Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Mother's Air-Conditioning Checklist

Air-conditioning is a major priority in my family. We are New York Jews, and we do not deal well with discomfort. We had a big, 327894628374294082034 BTU air conditioner in the living room, and one summer day, it stopped working. We quickly purchased a new one and put it in the den-— there was no way we were going to wait for a repair man in the heat.

When it gets very hot, my mom likes to run down what I like to call "The Air Conditioning Checklist." It goes like this:

Mom: So, how's the air-conditioning working at home?
Me: Good! Nice and cool.
Mom: Oh good. You have central, right? (She asks every year).
Me: Yup, central! A nice, balanced spread of coolness in each and every room. I’m forever grateful for my central air!
Mom: Ahhh, I bet that feels nice. What about at work? Do you have central air at work?
Me: Nope, the house is too old. Air conditioners were put in all the windows before it got hot out, though.
Mom: But they work, right?
Me: Yes. They are all up and running.
Mom: Boy, I bet it must be miserable walking to the subway in the morning. Do they have air conditioning on those trains?
Me: The trains are kept nice and cold, but the platform is very hot.
Mom: Oh boy, that must really be miserable.
Me: It's pretty uncomfortable.
Mom: How far do you have to walk to get home from the subway stop? It must feel like an oven out there!!
Me: It takes about five minutes.
Mom: UGH!! You must be sweating by the time you get home! Miserable!!

Usually, at this point in the conversation, my mother has satisfied her need to ensure that all aspects of my environment are adequately cooled.

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