When I was about six or seven years old, my parents bought the home they would own for the rest of their lives. It was a nice home, but had no heat installed in the upstairs, making the bedrooms quite cold in winter.
Eventually they decided to install radiators upstairs, and they asked me if I wanted one in my bedroom. I was inclined to sleep with my window open quite wide, making the temperature in the room the same as it was outside. The cold had no effect on me.
My parents’ bedroom had a nice big radiator installed, but they still tended to find it cold, so they would frequently leave their bed in the middle of the night and come and crawl in with me, one on each side. They would usually stay for only 20 minutes or so, and by then would be fully warmed up to the point of being too warm, so would go back to their own room. Although I was not aware of this action, being such a deep sleeper, dad used to tell me that I usually generated so much body heat that the 20 minutes or so that they spent in my bed was more than enough to get the job done. Because of this, they used to refer to me as “hot stuff.”
So when they had radiators installed in the bedrooms, I declined the offer to put one in my room. I must add here that I also never dressed in excessively insulated winter coats or outer clothing. I never thought anything about that at the time either. I was comfortable, and that was all that mattered!
Jump forward a bunch of years to my teen years, say to age 15 or 16. By this age I was quite smitten with keeping company with girls of a similar age, some of whom often called me “hot.” I, of course, thought that were referring to me as an attractive, somewhat sexy, young man, and I was usually flattered by that reference. It never dawned on me that when I was into a position of very close contact with them, they tended to get overheated and all flushed and bothered.
I could see that effect on them, but was fully convinced that it was my charm and “sexiness” at work, and never gave any consideration to that being caused by my body temperature. In fact, I never gave any thought to that condition being the reason that some of them called me “hot.” I think I should have!
Now, in my later years, and reviewing some of my earlier years as I pass the time sitting in my armchair watching time go by, I can understand more clearly how those lovely young ladies were so affected when they were unusually close to me physically, and why I was always stopped from getting closer. It wasn’t my “hotness” that caused them to get so overheated, but my excessive body heat, which certainly was not a reason for them to get all turned on and filled with passion.
Well, such is the cold, hard truth of life!
I must say that the excessive body heat which served me so well through most of my life has calmed down considerably, if not totally disappeared. My internal furnace now has only a few dying embers, and I find it cold or quite chilly almost all the time. I need to sleep with extra blankets over the feather duvet on my side, while my poor wife is experiencing a second run at experiencing excessive body heat, and wishes the room could be the same temperature inside as it is out.
I am hoping that warm weather arrives soon, so that I can shed the extra covers and be comfortable with just the summer quilt. Of course, that situation won’t last too long, before the night heat becomes unbearable, and we have to start up the air conditioner to cool the room down.
Isn’t being old fun!
Jerry Randall is a member of the Amherst News Community Editorial Panel.