Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Heart AC

Here’s how I know I am a grown up. .

I find it unthinkable that someone could possibly live in an apartment without air conditioning.

In my first apartment after college, a two-bedroom in which three of us lived above the taco shop, we had no AC. I keenly remember those summers, sleeping in my bedroom, which did not have a window. I set up two fans on either side of my bed, pointed at each other, directly over my body. Even with that shit turned up to super-high and the hurricane-level winds blasting my face all night, it wasn’t the slightest bit refreshing. Then I tried jumping in the shower right before bed and lying naked in my bed in an attempt to cool off. I was covered in sweat within 30 seconds.

Finally, I came to my senses and got, not an air-conditioner, but a boyfriend with an air conditioner.

Yes, I basically pimped myself out for free air conditioning. I am not even exaggerating, really. I was dating this investment banker who had a swank Chelsea pad with copious air conditioning and though it was clear by July that things weren’t really going to work out, I held on to late August because hey, you can forgive a lot when you’re sleeping with Hi-Cool aimed right at your head. I remember one time I offered to have him stay over my place, just for equity’s sake and when he said, “Where’s the AC?” I told him. “Well, I just eat a lot of Popsicles, then take a cold shower, get in bed sopping wet and blast my skin off with windpower.” Within 10 minutes, we were in a cab towards Manhattan.

By the next summer, I realized that perhaps trading sex for air conditioning wasn’t strictly necessary and I shelled out the $250 for a small unit in the kitchen, next to my bedroom. On really hot nights, my roommates and I would drag my mattress into the kitchen and all sleep there. It was such a divine luxury.

Today, the idea of sleeping without hard-core AC -- the kind that will cause frost to grow on my wet hair - is unthinkable. Having renounced casual sex, excessive booze, and drugs, I figure I deserve air conditioning. I mean, we don’t have tons of money but I will find the money for air conditioning, even if I need to sell every last item in our house on ebay. It’s a dealbreaker. Period.

Of course, in a few weeks we’ll be vacationing in Italy, where people aren’t so cripplingly addicted to AC (they don’t know what they’re missing). So I’m bracing myself for plenty of Popsicles and cold showers. Maybe I’ll tuck the kids in, with ice packs on their pillows. Any other suggestions?