintively at all my food, as it is! I could just hang out in there once every twenty minutes or so, admiring my culinary bounty (or feeling that despite a certain volume, I still have absolutely nothing to eat!). In the meantime, we'll play our window carousels at home, and perhaps - as he so lovingly did while attempting to show me his fortune at dinner on Saturday - Mr. (W)right will pour his glass of ice water on me to keep me cool from time to time. True love!
Shopping Begets Shopping and Other Viral Inconveniences - Well, having had a chance to (literally, at times) sit with them over the weekend, I'm happy to say that I really do like my ridiculously sized zero-tall pants. They do fit shockingly well, lay well, move well, and feel nice. I'm not even sure what to do with my hands these days, now that they are not thoroughly occupied with tugging at sagging waist lines and re-tucking underwear into a vague simulacrum of discretion. My lower hip bones are feeling horribly neglected, so demurely out of sight all of a sudden. My well-toned glutes, however, are rejoicing at finally emerging from a jungle of sagging fabric into modest display. It's quite a adjustment, but one I'm enjoying enough to wish I could find this same make and style online to practice safe-purchasing.
Of course, there is a downside... very, very far down. According to the sizing chart, I am the exact height for which Talls are targeted (5 foot 10 1/2 inches), but according to the rules of professional comportment, I ought to have three inch heels grafted onto my feet at all times. Now, naturally, as a dancer who can lindy hop happily in four inch tango stilettos, I have nothing against heels, per se. BUT, do walk on a treadmill all day. Heels are not ideal companions for this behavior.
As such, my work shoes are the flattest of flat sketchers. They're not sneakers. Just how un-skeaker they are was made clear when I forgot my running shoes on Sunday and used the sketchers instead. The experience reminded me of running in vibrams - that odd sensation when every pebble and slight idiosyncrasy of surface is transmitted to the foot (thank goodness I have that quirky forward strike run that tends to cushion impacts or I'd have shin splints for certain). I believe that my work-walking shoes are actually intended to be a head nod towards cycling shoes in that casual way that may make Andrew quiver and break out in hives. More importantly, they're cute slip-ons that are amenable to serious quotidian mileage. They are also all consumed by the billowy folds of my new Zero-Talls, which may feel they have something to prove after being named Zero like that!
So, new strategy: when I'm on my treadmill desk or wandering around shoeless - as is my wont - I have taken to fashionably tucking my pants into my socks. This spares the hems from excessive trudge-erosion, and limits my chances of tripping of myself. When I'm being professional or walking outside, I'm back in the mandatory-heels. Well, I will be. For the moment, I have a few pairs of back up heels I'd kept at the office. They are not perfect, being about a half size too small and a half inch too short. They are cute though! And since I've added sunglasses as a permanent hair accessory until this odd blazing cloud thing in our surreally blueish Northwest Pacific sky abates, I'm feeling quite sassy about town. Yes, I do love strutting about in heels, because I can work them darned well. And with the woosh-swish of my wider legged pants (instead of the usually sag, shuffle, sad song), I'm pretty unstoppable. Unless my heel gets caught in a grate. That's happened to me before, so I can definitively say that this will stop me quite effectively actually.
Nonetheless, my feet need shoes that fit and my pants prefer shoes that keep them elevated from the muck and mire of public thoroughfares. As such, I am afraid to say, there shall be more shopping on the horizon. The horror... the horror. Maybe Fred Meyer's is having a sale! Or amazon... or...
Work-what? The little week that wouldn't, but eventually would a little... This week really just does not want to be a work week. Scorchingly skyrocketing record-breaking temperatures (in PNW world, which does not acknowledge things like typical "summer weather" and invites plenty of curmudgeonly caviling when we get our one week of genuinely hot weather in July) aside, we've just had some strange forces at work keeping us from work. Yesterday would be a case in point. I managed to avoid the office curse, something I can only assume has to do with my preference for getting into the office before the Fates have stirred from their slumbers. Fortunately they tend to sleep past seven, having to recover from those bacchanals of tragic ironies and midnight-just-desserts (which taste like chocolate lava cake).
