Marital yin yang leaves mama hot, daddy cool
I am a hot mama — although not in the way you might be thinking. I am hot, but I’m not referring to a trendy or hip sort of fashion, which, ironically, might also be thought of as cool.
I am hot, as in Hades hot. Temperature hot. My husband is not. (Hot in a temperature sort of way, that is.)
It didn’t used to be like this.
In our early years of marriage, I suffered from chilled-to-the-bone syndrome. Brrrr was practically my middle name, especially at night. I wore winter pajamas — the kind with feet built right in. I piled on thick quilts and comforters — the more the merrier. Still, I froze.
Being the yin and yang that we are, my husband, who rested on his side of our bed inches from me, complained of the insufferable heat while I shivered and threw on an extra blanket. His body operated like an oven; my toes were like those jelled ice packs you use to soothe a pulled muscle.
Then, as with most things in a marriage, the dynamics changed. I’m not sure when, or how, or why, but somehow we swapped core body temperatures. I became his yin; he became my yang. It’s one of those weird marriage things. Like when a couple starts to resemble one another after 40 years of wedded bliss. My husband and I don’t look alike — yet, but when I say, “Hot,” he says, “No, it’s not.”
Nowadays he is the one lying under a mountain of cotton sheets and down blankets. I start the night beneath the covers, but the situation doesn’t last long. A couple hours after setting out for the land of nod, I kick one leg from under the blankets and find relief in the crisp night air. An arm soon follows. The cool feels … cool, and my internal oven finally starts to gas down.
If one were to think logically about this illogical situation, there could be some benefit to a steaming core temperature. I’m talking about burning — as in calories. Something has to fuel the inner fire keeping me warm at night. If that something were calories (oh please let it be calories) the weight would be falling off like the dripping sweat on my brow.
Unfortunately, logic appears to have little to do with my current heated situation. My body temperature may be soaring, but my metabolism has entered a nose-dive. I glance at a candy bar and my jeans grow tighter. My husband says the word, “diet” and loses 10 percent of his body weight — all while shivering under the covers.
No one ever said life was fair.
There’s only one culprit to blame for this scorching shindig of mine and we all know what it is: the dreaded “H” word. Hormones cause all sorts of imbalance and discomfort. Plenty of people have found plenty of trouble just because their hormones were out of whack. I blame most of my wackiness on hormones — and believe me, that’s no small amount.
Experts tell us it’s a stage — a flash in the (frying) pan of life. This may be true. But it does seem ironic. My inner furnace kicks in just as my husband’s is cutting out. I am hot; he is cool, and it used to be the other way around. Either way, I like to think I am cool (as in #hipster mom) and when it comes to my husband, no matter what his internal heat index might read, to me, well, he’ll always be hot.
Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, playwright and author of “The Do-It-Yourselfer’s Guide to Self-Syndication.”