I’m cold, go put on a jacket


What is it with mothers and wives that they think that whatever is affecting them just be affecting everyone around them? What? You don’t know what I’m talking about? You, my friend, are either an orphan or single because just about every married man or son or daughter I know has had the following experiences—not one, but many times.

It starts when you’re young, when you’re a toddler, before you’re able to dress yourself. Remember? You’re about to go outside to play. The weather is nippy, but you don’t mind.

Your mother, on the other hand, insists on dressing you as if you’re about to embark upon a polar expedition. Her reasoning: it’s too cold outside to wear that thin jacket you had on. If you’re ever tried to play tag dressed like an Eskimo on a seal hunt, you know what I’m talking about.

When you’re older and you’re ostensibly able to dress yourself, it doesn’t get any better. When my youngest son and daughter were in their senior and junior year in high school, and liked to dress according to the latest fashion, on more than one occasion I overheard their mother telling them, “it’s cold outside (meaning that it felt cold to her), so put your heavy jacket on.”

First of all, teenagers have super-high metabolisms and don’t get cold as quickly as we older people do, and second (and most important), unless all their friends are wearing heavy jackets, there’s no way they’re going to put one on. Mothers just don’t get that and never have.

It’s not just kids that have to endure such treatment either. I’ll bet all you husbands know exactly what I mean by that—and this is not meant as an insult to wives, just an observation. Here’s the scenario. If you’re like me, you can’t sleep well under heavy blankets and being a natural sweater, I am soaking wet after a few minutes under one and all hope of a good night’s sleep is lost afterwards. So, I sleep under a sheet, or when it’s cold, a light blanket.

My dearest significant other, on the other hand, sleeps under a light blanket in the middle of the summer, and buries herself under a thick blanket as soon as the temperature dips below 50 degrees. The trouble is, if she feels the slightest chill in the middle of the night, she’ll put those same suffocating articles over me, and about fifteen minutes later, I’m sweating and awake. I, of course, throw them off, which wakes her up and I then get a lecture about how cold it is—notwithstanding that I’m lying there sweating—and an effort on her part to cover me again.

She means well. And, for that reason, I try not to make much of a fuss. I gently say, though, that I cannot, I will not, sleep under ten pounds of blanket. You’d think this is a conversation that we would’ve had only once or twice, but you’d be wrong.

We just celebrated our 50th anniversary and we had that same conversation last night, and then the next morning when we dressed for our usual morning two-mile walk, she tried to get me to wear a parka. I compromised by wearing a medium weight sweater—it was only 40 degrees outside—and halfway through the walk, I had to take it off and wrap it around my waist. She, on the other hand, was wrapped in a thermal jacket for the entire walk and looking at me like I had some strange condition.

I’ve been giving this strange phenomenon a lot of thought, and I think I have the answer. Someone needs to create a heavy looking fabric that’s actually light with built in ventilation. That way, when you’re told, ‘It’s cold outside, put on a heavy jacket,” you can comply without having to suffer heat stroke. | NWI