Gender Wars: The Battle for Thermal Dominance

‘Tis the season to be steamy.

That is, if you’re a typical red-blooded male seeking to peacefully co-exist with a typical uber-chilly woman.

Such thermal inequality was in full force during my annual Christmas pilgrimage to the motherland (Ohio, land of my mother).

Mom, of course, was perpetually frosty, in direct contrast to my absolute stuffiness.

Navigating this duality required some creative ingenuity on my part: closing the vents in my bedroom, sitting close to drafty windows, dressing in a single paper-thin layer.

This silent battle reached its breaking point during the two-hour drive to my sister’s house.

Even though I had rented a car for the visit, mom insisted we drive hers (with me at the wheel, natch). She claimed taking her car was more convenient and would relieve her from having to transfer critical items (e.g. the garage door opener) from one car to the other.

But I’m no dope. I know the real reason was so she would have complete familiarity with the temperature and blower controls.

And she certainly took advantage of her advantage. No sooner did I turn the key that she maxxed out the heater (all the way to the right on both blower and temperature dials).

That was OK for those first few warm-up minutes. In fact, I actually craved the initial warmth to counter the 40-something degree temperature.

But it wasn’t long before I was overcome by visions of fiery saunas in endless deserts.

I countered by simply closing the vents on my side of the car. Which successfully slowed the direct barrage of steamy air, but hardly solved the problem.

My next move was much bolder, gradually turning the dial from red-hot to simply hot. Mom immediately moved it back. We continued this back-and-forth until she finally relented and acknowledged that the temperature might be a bit excessive.