Considering a day trip to Maine, I looked up the hours for Colby’s, our favorite breakfast restaurant in Portsmouth, NH; and an ideal stop on a drive to Maine. Through my search, I came across a quote-worthy Yelp review:
It is very small, has outdoor seating available, and an air conditioner which is rarely turned on as northeasterners always have to suffer just a little.
OMG! That line about northeasterners and their need to suffer, it’s funny because it’s true. And this northeasterner is guilty as charged. Especially when it comes to air-conditioning. Seriously, you should see how manic I get about the thermostat in the summer.
For the first time in my adult life, I live in a place with central air. In fact, Mr. Mad Cow and I had it installed last fall within a week of buying our house. Boston is not exactly known for brutally hot summers like Washington, DC — central air is definitely a luxury feature in these parts — but summers can be relatively sticky in the city, especially if you don’t live on the ground floor. And let’s be honest. Open windows and fans don’t do much to combat humidity, which can make an already unpleasant heat wave more miserable.
Our unit has two thermostats, one for each floor. You would be surprised to see how many times I find myself running upstairs in a panic if I hear the air-conditioner come on. God forbid cold air is blasting through an empty floor. Then before I go to bed at night, I make sure the thermostat on our main floor is set to a relatively high temperature (85F/29.44C) so there is almost no chance the air-conditioner will come on during the night. Then when we wake up in the morning, I make sure the upstairs thermostat is turned off, and then I open up the windows downstair to fill the air with fresh air. Even on the hottest days, mornings in New England are almost always pleasant.
I admit part of my mania is economic. I just don’t want to pay for the energy to run an air-conditioner in an empty room. I also admit there’s a part of me that is inclined to “suffer”. For what it’s worth, I behave comparably in the winter. Instead of turning up the heat, I usually put on a sweater, or three.
(Painting, “Surf at Ogunquit, Maine” by Edward A Page)