We are well into fall here. Temperatures are plummeting, people are pulling heavy jackets from closets and fallen leaves of crimson and gold crunch underfoot.

It also means one more thing – the thermostat wars have returned.

Somehow, the unseen forces of Fahrenheit and Celsius predetermine that polar opposites are attracted to one another, marry one another and then spend the rest of their lives quibbling about settings on the thermostat.

The husband is a utility company’s dream come true. The mercury dips ever so slightly, and he closes all the windows and hikes up the thermostat. In the interest of good health, and energy conservation, I set it a few degrees lower. Maybe 10.

Over the course of our marriage we have shared tubes of toothpaste, large slices of cheesecake and the remote control, but we are not able to share the thermostat. We’re locked in a cold war. Or a hot battle, depending on who has been to the thermostat last.

If our thermostat is anything close to accurate, for the next six months it would flash a digital readout that says, ‘Under Discussion.’

He says I keep the temperature so cold that he can see his breath.

I say, what’s the point in owning sweaters if you’re too hot to wear them?

His idea of comfortably warm is keeping it so hot that every candle in the house starts melting and so do I.

I remind him there is a difference between preheating the oven and regulating the temperature in the house.

He catches me turning the thermostat down a few degrees and asks if I’d be more comfortable in an igloo. I might, but he’d probably start a fire for heat and melt the roof.

The discussion grows heated. Then it cools, then it heats up again. I ask if we might need the thermostat police. He says he already knows what they’ll say – ‘Step away from the thermostat and nobody gets hurt.’

The husband insists more people like a room on the warm side than the cool side. I ask to see his research and tell him that there are destination spots for people like him. Florida. Or Dubai.

‘The cold is invigorating,’ I say.

He says, ‘Id’s fweewing,’ or something like that.

‘What’s that?’ I ask. ‘I can’t understand you through those three scarves wrapped around your face.’

At night he piles so many blankets on the bed that I nearly dislocate my shoulder trying to heave them all to his side.

He says I am temperature challenged; I counter that he is temperature hypersensitive.

He plays the sympathy card saying he may be suffering from hypothermia.

I suggest he run in place.

He says he has been for the last 30 minutes.

‘I don’t see you moving,’ I say.

He responds, ‘That’s because my limbs are frozen.’

The place we are most comfortable is in the car, where we have dual temperature controls. We may be taking a lot of road trips this winter.

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