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Advocatie: The Big Issues

Citizens of the world have many disagreements. Paper or plastic. Trump or Socialism. Tastes Great!…Less Filling! Sweet or Unsweet. And before I go on, can we just establish that there’s no such thing as UNsweet tea? It’s just tea. To “Unsweet” tea you would have to remove the sugar from what is arguably already the world’s best natural drink. How about Not Sweet, or Never Sweetened tea? Let’s face it—it’s  “Swamp-Ade”. That’s the only other place you find leaves soaking in water without sugar. Just sayin’.

Anyway, a few years ago the toilet paper industry did a survey to determine that the toilet paper roll should be placed with the flap on top. Exceptions exist if you have a cat that likes to paw at the roll until it is all over the floor, in which case you may put the flap on the bottom so Kitty will just spin the spool without paper coming off. There, that’s settled.

Now for the really big problem. Is the thermostat too hot or too cold? I’m just going to say it. Hot is better than cold.

Now, I’m not saying I enjoy the necessity of pot holders to touch my steering wheel in the Texas summer. But, if you’re quiet enough, you can hear the arguments in every office, master bedroom and car. Some of us are just hot- or cold-natured and we didn’t choose to be this way so please stop looking at each other like everyone else is just *wrong*. 

People who are Hot think the people who are Cold should just layer up and be quiet about it. Put a space heater under your desk. Get a blanket. But, there’s only so much clothing I can put on before I look like a giant tick and really can’t get my work done. Ever try to type or use a mouse with mittens on? 

Yes, I turn on the seat warmer when it’s 70 degrees out. Actually I do it when it’s 90 degrees out and the air conditioner is on… it loosens the muscles in my back that are sore from shivering all day in the office. 

I have six king-sized fleece blankets in my house. I can’t sit under a ceiling fan when the air conditioning is blowing.

We who are Cold think it is tedious that we have to pack a sweater whenever we want to go to the movies, a restaurant or office in July because someone else might develop a bead of perspiration over lunch if the air conditioning is above 65 degrees. I want to eat my sandwich, not fossilize it.

Sitting on my hands in the staff meeting because my fingernails are blue while the person sitting next to me is fanning herself in the path of an oscillating fan — both of us wondering how on Earth can she be [the opposite of me]? I’m dying here! 

Here are some facts. 

  • Your breathing and your memory are better when your body is warm. Warm air is relaxing to your lungs; especially when it’s moist. Your blood pressure decreases so your brain works better.
  • Sweating improves the look of your skin and helps boost your immunity.
  • You are twice as likely to die from extreme cold than extreme heat. Cold hurts. If you’re outdoors any length of time and not bundled up like an Eskimo, you start talking like you’re drunk because you can’t move your jaw. In the heat you may sweat buckets, but as long as you drink plenty of water, you’re good.
  • There’s no such thing as “heat-bite” that will cause your fingers and toes to turn black and fall off.
  • No one ever closed a road because there was too much sunshine, or cracked a skull on a sidewalk that was too dry.
  • Very few people retire from Texas to North Dakota.
  • Heating your house costs less than cooling it.
  • Even a fever is good for you; kills off whatever’s making you sick.
  • And I don’t care how hot-natured you are; no one wants to sit on a cold toilet seat.

Neither one is comfortable, of course, and that’s exactly the point—pick your misery.

Let’s face it: Even the most hardy among us can live comfortably without insulation only in an extremely narrow range. Most people only say “beautiful day” somewhere between 65-80 degrees. Down sweaters or linen shirts help, but the comfort window is still small and the longer we spend exposed, the more likely our defenses activate; shivering, sweating…and complaining.

For those of you who insist that 65 degrees is the perfect temperature for sleep, I stipulate that may be true—on average. But that is only for your head, and if you’re a hot/cold person who prefers another number, you’re just as likely to have a bad night’s sleep because your brain is always working to achieve your perfect state. The right number is whatever lowers *your* body temperature a few degrees at night. And of course you have to be able to stick your “thermostat” foot outside the covers to warm/cool the rest of your body appropriately.

I suppose my point is that for whatever reason, thyroid, body mass, metabolism, it’s rare to be in sync with any one or more persons,- but somehow, we cold people get more flak for being cold. Y’know, cause we’re doing it on purpose, right?

​In the plus column for cold, I bet no one ever complains about the smell of the athletes at the Iditarod or in a snow-angel competition. So there, one point for cold. Meanwhile, I’ll be drinking cocoa in a hot tub at a beach on the equator if anyone needs me.

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