Seven years ago, my parents gifted us with a portion of some found money from an inheritance. We took our unexpected windfall and bought this:
That’s right – a poster of a tropical island. We hung it above the master bathroom tub and began dreaming about what it would be like to enjoy amazing alcoholic drinks on the beach in the picture.
Which, in my mind, would be something classy like this:
But would actually turn out like this:
With the money left over after the poster purchase, we decided to buy something that would really up our street cred as cool parents. Our kids thought that meant a family vacation to Atlantis.
What we actually invested in was a new furnace and A/C unit. So, as you can image, the kids were totally on board:
Fast forward to Thursday of this past week — which also happened to be the hottest/most humid day of the year so far. I got this text from my husband:
You would totally understand my WTF, if you knew our history with this particular unit (Carrier sucks). It’s gone up on us three times (Carrier sucks) in the 6 years we’ve had it (Carrier sucks). Twice it happened right after the technician came for the semi-annual check (Carrier sucks).
Per the beleaguered technician who showed up, the upgraded unit we had been convinced to purchase has “known issues”, but not well known enough for Carrier (sucks) to replace it. Upon his inspection, our “options” were:
Stretch your hammies, because you are about to bend over and grab your ankles. Hard.
- Have the compressor replaced, but pay for the labor and cross your fingers nothing else goes wrong before the warranty totally expires. And if something else does go wrong, you’ll still have to pay for the labor. Even though Carrier (sucks) knows there is a problem with this unit.
- Buy a new unit, that will come with a new warranty. Don’t forget to be grateful that the new unit is being offered to you at a greatly reduced price, as a favor from Carrier (sucks) because they are aware of the problems with this unit.
We opted for the new unit
at the cost of a family vacation we won’t be taking this Summer for a consumer-screwing “generously reduced” price. To add insult to injury we had to wait until the following Tuesday — six miserably hot days — for the new unit to be installed.
But the experience wasn’t a total downer. Actually, we learned quite a bit. And I’m happy to share my new-found knowledge with you:
- Get naked! Or as close to naked as you are comfortable with. Because temperatures outside when there is no breeze will mean the main floor of your house will be about 89 degrees in the evening after a day in the mid-90s with high humidity.
- Sleep naked! Your upstairs bedroom is probably 10 degrees hotter than downstairs, and the beast that sleeps in between you and your partner is 75 pounds and wears a fur coat all year. Or, you could sleep naked and downstairs, where it is 10 degrees cooler. Unfortunately, there’s really only enough room for your kids on the couch.
- Save electricity! Turn off every light in the house to reduce heat production. Besides, you’ll need to save some money for the new “greatly reduced” A/C unit you are purchasing, and for the unexpected expenses of #9 you will now be incurring.
- No cooking! There’s no reason to add even more heat to the house by turning on the oven to make dinner. Or breakfast. Or lunch. Which is pretty much my motto, even when the A/C is working.
- Don’t obsess! It’s hot. It’s fucking hot. Checking the thermostat every 1/2 hour won’t change that. And it will just make you more angry every time you see that “system malfunction” message.
- Go swimming! If you are fortunate enough to have a pool in your backyard, your community, or one close by with pretty lax security so there’s little chance you’ll be arrested if you break in, go get wet. No pool access or don’t need another blemish on your rap sheet? Take a cold shower.
- Have empathy! Take special pity on the members of your family who can’t get any more naked than they are. We fed the dogs ice constantly. And we tried not to complain too much when they were hogging the fans.
- Get creative! Remember that ice bucket your parents gave you as a Christmas gift last year? Fill it with a large bag of ice and place a fan behind it to blow cool air across the room. Stand in front of it and bitch about how it’s barely cooling the room off, let alone your naked body. Then notice the light of your neighbor’s fire pit and fantasize about how it’s probably cooler by their fire pit than it is standing naked in your family room in front of a big tub of ice.
- Spend Money! The first night of being A/C-less, we ran out and bought two big fans that cost us $60. We spent money on ice (see #7 and #8) twice a day. We ate dinner out. And for some reason (probably because we were delusional from the heat), we went to an air-conditioned sports mega-store and bought our youngest son a bike, along with a bike rack to haul around all four of our family bikes.
- Avoid sex! Because hot, grumpy, and miserable is the least sexy thing you can imagine. Which — in an ironic twist — is a waste of the whole naked thing, I’m afraid.