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101 degrees

July 6, 2010

It’s always so hard to identify with Europeans. Even though I was in elementary school in the 1970’s, when we were all force-fed the metric system, I have never been able to make any sense of degrees centigrade. When I lived abroad, foreigners were always clucking about how it was either forty degrees or fourteen degrees or some similar nonsensical thing: none of their silly metric numbers ever spoke to me directly, the way “eighty-five” screams “picnic!”, for instance, or “oh, my god, four below” inspires a sympathetic shiver.

Several of my readers and commenters seem to be European, or else to reside in countries that successfully made the leap from pounds and shillings to centimeters and liters; therefore, I don’t expect them to do anything other than shrug in that sophisticated way foreigners do when I say that it is presently a hundred and one degrees outside, which means it is about two hundred and one degrees on my third floor (why I choose to sleep up here when it is always, always either too hot or too cold bewilders me) and about eight thousand degrees in my kitchen, where I shall shortly fix supper for my boyfriend and his daughters and my sons. Some of the fans are working. We have no air conditioning–not even those clever European devices that do not weigh a million pounds (I mean, sixpence) and fix neatly to the wall, because those do not exist in the United States. Perhaps they are suspected of having Communist sympathies. Anyway, I am a stubborn idiot who does not like to have her windows blocked by hideous metal noisemakers at other times of the year. I also talk a big annoying game about how unhealthy air conditioning is and how no one really needs it, which has caused my friends with air conditioning to cackle when they see my name on the caller ID and refuse to answer, and so we suffer.

I’m guessing it’s at least fifty degrees, in Euros. Maybe fifty-five. Anyway. The last time it was this hot, I was nine months pregnant. And it was cooler inside my womb than out of it.

This morning, my ex-husband asked me to help him move some things, including a queen sized bed and some sofas, using my station wagon. Guess what I said?

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 6, 2010 6:51 pm

    I’m guessing… a gesture? Now, those work both sides of the pond just fine…

  2. julie permalink
    July 6, 2010 8:00 pm

    They do make those neat Euro A/C units for the States. They ain’t cheap, but they have an attractive name, “Mr. Slim.”
    Please tell me your ex’s apartment doesn’t have air. My ex came by unexpectedly to pick up stuff on a hot day once, and I was wearing as little clothing as possible. He noted, “If you only wore that sort of stuff when we were married, maybe this wouldn’t have happened.” He made a half-hearted pass at me, and I pushed him off of my sweaty cleavage.

  3. laura permalink
    July 6, 2010 8:43 pm

    no? i hope.

  4. July 7, 2010 4:51 am

    Cheeky sod!

    We are rubbish with temps here. The tv weather is always in C but most people still think in F. Even when we agree with you like with weight being in pounds it doesn’t work as you don’t use stones. Personally I use metric all the time cos when I was 10 I was a pompous kid and decided it was cooler to be all continental.

  5. July 7, 2010 5:24 am

    Ooh la la. Non, nein, impossibile! En Irlande we just open the window, believe me, whereupon a cool pine-fresh misty breeze blows in. Want to upstakes and visit? You could admire our extended characters and enjoy our Good Sleeping Weather, (a phrase that fascinated me when I lived Over There, Amongst The New Worlders).

  6. July 7, 2010 10:31 am

    Canadians are guilty of using Celcius too, but I can translate for you. This afternoon here in Ottawa it’s climbing to 34 degrees Celcius (that’s 93.2 degrees American) but with humidex etc. it’s going to feel like 42 degrees (that’s a disgusting, and wet, 107.6 farenheit). I feel your pain, and it’s been like this all week.

    As for the ex-husband, I hope you told him that as much as you would love to help him out, you had some very important ice-tea drinking and lounging to do and just couldn’t find the time.

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