I never thought I’d say this, but go ahead, call me a wimp.
Until this week I’d spent a life-time priding myself on being tough. Let’s be very clear about this. When I was in elementary school, I petitioned to get into boys’ PE, because girls’ PE was too wimpy. As a child I was upset that “campouts” for our church’s girls group meant staying in dorms and doing indoor crafts, but campouts for boys included building shelters, making fires and digging latrines. During high school I did a 10-mile run on my toes hoping to strengthen my calf muscles for track season. I’ll even admit to some really strange “tough” things. As a child, when temps were triple-digit I would walk barefoot across the street and stand a moment on the man-hole cover. While living in Michigan, I typically did not wear a coat in winter, even when the temps were below zero Fahrenheit. I've even been known to forgo pain relief for full colonoscopies with biopsies. Masochistic? Maybe. Eccentric? Quirky? Definitely! . . . but wimpy? Absolutely NOT! . . . well, not until now that is.
Let me share recent local headlines: “Hottest July on Record,” “Death Toll Climbs” (34 area deaths thought to be heat-related), “Animal Carcasses Pile Up” “County Leads State in [heat-related] Deaths” “Punishing Heat Has Coroner’s Office Scrambling,” “Withering Temps Killing Dairy Cows – Estimated 1 percent of herds down poultry losses also high,” “Fish in Jeopardy, Too.”
Did you catch that last one? Even WATER-dwelling creatures are DYING from this heat.
. . . and then our air conditioner broke. That’s when this formerly tough woman cried “uncle.” I’m not sure to what extremes I would have gone to get it fixed ASAP, but I was ready to take any and all drastic measures that may have helped. The day after our AC went out I opened the paper and found an opinion piece entitled “No AC? No sweat, older folks say.” OK, just slap me across the face and call me a wimp.
Yes, I am aware that for most of the history of the world there was no air-conditioning, and that for most of the world’s population that is still the case. Realize, however, it is also true that for most of human history, penicillin was unknown. I find I’d rather live in a time and place where both antibiotics and air conditioning exist.
I was immensely grateful when our air-conditioner was fixed this morning!
Does this make me a wimp? If so, bring it on! I’ll give up my hard-earned label “tough” and gladly take on the label “wimp;” just as long as you DON'T take my air-conditioning away!