Today, we must take time to recognize an anniversary that represents a truly momentous literary achievement.
The Just a Smidge column turns ten years old on Friday! I know, I was as stunned as you are.
The first column was posted on June 22, 2008, and you, our faithful readers, have been mercilessly subjected to a new one each week since then.
“That’s nice,” you say, “but what’s so momentous about ten years? I mean, we’ve got underwear older than that.”
Great question, my fair and thrifty readers, and you are correct. It isn’t the time period that’s momentous - it’s the volume and the content.
I have produced over 500 individual columns, averaging close to 1000 words each, and yet, in all those 500,000 words, I have managed to not provide even one single useful piece of information.
Do you know how hard that is to do? Do you? No? Me neither. It just sorta happens.
Anyway, in honor of this day, I thought we’d take a trip back in time to one of those first columns from ten years ago.
Enjoy, but don’t expect to learn anything.
Hot Chicks and Cool Dudes
Originally posted July 7, 2008
One of the main differences between men and women can be seen in the simple truth about ambient temperature. Men are comfortable in a thirty-degree temperature range, and the range is the same for all men. From 56 degrees Fahrenheit to 86, men will do just fine. Some may be a little sweatier or chillier than others, but no one is complaining. This range is hardwired in the male DNA and stays the same from birth until death.
Women, on the other hand, are comfortable in only a three-degree range, and not only does that range vary widely from women to women, but throughout the course of an individual women’s day, week, month, year, and lifespan, it will jump all over the board.
These are indisputable facts. You just can’t argue with science. This disparity in the comfort zones of the sexes invariably leads to problems when men and women attempt to share an office, car, home, bed, table at a restaurant, tent, etc. The issue is most often solved by adjusting the temperature to fit the female’s needs. As long as the three-degree range is still falling in the male comfort zone, everyone gets along. If there are two or more women sharing the same space, the inevitable problem is usually solved with layers. It is not uncommon to visit an office where the secretary in the blouse with the personal electric desk fan is working right alongside the HR manager in the parka with the personal electric space heater.
Financial issues can arise from this problem when men and women get married and buy a house that contains a thermostat. Men will do some rudimentary math, and pick one temperature to keep the house livable, foolishly assuming that this temperature will be acceptable for the entire season. Little do they know that the temperature they picked will not even be acceptable for an entire seven minutes. Women who normally complain that the clock radio is too complicated can decipher a thirty-eight-button, eleven-switch thermostat in a matter of minutes and operate any home’s A/C system like they were seated at a NASA control center. In many cases, the temperature swings during the day are so violent that you can actually see the money being sucked out of the double-pane windows.
I think the temperature issue is a physical manifestation of a psychological difference in the sexes. Women are genetically programmed to worry about more things than men are. I have no idea why, but again, you can’t argue with science. When women have no life-threatening situations to deal with, they will inevitably begin to search out things to be concerned about, often making things up to fret over. Hair, weight, money, age, wrinkles, relationships with friends, relationships with co-workers, me-time, us-time, down time, play dates, date night, pre-partum, partum, post-partum, carpet, color palates, window treatments, balanced diets, safety recalls, consumer reports, outdoor tableware, biological clocks, school districts, undercooked poultry, guest lists, footwear, closet organization, furniture, pediatricians, and the list goes on and on. And on.
With men, pretty much twenty-nine days out of the month if the cars are running OK and the house isn’t on fire, it’s all good.
So, I hypothesize that women, being less comfortable inside about all the little things in life, try to micro-manage the external temperature settings to feel more comfortable outside. A way to gain some measure of control over their surroundings when life seems otherwise wildly out of control.
Either that, or it’s a hormone thing and they actually are less comfortable. What do I know?
See you soon,
Copyright © 2018 Marc Schmatjen
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