Sunday, December 7, 2008

Life Saver

One day, if the fates are ever cruel... a very strange sight may meet the eyes of some hardworking firemen. Should tragedy strike, and our house go up in flames... well. I know my dear Prime Geek will get himself safely out of the building. Our furry children? Folks will understand our taking the time to ensure their whiskers get no more than singed – not charred. But what will confuse the lads (and ladies) in their dashing rubber pants will be the sight of a ash-covered woman – frantically trying to unmake her bed and wrestle her mattress pad out to safety with the rest of the family. Take my computer, my yarn stash*, my books**, but leave me my electric mattress pad!

Why am I spending a Sunday afternoon writing a love ode to a bunch of heated coils and some thin polyester? Simple. It's saving my pocketbook, my extremities, and very possibly my marriage. Allow me to explain.

The pocketbook is easy enough – through the modern marvel that IS Francois (re: weird habit I have for naming the objects in my life. As long as I don't go out in public with my underwear on my head, this small aspect of insanity is harmless. Judge not!) we are saving serious cash each and every cold month. Far cheaper to run than an electric heater, this little bundle of joy keeps my bed at a roasty toasty even keel... even when the bedroom itself is cold enough to generate icicles from the eaves. (Or at least a serious sheen of ice on the inside of our windows.) With the woodburner banked for the night downstairs, the electric mattress pad is our only source of heat in the upstairs. Proof its worth its weight in gold?

Our last gas bill (and with the wind chill, this part of the country is ducking into single and negative digits most nights) was a hefty – $32.50.

Impressive, yes? But that's not all my beloved bedroom buddy is doing for me nightly***, no no. You see... not only is our bedroom a wee bit chilly come nightfall, I have a slight problem with my circulation. Just a tiny little issue with being cold. Just a small... oh hades. Let's be honest here. I can lower the temperature of steaming bathwater with a single toe dip. I have to wait ten minutes after I shave to try getting dressed, simply because it takes that long to discover if I've cut my legs or not. It took my parents until I was 15 to realize a fever was the only way for me to achieve a “normal” temperature. Added to this – I have a severe case of monkey toes. You know... the ability to use my toes to grip and hold objects? Handy when I have to pick up a sock when my hands are full with a laundry basket... useful when climbing trees barefoot (something my mother wishes her nearing thirty year old daughter would give up, but it probably isn't happening this lifetime)... but not so much a good thing when coupled with a few other life facts. Like the ice cold feet I have. And the fact the Prime Geek is a blast furnace. And the fact we both have to sleep sometime. And that cold feet will burrow and travel great lengths to find nooks and crannies of warmth – completely without the knowledge of my working brain, might I add. Toss the whole ability to grip... and well. Once my dear husband stopped shrieking and flailing about, it was a week before he'd sleep with me again. We still wrap up in separate sheets because of that little incident. So to have my bed constantly radiating warmth helps me keep my limbs intact from threats of hypothermia induced gangrene ... and the threat of being hatcheted off by my desperately covering his shivering manhood husband.

Which leads me to my last reason for loving my mattress pad. The saving of my marriage. You see, I'm not the only one in this partnership with a few sleeping issues. The reason my feet got so frigid that fateful night had just as much to do with a certain bad habit of his. No one warns you before you link your life with someone to fully explore their personal tendencies – no one whispers “Hey, watch him sleep before you agree to the next 60+ years of bedside behavior”. You think about snoring, or talking in their sleep. You wonder about what side of the bed you are agreeing to stick to through thick and thin. But it never even crossed my mind to consider he might be....

A wrapper. AND a spinner. Shameless about it too. We may have started out those early nights with equal bedding, but it never lasted long. Yeah, an electric blanket is nifty... but it doesn't do you much good when it's completely cocooned around the body of your hibernating spouse. By three in the morning I would be shivering under nothing more than a sheet and one lone sock – staring resentfully at the snoring body of my blanket snatching husband. Gentle nudges garnered me nothing. Pulling and tugging just caused him to burrow deeper into his nest. One night in desperation, I pulled my robe off the floor and snuggled my feet under it in an effort to last until morning – only to be awakened by the sudden yank as it was stripped off my slowly bluing toes and absorbed into his warm shroud. Night after night found me struggling to remember I loved this Geek... and would regret smothering him with my pillow in the morning. Probably. Most likely. Presumably.

And then? Hark, the Angels! (Well, my mother anyway.) A present that saved my feet, my pocketbook, and my life outside of prison – my electric mattress pad. Constant radiating warmth – no matter how many blankets my ever loving spouse may steal. Ahhh... true bliss.

Now excuse me, does anyone know what insurance company I should talk to insure my little buddy?

Night folks.****

* That one stings a bit.
** Okay, a gut shot to think of that going bye-bye
*** I honestly didn't intend for that to sound like I was about to extol the virtues of a battery-powered pal there....

**** A little silly to ignore the stresses of the holiday season. I'll be greener in the morning. Althought, this IS on topic, mostly. Less gas heat = lighter carbon footprint = happier planet! See, I CAN wrap anything back to that if I try!


Sevesteen said...

We keep a bit more heat in the house, but by preference have the automatic thermostat programmed to turn it down to 58 at night. (I wouldn't keep it much warmer if fuel were free) We had electric blankets (separate twin blankets for each, because they were on sale at a fraction of the price of a queen) but the pad works much better, even on nights where neither of us steals covers from the other. The blankets are now relegated to high-speed preheat duty, then they are turned off for the night.

mrsb said...

Oh, that pad sounds like heaven! Though with 3 kids, I'm not going to be turning off the heat anytime soon.

badhuman said...

My husband keep our heat at 55 all the time and manage to sleep comfortably now that we've piled three blankets on the bed. I'm a cover stealer so we actually make the bed so that he starts with more covers and then in the middle of the night is not left freezing when I steal half of his.

Chile said...

We've been talking about an electric mattress pad due to the cold nights. I'm the tucker in the family but, after almost 20 years, my husband is learning to steal and tuck the blankets himself. My solution has been to add extra blankets to my side only as a last resort to waking up as a popsicle.