Sunday, February 9, 2020

Heated Blankets

There are heated blankets and heating pads plugged into nearly every outlet in my house. The gas fireplace is constantly running. Sometimes I come home to find Skylar standing over the stove, warming his hands.

You'd think I was forcing him to live in the wilderness. He acts like we've made a home of the great frozen tundra. "Can you sit on my feet?" he'll ask me once a day. "I promise this isn't sexual," he unnecessarily reminds me.

He carries around the house a gigantic mug that says "Merry Christmas" on it.

He fills it with piping hot tea a dozen times a day. He rarely drinks it. I almost routinely wander the house each evening and collect all of the untouched cups of room-temperature tea he's forgotten about. "I was waiting for it to cool," he says before his voice trails off.

"You're always just waiting for it to cool. Why don't you set an alarm or something so you can remember to drink it?"

Our marriage may not survive the car wars. No matter the temperature, no matter the season, he turns the heater on the highest possible setting. He holds his hands over two vents, shivering. "It's so cold" he hisses as my face nearly melts off.

"Wear a sweater!" I yell at him as he huddles in front of the fire, complaining that it feels like we have the windows open. I check the thermostat. "It's 72 degrees in this house!" I scream, sounding an awful lot like everyone's father.

I spent a small fortune and the better part of two months remodeling a room in the house and turning it into a comfortable office so he could have a quiet place to study during medical school.

A few weeks later he ordered a $20 foldable tray meant for tv dinners. Now he sets it up every evening directly in front of the fireplace, his noise-cancelling headphones on, his feet nearly in the flames, and shivers while he studies.

"Duncan and I are so cold" he'll complain to me, the two of them snuggled together, both staring at me with puppy dog eyes like I'm purposefully torturing them.

"Guys," I say, like both are expecting a thoughtful response from me. "It's July."

Before going to bed every night Skylar will sit on the edge of the bathtub and run hot water over his feet. "It's the only way I'll be able to fall asleep."

Then he climbs into bed and fully wraps himself around me, taking rapid shallow breaths like a Titanic victim. I lie on my back, my eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling, suffocating, but sacrificing what I can for this person I love, like I'm the Giving Tree.

"You're not warming me up. Your body is too cold." he'll complain.

I just can't win.

This time in Strangerville, Eli gets botox and he’s not afraid to talk about it. And a woman can’t help but get involved when she witnesses a car accident.
Intersections, by Hauley Farish 
Music: Crucible by Wildlight
Produced by Eli McCann & Meg Walter

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. There is a (awful, but amazing) thing that Skylar should try, if he showers in the morning. At the end of his shower, turn the water to cool and stick one limb in at a time and then his entire body. It's not fun. However, I used to always be cold, even when everyone else was miserably hot (okay, I made them miserably hot with blasting the heater). This supposedly helps regulate your temperature throughout the day. I didn't fact check it, but it works, so I don't really care.

  2. Two words: Heated Mattress Pad. Oops - that's three words. It's Monday morning - I can't count yet.

    If your bed is queen size or bigger then there are separate (it' took me four tries to spell that word right - like I said - Monday morning) controls. He can turn his side up to high and you can leave yours off and not even tell his side is on (I know this from experience). It's also heaven if you have body aches of any kind (like after doing an Iron Man). I recommend turning it on about 30 minutes before bed and then it you don't want it to stay hot all night, turn it down or off.

  3. Good Lord, I have one of those too. He's sooo coooold, but refuses to wear a sweater or cover up. No, he'll just hike the thermostat. He thinks at 68 I'm trying to kill him and if I agree to 70, I'm obviously just unreasonable. I, possibly like yourself, am a middle aged hormonal woman who is dying from the heat, whatever heat it is and thinks 70 degrees is also unreasonable but in a different way.

  4. In every way, Skylar is still my favorite. I say that, but I mean I hope you know that when the apocalypse comes and the zombies make us fight each other in death matches for their entertainment, I will really have a hard time deciding between saving you or Skylar. Probably though, you will both be noble about it and beg me to save Duncan and I will flee to a deserted island.

  5. I was very amused but I'm not sure what you meant by "car wars." Maybe I'm losing it.

    1. You know, when one person insists on having the heater going full blast on hot and the other person is sucking cool air out of the cracked window trying not to die of heat stroke.

