Monday, May 30, 2011

The Heat is On

"Oh, we'll be fine!" I said.  "We'll put the shades down and put the window fan in.  It's not like our last apartment, where all the windows faced the sun all day."

Well.

One summer in New York City under my belt, and it only took about three days of extreme heat this time around for Alix and I to give up the delusion that we could get through the summer without air conditioning.  When we lived in midtown, our (significantly more expensive) apartment came with an AC unit already built in.  Our supers serviced it every few weeks and even though our electrical bill was through the roof, there was no way we were turning that thing off when it was hitting 95 degrees every. single. day.

When we moved into our current place, it was October, and we quickly removed the dinky little window AC unit and stashed it hurriedly behind the armchair, vowing to deal with it later.  Well, later is now.  After debating the merits of spring for a long time, New York gave us a week or so of beautiful, warm, breezy weather before laughing bitterly and tossing the 90 degree days right back at us in full force.  After two nights of sweating profusely in our flannel-sheeted bed, the window fan blowing steamy, musty-smelling, allergen-filled air straight into our waiting lungs and Alix and I hauled the dinky AC out from behind the chair, vacuumed it, and set it up in the bedroom window.  We turned it on full-blast, prayed it would work, and shut the door.  Ten minutes later, I cautiously opened the door and was greeted with a gust of chilly air.  Happy dances ensued and the cat promptly scooted through the door and settled in for a nap.  Ahhh, we thought.  Now we can sleep in peace!  (We also bought some summer sheets and will be storing the flannels until November comes around again.)

As for the rest of the apartment?  The window fan will be fine!  Or so we thought.  We gritted our teeth today, ignored the panting dog, and blamed our snappiness on...anything but the heat.  Finally, while lethargically cleaning up the apartment, I unearthed an almost-expired 20% off coupon for Bed Bath & Beyond.  Before I could say a word, Alix's sweaty fingers were dancing across the computer keyboard and were soon dialing the phone number for our nearest store.  "Delivered between 7 PM and 10 PM tonight?  Sure, sounds good!"

At 8:15 PM, a very grumpy delivery man (who realized after buzzing our apartment that we live in a walk-up) came harumphing up the stairs with our new 60-pound window AC unit.  We tipped him begrudgingly, locked the cat in the bedroom, and began unwrapping our new treasure.  It quickly became apparent that there was substantially more assembly required for this not-very-rinky-dink air conditioner than we had planned on.  Now, let me be clear about something.  Like most couples, there are things that Alix is good at and things that I am good at.  I can cook and clean with the best of them, but being handy?  Not really my thing.  So while I drank milk from the carton and occasionally shouted encouraging words, Alix bravely dove in to the task of wrestling our air conditioner into the window and solidifying it so that it won't go tumbling four stories to the sidewalk below.  Two hours later, it's humming steadily away, cooling our humble abode to a nice 72 degrees.  The dog has stopped panting, I finished the milk, and Alix wiped the suspicious smudges off her face.  The cat is still trying to eat the styrofoam packaging, but hey, that's just another version of normal around these parts.

New York summer?  Bring it on.

2 comments:

scribbler said...

eww.. haha. I forget what real heat (and humidity!!!) is like. I'm sitting here in socks, sweatpants, t shirt, sweatshirt, and a blanket... AND I have a sunburn (not that it was hot or even that sunny when I got it..it was probably 60 and windy as fuck and I had just biked ~55/60 miles...I thought the clouds would save me from the UV rays that could scorch my skin... yep. I'm dumb sometimes.)

anyway...glad you guys are a little cooler now! :)

Faith said...

The lake is calm. The sky is blue. Your bed is clean and awaiting our two dear girls!