Ok, so I’m not a meteorologist, but the heat index in my body on Friday was sending out all kinds of wavelengths that I should do nothing but go inside, sit in front of the air conditioner and not move until the sun went down. I couldn’t do that of course, so there were literally parts of the day where you could have basted me a few times and then served me as the main course of whatever creepy meal you were having that night. Gross thought. Ok, we’re passed it. Moving on.
Although not as bad, Saturday’s heat was equally debilitating, and after sitting outside at my cousin’s bridal shower with my dress skirt yanked up around my waist for increased air flow, I got to thinking, is this the hottest it ever was?
Now, I’m not a heat person, and I’m fairly dramatic when it comes to complaining, so I’m gonna go out on a fairly short, fairly wide limb and say that I’ve called numerous days “the hottest of all time” throughout my life. Like in grammar school when I had to wear knee socks and a tie and it was 8,000 degrees out. Or at Army basketball camp when we slept on cots in the barracks and I had to shower before I went to bed and as soon as I woke up just to cool off (I’ve always considered these things borderline child abuse, but unfortunately I fear we’re long outside the statute of limitations). But there really is only one weekend that stands out in my mind as comparable to our most recent scorcher, a long, hot weekend only three years ago.
It was a weekend during the six months after grad school that I was unemployed. Feeling sorry for me, my family kept offering me odd jobs and paying me exorbitant amounts of money to do them. Tutoring one day a week for about $1000 an hour. Dog sitting for a weekend in my own home. There was a good amount of time there where I referred to myself as the Real Housewife of Westchester County. Which should be a show, Andy Cohen.
Anyway, I was watching my cousins Trevor and Brett for the weekend (which hasn’t happened since, for reason’s that will become clear by the end of this post). Trevor was 11. Brett was 5. Brett had an addiction to letting Brady Pumpkin, their dog (real name), out of the house without a leash. And it was to this that I woke up that Saturday morning – the sliding glass door opening, one bark, the words “Go, Brady, Go!” and then the screams. “Keeeeeeeelllllyyyyy. Brady’s loose!”
I chased Brady for about 30 minutes, in my pajamas, with no shoes on, in weather conditions I can only compare to a world without air. I came back into the house only to find that it too was stifling, as old houses and air conditioning do not mix. “Guys,” I said. “Emergency evacuation drill. We’re going to Nana’s. Every man for himself. Be in the car in 5 minutes.”
I packed up Brady and his crate and put everything into the car. The boys jumped in 5 minutes later and we headed for the LIE and the beach. Somewhere around Huntington I asked Trevor and Brett what they packed for themselves: Trevor, his science textbook and a toothbrush. Brett, one water shoe and a pair of underwear.
“Why would you only pack one water shoe?” I asked him.
“I’m only 5. What do you want from me?” was his response. Totally valid.
We hit Center Moriches and we hit it hard. It was 75 degrees and breezy. The birds were chirping, the waves were rolling and we ended up having a great time. Until the next morning when we woke up and found out that the oppressive heat had followed us eastward. Everything in the house was wet from humidity. And it was only June, so we hadn’t put the air conditioners in yet. Before I could call my second emergency evacuation drill of the weekend, the boys were already in the car. We hauled ass back to Westchester and took pictures of the car’s thermostat as the temp rose.
When we got back into the house the boys scattered. I kept filling Brady’s water bowl to make sure he didn’t get dehydrated. I told the boys to pick what they wanted for dinner, which ended up being the worst choice ever – hot wings – and then I told them they could hang out in their parents room and watch TV until bedtime. I sat at the kitchen table and attempted to remain still in an effort to stop sweating. That was until I heard a popping sound from upstairs which ended up being Brett poking a hole in the aero bed as he jumped up and down on it in an attempt to hit the ceiling fan. Which was on. Inches away from his face. Third emergency evacuation drill of the weekend.
We moved the house’s only air conditioner into the guest bedroom and all got on the bed. I turned on the Disney Channel and – after the weekend we had – we all, including Brady, just laid there staring at the TV. Eventually we all fell asleep, early I’m sure, because of the heat. And the driving. And pure exhaustion. But when I woke up the next morning I smiled.
We were all still in the bed, right where we had collapsed. The AC was still on, but the extreme heat wave had broken. Brady was wagging his tail, ready to be taken out for a walk. And Brett’s other water shoe was laying in the hallway.