    2. When I first read that I thought it had to do with their parking situation. But then I realized it was a heater situation.

      Eli - get a new car that has dual heat control. And heated seats.

  6. My husband used to tease me that perhaps I was a reptile, since-- unlike most mammals-- I seemed incapable of creating my own body heat. He used to say he should buy me a heated rock to lay on. When we got a new bed, I used this as the reasoning why I needed a bed that came with its own foot heater. I turn that on AND my electric blanket and I'm finally warm!!! It's the BEST. Skylar needs one of these!

  7. Okay. I am just like Skylar. Two things that have saved me. First, keep a warm blanket in the car. Second, make several rice bags. They are super simple--either you or someone you know could make a few in ten minutes. Any scraps of fabric will work as long as you can cut two rectangles that are about 5 x 7 inches. Really any size you want is fine. Sew three sides together, turn right-side out, and fill partway with white rice. Then sew the fourth side shut--you don't have to make the seam hidden or pretty. You just warm them up in the microwave for a minute or so and then you have very portable heating packs. I always sleep with one at my feet and one in my arms. I also sometimes put one in my jacket or on my neck if I'm cold when I'm awake. Sounds silly but was really life-changing for me and my family and makes winter much better!

  8. Okay but I am skylar 😂 BUT I also have heart arrhythmia (POTS) and my medication for it makes my body temp so much warmer. It’s now both awesome to go outside and not be in physical pain from the mild temperatures, but it also sucks because I like my feet cold (also not a sexual thing) and it’s weird to walk on feet that feel like heated rice packs.

    Maybe Skylar has heart arrhythmia too?

  9. They make these socks that are heated. They have rechargeable batteries that supply the heat. There are also slippers that you can plug in - kind of like slipper shaped heating pads. You have options here. I feel like you can work this out. We can put a man on the moon AND we can at least keep Skylar's feet cozy!

  10. In my car, I have a heated lap blanket that plugs into the power socket. 💜💜💜

    1. ELI. I have one of these and it has saved me. And probably my marriage. I can’t regulate my body temperature so I constantly feel either like my body has suddenly ignited or become a frozen piece of poultry. ELECTRIC CAR BLANKETS WIN THE CAR WARS. They are the only way.

  11. I used to be a Skylar and then I got pregnant and after two kids, I'm an Eli. I was constantly cold and covering up with blankets (in Texas when it was 100+) and making my husband warm up my ice cold feet. Now I insist on keeping the bedroom 66 at night or else I roast alive. Our electricity bills are sky high. I'm probably singlehandedly responsible for the energy crisis. But I'm so hot! So I know how you both feel, and I can honestly say it's easier for Skylar to warm himself with blankets, fire, and a hot tea (he needs a contigo stainless steel insulated bottle to keep it warm), than it is to cool yourself off when the house/car is too hot!

  12. Someone above said mattress pad, but I think it is even simpler. I too cannot sleep with cold feet, so I start a regular heating pad heating up by the foot of the bed before I get into bed. It feels sooooo nice when I get in. Move it up to you knees and stomach as you warm up. You just need to remember to turn it off (or they possibly come with timers now? I don't know).

    Life changer. I fall asleep so fast because it relaxes me that much.

    1. I do the same thing. cold feet at bedtime are the worst! Mine has a timer and different heat levels.

  13. My mother keeps the house at 75 degrees and ALSO has the space heater running pretty constant and still complaining the house is freezing. Meanwhile I'm walking around in summer nightgowns or short sleeve shirts and capris.
    She insists my baby must be freezing too and is constantly trying to put blankets on him that he promptly kicks off.
    We have a NEST, which in the middle of the night I check from my phone because I'm DYING of sweat in my covers to tick it down to 73, to which I hear in the morning "73!! that's FREEZING".

    Things I've done to combat this cold problem:
    -installed the NEST
    -paid to have our house evaluated and fixed of air leaks, and added insulation
    -bought her two THICK fleece robes for Christmas that she'll wear, but then complain they make her too hot if she starts moving around the house and instead of moving the thermostat down, she'll take off the robe. argh

    The struggle is real.