Monday, March 16, 2009

Why You Should Have Sympathy For Me

It's cold.

No, really, it's cold.

When late winter chills hit, the nation comforts and consoles itself as people keep their winter gear out despite the approach of Easter. But that sympathy is reserved "for the mainland only". As if compassion were as scarce as sunshine, I am left in the cold, so to speak, when I complain of the unseasonable cold here in Hawaii. When my fingers and toes are numb with chill, I am bereft of the kind warmth of sympathy or concern. All I get is derision and temperature one-downs-manship.

If a friend were suffering the pain of a broken finger, would you express sympathy, or would you wag your finger and say, "That's nothing! I've had a broken leg!"

Here's why you should remember me kindly as this seemingly endless winter rages on:

1. Insulation - I have none. Drywall in Hawaii is reserved for hotels. Most houses are built with "single wall construction" which causes the outside temperature to pretty much match the inside temperature. And while our lows in the low 50s may seem mild to you snow folk, I doubt you are sleeping in a 54 degree room like I am.

2. Heating - I have none. No heater. No fireplace. No way to warm my house or room if it gets cold. Well, there's always the oven. Coconuts don't burn well, as I've discovered.

3. Winter clothing - I have none. Heavy jackets, gloves, scarves, thick socks, or boots are just not to be found on this island unless it's brought from the mainland. I have taken to sleeping in a sweatshirt and a couple pairs of socks. My children wear two sets of PJs at a time. If I'm "soft" for complaining about temperatures in the 50s, then you all are "soft" for using Goretex and wool.

As I write this I can feel the chill seeping through my comforter (no down to be found here either unless I try to pluck a passing nene which, I'm pretty sure is illegal.) The end of my nose and my fingers are numb. And it's March for Pete's sake! So as you sit toasty in your heated, insulated houses with your wool socks and down comforter, just remember your poor friend in Hawaii who doesn't have all those luxuries, and shed a tear and write a word of sympathy.

No, seriously, I'm cold!

7 comments:

Ambie said...

Would you like me to call you a waaahhhh-mbulance ?

Nathan & Michelle Watabe said...

I understand. When we lived in CA, sometimes it would get to the high 80's low 90's in the summer and people who didn't live there thought I was a major wimp, but we had no AC (almost no one did). So once it's in the 80's and you're sitting in it all day, it feels pretty hot. The cold would probably be even worse. I can hardly stand to have my heater below 68, so 54 would definitely be too much for me.

Happy The Man said...

What's worse, having it and not being able to use it or not having it at all? We have 3 fireplaces, but don't use any of them. We keep everything low/cold in the winter to reduce unnecessary expenses and we keep things high/hot in the summer for the same reasons. When it gets really cold or really hot, we splurge and I'm grateful that we have the option (at the cost). But usually we are bundled in the winter and have fans blowing in the Summer.

And we don't have any beautiful beaches to look at or bask in, no tropical fruits and coconuts growing freely on trees. Not saying I'd rather be there, just saying I feel your pain. I was not aware of the single pane construction practices there, that bites!

My brother lives in Maui, he's got solar panels on his roof and says they have helped a ton with warming and keeping costs down. His flat is really small.

ArchRay said...

I understand relative cold. In Washington, it got below 40 and I thought it was terrible (it is wet cold). In Omaha, anything below 10 is cold. Crazy, also, we didn't have AC in Washington and it is frustrating when you cannot do anything to change the temperature and I hate feeling cold and unable to change it more than anything! HOWEVER, I am in Omaha and you are in Hawaii. Point. I never wanted to live in the mid-west and now I am here indefinitely, your "being cold" will be short lived relatively.

ray said...

Thank you for all the sympathy (Ambie excluded), but since I did get to enjoy a warm-ish afternoon at the beach this week, I probably really don't deserve it. Don't hate - just come visit.

Nathan & Michelle Watabe said...

Ray, I'm too lazy to track down your e-mail address, so I'm responding here. I'll have to try the Oops stuff. Nate has banned red crystal light from the house, even though it's our favorite flavor. I keep hoping they'll come out with a clear fruit punch.

Mama Mia said...

Bruce wanted me to tell you he is praying for you. :)