The others were not so fortunate. My mom/boss slept a bit late. This part was a good thing. She has been battling some nasty insidious little throat bug all week, and the extra sleep seemed to have brought a slight hint of color back to her cheeks. This color is blessedly a rosy hue far from the mossy cinereal shades of earlier. Still, since she is a bus commuter, this pushed her entire work day back an hour. I offered to pick her up, but she demurred, as any sane person set with an excuse for more time at home in the morning would.
Around this time, I received a chat from Leslie, paralegal/office-manager extraordinaire, that her dog had ripped her stitches out (the dog's stitches... Leslie's dog did not attack her, thank goodness) and they would be headed to the vet's office instead of work.
Left with little to do but continue working (gasp!), I reveled in a prolonged office dominion for a spell before the updates spilled in. My mother did in fact make it to the bus. Her bus pass, however, didn't quite. The bus driver knows her, so he let her on anyways, but as she shuffled dutifully to her usual seat, the ramifications of abandoning said pass debouched from darkest id to conscious concern... a vivid flash of placing the pass in her purse... a brighter flash of the door to her home closing behind her, pass still in hand... prolepsis to a turgid quarrel with the WTA asking for that darned receipt for her pass... empty stock footage filling the void where memories of that receipt might be... FLASHES OF LONELY LITTLE BUS PASS wastreling about on county streets mewing for its mother in tiny little rainstorms!! Off the bus she leapt, belatedly taking me up on that offer for a ride.
In the meantime, Leslie's dog had been admitted to the doggie-hospital. It was serious: Staples (not the business supply store) and a cone of shame were hastily applied. Scene-skips to somewhere outside my mother's home, where the little bus pass is indolently tanning itself in the mild May morn. Scene-skip to Leslie rushing home with woozy Victrola-dog in town, only to find another neighbor dog carousing about her home. Flash to my mom's house, where her trusty chariot arrives and scoots her off to work.
Cut across town to my father passing through an intersection on his way to work just as a giant red cadillac careened towards him (montage of slo-mo moments and kid calling his mother in a tizzy).
Flash to Leslie chasing after the unencumbered dog, her quite-encumbered one still in tow.
Flash to the locked office, where my mom's first appointment is sitting impatiently by the elevator, as we arrive. My mom breathlessly saying "you're quite early" in the benighted belief that her appointment was not until 9:30... the client none-too-suavely "reminding" her that the appointment was at 9:00... It should be noted that it was not yet 9:00 a.m. when this conversation occurred and considering that most clients come fifteen minutes late (and don't get me started on the other attorneys), I think it still stands that she was quite early.
CUT TO New Jersey where my sister is wielding a broom and tarrying with an avian guest, that seemed to have mistaken their living room for a nesting space. Despite all delicacies in approach, the bird careens headlong into the glass, falling agog to the ground, after which she surreptitiously tucks it under a tree outside and slinks away quickly lest Mother Nature balk and the koi rise up from her little pond to wreak their revenge!!...
Flash to +Andrew Wright running on his lunch hour. He is endued in a jaunty green Bellingham Bay Marathon (and 5k "fun run") shirt with a ninja sweatband over his vaulted ponytail... sweat streaking his tawny biceps... breathing belabored... face set with steely determination... GPS watch chirping its recondite commands... no, nothing went awry for him, actually. I just enjoy the image.
We all settled down into something resembling a routine by about eleven, at which point I fled for my gym time. Funnily enough, despite all the office juju, we managed to get a fair amount of work done yesterday and are ready to take action on one of our weirder and more complicated emergency actions today. Sadly, the commissioner appears to be less ready, as she was out sick when my mom went in this morning. But I think, peradventure, we are all ready to call it a week... these hearts were left on our computer monitors by Leslie yesterday afternoon... yep, on a Tuesday. This bodes well...