November 29, 2001
wearing two sweaters and a jacket," I announce -- to no one in
particular -- as David and I settle into the Subaru for the morning
This isn't me making a fashion statement. This is me issuing a clear
and direct warning:
on the car heater while we're driving to work ... and I will kill you
totally dead. David, shivering in his thin broadcloth
shirtsleeves, nods agreeably and rolls down another rain-splattered
not ordinarily so oppressively-layered -- especially first thing in the
morning, when I tend to run hotter than a 7-11 corndog sweating under a
heat lamp -- but the Bay Area is currently experiencing its annual four
minutes of winter, and I have no idea what to expect later in the day.
(More wind and rainstorms? Occasional sun breaks? Or perhaps a nice
malfunctioning office air conditioner?) I figure that with a sweater
set and a raincoat, at least, I'm pretty much fixed for anything. I'm
not ordinarily so cranky and demanding, either, especially first thing
in the morning ... David: "Oh yes she is"
... but I'm plunk in the middle of The Bad Time -- although I must say
that this time around, it seems to be more like The
"Ever-So-Slightly Crabby/Mildly Inconvenient/Mostly Just Sort of Sleepy
and Stoopid" Time -- and that means that my internal
thermostat is even more out of whack than usual.
perfectly comfortable as we set out for work. In fact, I'm wondering if
maybe I should have gone with fullblown pantyhose under the suit pants,
instead of those dorky little nylon knee-hi things. What if my thighs
minutes later, I can feel a thin line of perspiration breaking out
above my upper lip.
minutes into the ride, my scalp is starting to itch.
the time we reach The Dirt Company, twenty minutes later, I am like an
ear of sweet corn wrapped in three layers of Reynold's Wrap, roasting
gently over a bed of coals. My armpit skin is sticking together, what's
left of my Marlo Thomas 'do is flopping into my eyes, and my Maybelline
is dripping off my forehead in rivulets.
love you," I pant, as David and I kiss each other goodbye.
l-l-l-l-l-love y-y-y-you t-t-t-t-tooo," he replies, teeth chattering. I
can see his breath.
spending the first forty years of my life crawling out of a warm sweaty
bed and braving the frigid cold of morning, it's really strange to be
doing things the other way around. It makes me wonder what other lovely
hormonal surprises Mother Nature has in store for me, further down The
Menopause Trail. Acne? Insomnia? Thinning hair? Will I suddenly start
being a Morning Person -- one of those weird little old ladies who
actually enjoys getting up at 5 a.m.? Will I have a nicer moustache
wait. I'm experiencing all of this stuff ALREADY.
soon as David drops me off at the office, I head immediately for the
ladies' room, where I begin what will become a day-long process of
rearranging layers according to the rise and fall of my internal
thermostat. Most of the day I'm OK. It gets a little warm in my part of
the office, come mid-afternoon, but as long as I keep the portable fan
running -- and the Calistoga bottle refilled -- I am comfortable.
we get home from work in the evening -- after a long, nasty freeway
commute that takes four times longer than normal, thanks to crappy
weather and crappier California drivers -- the apartment is dark and
chilly. David gazes longingly at the gas furnace, which has languished,
unused and forgetten, for almost a year. Then he looks at me. I have
already shed the raincoat and the first layer of sweater set, and I am
struggling wildly to pull the bottom-most sweater over my head ... and
I'm not even all the way inside the apartment yet.
crack open a window," he says meekly.