I don’t know what happened when my wife and I were born; we both come from the same part of the country which means we should have similar genes (not too similar before you all start smirking), and we grew up at roughly the same time, yet by some genetic quirk our bodies have very different thermostats.
My body thermostat is normal. I get cold in winter and hot in summer (or wet, as is the case for most English summers). It’s my wife that has the problem. Her thermostat seems to be set permanently on cold. Not freezing – it’s not like she’s blue in the mouth and shivering all the time – no, the difference between us is that it doesn’t matter what the weather, she always seems to need at least one more layer of clothing than me.
It’s not as if we are so different physically. We are both quite slim (although I’m a lot broader as discussed here), and don’t suffer from’water retention like a large and growing percentage of the population, so it’s not as if I’m carrying around extra lagging around the torso. We just appear to be wired up differently. So what’s the problem? I hear you ask. None, most of the time, it’s just…..
If there is one thing I hate, it is being too hot in bed. I, like most other people who like to retain their sanity, spend a third of my life in bed, yet ever since I’ve been married (OK, maybe for longer than that) I wake up each morning feeling like I’ve spent 7 hours at a Turkish bath. It’s not that I’m having nightmares, and I rarely suffer from a fever. No, the problems that I am forced to endure an inappropriately warm duvet.
Take our winter duvet. Its filling seems to be made from polar bear fur and hairs from the devil’s armpit. Even this winter, when the outside temperature was down below -20 Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit), within moments of climbing into bed my pores would be shooting out sweat like old faithful on speed. My wife, on the other hand, was complaining about how cold it was and asking for an extra blanket on top.
The answer, to me, is obvious. My wife should wear pyjamas in bed. As I have explained (begged) in the past, it’s easier for her to wear something extra than for me to peel off a layer of skin. This, though, is not an option. The only way forward is for me to gently simmer in a bath of my own sweat.
Things came to a head the other night. We are having an unusually warm spell in the UK at the moment. Daytime temperatures have exceed 34 Celsius (93.2 Fahrenheit) and as usual the majority of the UK population is complaining. Earlier in the month I had finally managed to persuade my wife to swap our winter duvet to our summer duvet (filling: brown bear pelts with added mink) but on this night, despite the windows being open, it remained incredibly warm. In fact it was so warm I could even see a slight flush on my wife’s cheeks. I quickly realised that this could be the opportunity I had been looking for.
“Why don’t we take the duvet out and just use the cover?” I said with an innocent tone.
“OK,” she replied. She must have been baking.
Once removed, I lay under the thin cotton sheets of the cover. My wife, in the mean time, put on some pyjamas. It was heaven. For once I lay the without the familiar itch of sweat trickling down my neck before nestling in the hollow of my throat. Unused to such levels of comfort, I was soon fast asleep.
At 3:00 am I woke up freezing. A night mist had come in from the coast, cooling the air to a more Spring-like temperature. I turned to look at my wife but she was sound asleep, though I swore I could see a slight smile on her face. What should I do? I couldn’t get the duvet. That would have been tantamount to surrender. No, the was only one thing for it. For the rest of the night I watched the digital clock slowly tick off the minutes to dawn whilst shivering gently on the thin sliver of bed I call my own.
The next morning my wife had to go away for a couple of days for work, so I quietly put the summer duvet back in the duvet cover. Since she’s returned she hasn’t said a word. I’m hoping she hasn’t noticed.
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